Finding the ‘Kind’ in Mankind

Sometimes, when you least expect it, you hear something that causes you to pause; or, in my case made me stop and think, “Seriously? They even USE that word today”.  This happened to me when I heard the word Mankind in a daily reading.

Upon deeper reflection I wondered if they even teach the word ‘mankind’ to elementary students. And then, if they DO teach this word, would they even know what it means? Many words end up by the roadside because they are not relevant.  This particular word could very well go the way of VCR, disposable film, bubblers, floppy disk, britches, hootenanny, icebox, and then my favorite, the ‘yuppie’.

When there is no longer a need for the word, the word quietly fades away.

When the word is no longer relevant to people’s lives it loses its very definition.

And,  when you break apart MANKIND, are the two parts mutually inclusive, or exclusive?

During a sermon this past month, St. Luke catechized:

The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones.”  (Luke 16:10)

Hearing this, I almost wished I were in a Baptist Church where I could have stood up quickly and shouted out ‘Amen Father! Alleluia”.

St. Luke was giving ‘mankind’ direction on how to live the kind of life which brings out the best in all, but today it seems as if the very word is an oxymoron. How can the word ‘man’ be united with the word ‘kind’? There are so many instances in the media where ‘man’ is anything but ‘kind’. The way society interacts is anything but ‘kind’. The ability of a person to anonymously be ‘unkind’ has grown exponentially in our interactions with others on social media sites.

As parents it is our duty to teach our children to be ‘kind’. It is a simple word, but action is needed to exemplify the word, to do honor to the word. So it is with some irony I came across  an idea  to help others in need on the social media site Pinterest.  Many are creating Blessing Bags. post on Pinterest.

Photo courtesy of Used with permission. All rights reserved.

We are keeping a “Blessing bag” in our car in case we find someone in need. You can make these up with items from the Dollar Tree such as gloves, thermal socks, beef sticks, crackers, candy bars, toothpaste, toothbrush, wipes, deodorant, snacks and other items that may help someone who is homeless or in a bad way

What a simple ‘kind’ idea.

When they see someone in need they roll down their window and give them this bag. Anything can go into the bag, but what truly made me see the ‘kindness’ of others was seeing how many people are doing this. One person was using gift certificates for McDonald, Burger Kings.  Another was using certificates to Walmart for a shampoo and cut. Some made bags just for women, some just for kids, and others created bags for seniors.

So many people excited to be ‘kind’ to those in need!

Showing how to be kind in small interactions with others is  key to our children learning how to being kind in larger interactions.  We begin teaching the small acts of kindness, and our children will have the tools to be as St. Luke states ‘trustworthy with the large’.  Something this small teaches them to look for Christ in others and allows them to discover the goodness in everyone.

Random acts of kindness done by ‘mankind’ for others, without a thought of anything in return.

‘Mankind’ it seems is not an oxymoron.

Almost makes me want to throw a hootenanny to celebrate.

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Shared Article from AOL: Pope Francis proclaims Teresa of Calcutta a saint

How blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall inherit the Earth. How blessed are we to have lived while a saint walked among us. 

Blessed Saint Mother Teresa, pray for us for we are in need of your prayers. 

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Blessed Labor Day

On this Labor Day let us  remember everything we have, comes from God’s Hands.  He has entrusted us with specific gifts to be used for the good of the world.  May we remember to share them with each other every day.

seeing Gods Hands in Everything..jpg

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Pope names two auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Boston

Congratulations and prayers to Father Robert P. Reed  of CatholicTV, based out of Watertown, Massachusetts.  I remember discussing Handshake From Heaven with him a few years after it was published. He is truly a Crusader for Christ.


BRAINTREE, MA — The Holy See announced June 3 that Pope Francis has named Father Robert P. Reed and Father Mark O’Connell, JCD as Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Boston. Bishop-elect Reed is

Source: Pope names two auxiliary Bishops for the Archdiocese of Boston

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Saint Mother Teresa

On Sept 4, 2016 Mother Teresa will be canonized.  Smiles all around!

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Treasures Given Freely

Nothing is more important than The Cross…on which hung the Savior of the world. In today’s busy world we can easily be distracted from this Truth; and then, if we are lucky, He will gently place something in our path as a reminder.

Recently my mother has begun the process of separating her belongings among her children.  This usually means taking one of us aside, asking if we would like to see something, and if we answer affirmatively she will grab our hand and show us the item.   If we express anything resembling joy, or if we remark that it is indeed lovely, the item is placed in our hands and we are told (ordered) to put it in our car.

Arguing is useless.  She wants items removed NOW, and complains if we  say ‘Yes, I will take it but I’ll come back later for it’.  Over the past few months I have become more judicious in my assessment of certain objects.  No need to have more than three iron pots my husband says.

And then one day she put the art book in my hands.

We had gone up to her loft where a collection of books resided; these were books she had collected over the years from thrift shops, antique stores, and her many travels.  The print in one particular old art book was too small for her eyes but she didn’t know what to do with this large heavy anthology.  Stroking the cover, she told me she had spent many quiet hours looking through it over the years.

As I opened this art book copies of a painting fell out: Jesus Wept, by Marion S. Wittenhagen.Jesus Wept

Nothing prepared me for the beauty of His Face.  Pain, agony, strength and total compassion – all shone through the print.  There were also copies of a letter written by the artist describing her thoughts on her painting.   As she stated: “I was forced to use my own anguish to depict the tears and the sorrows which I felt Jesus suffered during His last hour in the garden.”

I have spent many hours since trying to find out more about Marion.  What did she mean when she wrote about using her own anguish?  Marion painted this in the spring of 1970, and was mentioned in a truly moving piece by Professor Emeritus Donald Burt (Villanova University) called Hospice: Reflections on a Dying Life.  As admonished by Professor Burt:

You don’t need to be as “smart” as Augustine to bring Christ to your world. Indeed, you do not need to be particularly strong. As I type these words, I see before me a picture of a painting done by an artist friend of mine, Marion Wittenhagen. It is a head of Christ as he looked just after he had heard the terrible words of Pilate:

Nothing more can be done!”

Marion had had an unsuccessful surgery on her back and was in constant pain.  Her doctors  said there was nothing they could do to relieve the pain because she was not ‘terminal’.  She painted Jesus Wept from her bed, and when she couldn’t get the eyes ‘just right’, she dragged her easel into the bathroom, propped it up and painted her own eyes. As she wrote on her typewriter:

                “If you cover the right side of Jesus’ face with paper you see His power, His strength, See that all-knowing eye…THIS IS THE CHRIST. Then cover the left side of Jesus’ face:  See the compassion, the love the gentleness and mercy.  See the sorrow…THIS IS THE MAN OF GOD.”

 Finding this print pressed between the pages of a book my mother has loved for many years, and reading about the reflections of both Marion and Professor Burt on life, pain, and dying was a gentle reminder to stop and remember that  life is truly temporal.

Christ bore it all for us, in the garden and on the Cross. He bore it so we would be saved.   He bore it out of Love.  We can do no less as we live our lives.

I have my mother’s art book.  It went directly into my car.

She didn’t even have to ask twice.

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Will America’s 100-Year-Old Female Spy Finally Be Recognized for the Hero She Is?

Source: Will America’s 100-Year-Old Female Spy Finally Be Recognized for the Hero She Is?

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Auschwitz Liberated, January 27, 1945

I have often wondered about the emotions of the Auschwitz liberators.  Joy? Pain? Regrets?  Anger? Or all of the above? auschwitz-fences-PMy imagination tells me they must have been felt as if they were punched in the gut.  Their silence, and the silence of those saved, must have deafening.

Today is the seventy-first anniversary of prisoners being liberated from the horror that was Auschwitz.  Virtual Jerusalem has put together a slide show of children killed, and saved,  which I feel everyone… regardless of religious affiliation… should bear witness to.

As a Catholic, as a mother and grandmother, my heart bleeds for lives lost, futures erased.  I was not even born when Auschwitz was liberated, but I did visit the camp with my sisters and parents a few years back. The Auschwitz tour came in the middle of the week, sandwiched between our visit to Warsaw and Krakow.  I remember my mother obstinately refusing to leave the  bus, saying:  ‘I don’t want to see it.  I can’t stomach it. I lived through this period. You girls go’.

The tour bus guide quietly told her she needed to come, to walk  the corridors other mothers walked, to stare at the items families were forced to relinquish piled high in the rooms, to stare at the chimneys where smoke from the furnaces once blew…because without witnesses the evil allowed to flourish here would one day return. In one room there were piles of broken violins. In another, hair cut from the victims.  Display after display extolling the Auschwitz Horror.

Please take a moment today and access Virtual Jerusalem’s link and look into the faces of the children pictured in their slideshow.  Say a prayer for their souls, and for all the innocent souls killed in man’s quest for domination over others.  Evil cannot be allowed to win.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)



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The Face of Labor Day

Yesterday my grandson asked me why we celebrate Labor Day, and as I thought of a simplified response to his passing query I thought…can you put a face to Labor Day?

Christmas has the face of Santa.  Thanksgiving the face of a turkey.  Halloween’s face is the Great Pumpkin. Memorial Day is the face of all our soldiers who defended America against aggression and paid the ultimate price.  Presidents Day ?  Lincoln and Washington.

The face of Labor Day? Not so easy is it?

In fact, the man truly responsible for Labor Day’s inception was Eugene Debs, who organized a strike against the Pullman Company in 1894. Under his leadership, in just four days,  over 125,000 workers on twenty-nine railroads across our country walked off the their jobs, hoping to bring the George Pullman to the arbitration table. The reason for the strike?  The Pullman Company had their very own ‘enclave’ for their workers named Pullman, located on the south side of Chicago.  When the company cut jobs and lowered wages they did not lower the rents or the price of other goods their workers were forced to pay.

Because the trains carried mail, President Grover Cleveland was advised by his Attorney General, Richard Olney he had the right to order the union to resume normal operations.  When Debs refused to back down, President Cleveland sent in federal troops across the nation to break up the strike and resume train service.  One Methodist minister in Montana, who was supportive of the workers and their desire for a compromise from Pullman, compared the strike to the Tea Party and complained that the president had  “abandoned the faith of theJacksonian fathers.”[13] Rather than defending “the rights of the people against aggression and oppressive corporations,” he said party leaders were “the pliant tools of the codfishmonied aristocracy who seek to dominate this country.”[13] 

Aided by a media sympathetic to the railway owners, the AFL which did not support the striking union, and a populace that was divided the strike was ended but not before over $80M in damages was incurred,  30 people were killed and 57 injured.  Debs himself was forced to spend six months in jail for failing to comply with a court order.

President Cleveland on the other hand faced a public outcry over his  use of federal troops to support an industrialist such as Pullman.  In an effort to conciliate organized labor he pushed through in only six days legislation creating Labor Day and declared it a federal holiday.

Pushing form over substance it seems is nothing new for D.C. Although to be fair, a commission did find the paternalism of George Pullman at fault for the strike and forced him to close down Pullman Town, which was then assimilated into Chicago.

Ironically, Eugene Debs spent his months in prison reading the works of Karl Marx and upon his release formed the Socialist Party in America.

Eugene Debs

So I guess you could say the face of Labor Day might be Eugene Debs, a simple worker from Chicago who stood up to an industrialist on behalf of his struggling coworkers and lost. Or more simply – every working man and woman in America who desires a living wage for a solid day’s work.

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Two Dyers, Hundreds of Dead Babies, and Money

Two Dyers, over 100 yrs apart – both making money off of dead babies.


You be the judge.

Amelia Dyer – a notorious baby farmer , hung for her crimes in 1896 for murdering infants in her care in London England; although hung for the murder of one, she is believed to have murdered over 400 infants during a twenty year period.  The good citizens of Victorian times were outraged at the callous way she murdered these innocent babies.

Amelia Dyer 1896According to public records, THIS Dyer was hung for the crime of killing Doris Marmon, an infant she procured through false pretenses.  After convincing Doris’s mom she only wanted a baby to raise, she charged the mother ten pounds and took the baby to raise.  Upon arriving home she wound white tape  twice around the baby’s neck and tied a knot. As Wikipedia notes, she later said “I used to like to watch them with the tape around their neck, but it was soon all over with them”[2](

Second photo is of Ms. Cate Dyer, the founder and CEO of StemExpress.  According to a recently released video where she was having a lunch meeting with undercover operatives from CMP who were posing as representatives of a biotech firm, Dyer laughingly explains how her company purchases fully intact aborted babies from Planned Parenthood. She laughs about how shippers of the aborted babies would give a warning to lab workers to expect such a baby.

cate-dyer-StemExpress-150x150“Oh yeah, if you have intact cases — which we’ve done a lot — we sometimes ship those back to our lab in its entirety,” she says.

“Tell the lab its coming,” she laughs about the intact unborn babies. “You know, open the box and go ‘Oh my God,’” Dyer adds. (

Over a hundred years ago one Dyer was hung for her crime of killing babies to make money.  She used subterfuge to convince her ‘clients’ to turn over their babies so they could have a better life with her, for a fee of course, and then she murdered them.

Today another Dyer makes money for her firm by sending out operatives to convince clients to turn over their aborted ‘babies’ so others can have a better life.  The procurement of what many proponents of this practice call ‘discarded waste’ has allowed StemExpress to go from a $9000.00 startup company to a multi-million dollar company. (Ann Hendershott, CrisisMagazine, August 25, )2015

One Dyer was hung.  The other Dyer is lauded by those who support the sale of intact infant livers, kidneys, and hearts for scientific research.

How low can we go?

You be the judge.

Photos courtesy of Wikipedia and

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