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9/11: Remembering like it was yesterday

Here’s the Life Lines column I wrote 15 years ago, in the days following 9/11. So much has changed since that time. Our world has changed. My family has changed. And yet, for me, this column still resonates with things that feel very much in tune with our world right now. Here’s wishing all of you, all of us a future of peace — peace in our hearts, peace in our homes, peace on our planet. Read more

Confronted with Christ

My brief reflection from Give Us This Day earlier this week:

Whenever we take our children to Manhattan, we are confronted by the reality of “these least brothers” Jesus talks about in today’s Gospel. On subways and street corners they hold out battered cups in battered hands. Our kids look to us to gauge whether we should be doing something, and if not, why not? We tell them we can’t give to every street person. And even as we explain, we fight our own guilt over ignoring those with the least who live among those with the most.

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Twisted Tuesday: Alleluias with a view

Thanks to a perfect storm of vacation, childcare, and Marriott reward points, Dennis and I turned this Easter weekend into an early 20th anniversary celebration. (Our real anniversary is April 29, but we didn’t see the possibility for a big celebration at that point.) With Noah in Italy for 10 days, we had only to find a place for the girls to land, which we did — at their grandmother’s apartment in Manhattan. It turned into quite the excursion for them as well. As Dennis and I wandered around midtown and Greenwich Village, the girls experienced the Radio City Spring Spectacular after a dinner out. Big doings for them. They loved it. Here are some of the highlights from our weekend, Twisted Tuesday done in Manic Monday style. Read more

Finding God amid the scaffolding and noise

I realized yesterday that I’m a bit like a homing pigeon when it comes to visiting New York. No matter where I am in Manhattan, I always end up back at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is like home base for me. Back when I was a reporter for Catholic New York, I used to cover Cardinal John O’Connor’s Sunday Masses there with regularity, along with lots of other events, from the unusual (Andy Warhol’s memorial Mass complete with Liza Minelli and Grace Jones) to the the sublime (meeting Mother Teresa after a Mass marking the anniversary of Cardinal Terence Cooke’s death.) Read more

On the streets of New York

As soon as I walked out of Penn Station and hailed a taxi, I got a taste of the pope-mania that has taken over New York. My cab driver, Kenneth, who is not Catholic, told me as we drove to the media center at the Sheraton Hotel that the pope “has some good lessons” to teach. Then he went on to say that there’s a “nice spirit” enveloping New York, as evidenced by the fact that there really were no terrible traffic problems today — at least not for him — despite road closures surrounding papal events.

Kenneth told me that New York “needs a big blessing” and then said that, despite not being Catholic, he watches EWTN regularly and would love to get to see the pope one day, and maybe even get to Rome. Read more

Anniversary celebrations, Brooklyn-style

Dennis and I were lucky enough to spend the afternoon in Brooklyn today, celebrating the 100th anniversary of The Tablet, the weekly diocesan newspaper, but, even more impressive, the 50th anniversary of Frank DeRosa, director of public information, with the Brooklyn Diocese. I cannot even imagine working in one place for 50 years, but if you know Frank — and I feel privileged to know him in even the most minimal way — you know that he is a gem of a man and exactly the kind of person who makes a commitment and stays with it for half a century. And, as he said today, “I’m not hanging up my cleats,” which is good news for the Diocese of Brooklyn.

The anniversary Mass was beautiful and the celebratory luncheon was a feast, which is to be expected of the Brooklyn crowd. Dennis is used to their fine hospitality since he is frequently in the diocese for work reasons. I, on the other hand, have had the opportunity to travel to the borough on official business on only two occasions. Still, my DeTurris and Picarelli relatives hail from — and many of them still live in — Brooklyn, so I am definitely no stranger to that go-all-out Brooklyn-style star treatment that is shown to any and every visitor. Great food, great people, great borough. Read more