If Environment Canada gets it right, tomorrow night the weather calls for snow. Snowfall 2 cm. Low minus (-1 ). 5 a.m. update snow starting Saturday evening into Sunday morning 2 -4 cm. Which means there may be more snow if it stays cold enough for it.
It was a good day today. I got up with plenty of time to get to work in the afternoon for my shift at Intergroup. It was a good thing I brought a couple of books to read. It was dead all day long. I got four phone calls the entire shift. Two of them were from other call workers, so they don’t count.
I got out of shift about 6 p.m. and headed home on the train. I took it as far as Berri Uquam on the Green line, and then changed trains to the Orange line, because I was going up that way to meet Rick and Dave for the trip out to the South Shore.
I got up to Snowden around 6:35 and had to wait for a while for my pick up. I decided to go to the Couche Tard and bought an 8 pack of Coke to pay back my debt from last weekend. That more than covered what I drank on Saturday.
We got out to the meeting early. The meeting had to move locations because of an event going on in the hall this weekend and all the tables were set for a dinner party. They gave us a tiny room to hold the meeting in the basement of the church. We pulled 27 chairs from the stacks and set them up, it was a tight fit for all the people who showed up for the meeting.
Rick and Dave have been talking about leaving the Friday meeting and going somewhere else next week. I was totally against it. And we talked about that on the way out. And it seemed that god was listening to our conversation, because when the speaker got up and spoke tonight, we were all shocked at what came out.
Our speaker is a member of the Friday night group and has recently been released from prison. That’s all I can say about it. But his message was loud and clear. My whole take on going to this meeting is Pastoral. To go and be present.
We have been going to this meeting for a month now, and we have been getting to know everyone, hearing them share and at least, I have invested myself in the meeting. I don’t know about Rick and Dave. But on the way home, he mentioned leaving again, and I finally put my foot down and said that we should stay. We’ve invested time in this meeting and leaving now would be insensitive.
That meeting is anchoring some heavy burdens. And they need all the outside support they can get. You never know when you are going to hear something come out of someones mouth, and then you don’t know when we would be able to share with someone something they need to hear. Rick agreed. I think Dave was miffed. The low man on the sobriety pole looses. You go where your sponsor goes.
Rick was driving like a maniac on the highway and he drove past our exit on the highway to drop us off at the Metro and continued driving himself home, up the Orange line. And we were like, where are you going? as he passed the second Metro stop. He had to turn around to let us off at the station. He was in a different place. I gave him the coke I bought from my bag and told him to deliver it to Tom, and that as far as I was concerned, I am paid in full, if he wants to carry around a resentment that’s his problem not mine.
Tomorrow is the Annual Area 87 Sober Conference at the Old Port. I don’t know that I will be going. There are people that I don’t necessarily want to run into. Better to do something else. It is supposed to rain all day tomorrow into snow tomorrow night.
So that was the day … More to come, stay tuned…
Courtesy: Benjamin Draper Flickr – Tumblr
Funny what some people hold on to. It is interesting to know about someone with considerable sobriety, what they hold a resentment over. It seems I pissed my hosts off this past weekend, over 3 cans of coca cola. But ya know, people will do what they do. Doesn’t look like we will be going up North over the weekend. Me thinks I crossed an invisible boundary.
It was a good day today. I had to write a report for Monarchs based on the books that the other members of the group supposedly are holding. I did not hear from anyone except one classmate. I drafted a single page summary on the text I am sitting on and the other books that I know were being considered at an earlier group meeting.
I emailed that page out this morning before setting off for the day to go work at intergroup. It seemed that the first shift went unanswered, as the office was dark when I got there at 1p.m.
It was a quiet afternoon. I had a few phone calls. People looking for meetings from out of town. For the most part when I work the phones, I tend to do a lot of listening. To happy people, to unhappy people. I even get the odd “I want to die” phone call as well. I try to be sound reason when I get a call like that.
My replacement came early, he remembered that I have class on Thursday nights. I really did not feel like going to class tonight, I was in a fair mood all day. So we sat and talked for three hours about sobriety and meetings.
We both had the same observations about meetings. It is usually said about meetings that one comes early to socialize to shake hands and get to know people, attend the meeting and then the after meeting social hour. But as of late people are barely making it to the meeting on time, they leave early and those who stay for the meeting skidaddle out the door after the meeting, not helping with breakdown and socializing.
Many meetings are hurting for warm bodies that we go to great lengths to even provide food at our meetings to get people to come and to hang around before and after the meetings, and it doesn’t seem to be working. We aren’t the only meeting who spend a lot of money each month in goodies.
It will be interesting to see how many people attend the regional conference set for Saturday at the Old Port. Areas 87, 88 and 90 are combining forces to put on the annual conference this weekend. I haven’t decided whether or not I will be going this year. I was hoping for a trip out to the country once again, but it seems that that is not in the cards this week.
I left the phones around 6:15 this evening and got on the train to come home and was pleasantly surprised that they had new prototype rail cars on the green line. They usually put them on the Orange line only. The new cars are much more spacious the seating arrangements are a bit different and there are multi-armed stand poles by the exit doors giving people something to hold on to while the train is moving. Less seats and more standing room, and the new seats are in different configurations.
I got home around 6:45 and I decided that it would be good to hit a meeting instead of sitting at home farting around here. So I took off at 7:15 to make a bus up Sherbrooke to St. Matthias. The busses are running at ten minute intervals on several of the city lines, so I didn’t have long to wait.
The meeting was great. I got to read. The room was full. The speaker was hilarious. He lived a storybook life and we got to hear that story tonight. We laughed and he laughed. You can really have good sobriety and even laugh at our stories.
I heard a man say tonight that most recovering people in the rooms have such great potential. If more people could know what kind of possibilities we have once we put down the drink and focus the energy we spent using doing other things, that life was limitless.
But it takes time to find out just what potential we all have inside of us. But once we tap that source the sky is the limit. That is good thought I think.
I have a second phone shift tomorrow from 1 to 6, then it is off the Chateauguay for the meeting. Hopefully I will line up a speaker for Tuesday night. Let us pray …
Rick has wondered about changing up our Friday night meeting again. I have to look in the book at the office tomorrow and find out what the choices are on the South Shore and East end. We were just getting settled into a routine and now he wants to change it up. I don’t know if I agree with that logic. I mean, I am just getting to know people and I am in the position this month as chair to ask people to speak for me, and now he wants to go somewhere else.
We’ll see what happens.
That’s all for tonight. More tomorrow.
The word snow came up in conversation tonight. We are getting a cold, wet, blustery night coming on. This is the kind of significant teasing from Mother Nature that tells us that snow is in the offing.
There are flurries in the forecast for Sunday, which is Halloween. It will be cold out once again, and maybe a dusting will happen. The weather was getting quite blustery as the night progressed.
It has been an off night. The numbers were low again tonight. We have lost much of the core group over the past few weeks. The early meeting was hit and miss. 3rd step, self will run riot. I really had nothing to say about it. I try to stay out of my own way, and do the next right thing. I know better than to try and take back my will, what will happen. I’m sober a few 24′s so I keep it simple.
There were only 8 people at the early meeting, and we had a handful for the late meeting. Our speaker tonight has time, and she shared a good message.
We were very wary tonight, listening for trouble since last weeks incident. The trouble maker did not show up, but said person will be banned from the meeting for what he did. We can’t afford to find ourselves looking for a new place to hold meetings, we can’t afford any trouble with the church.
I have two phone shifts this week, one on Thursday and one on Friday. I am chairing the late meeting this month, and Friday night we are off to Chateauguay, I need to look for a speaker for next week.
Hopefully the end of the week will find us going to the country again. I am hoping that all works out.
I am behind the 8 ball in Monarchs. I need to find a book, write a report and get that report to my group members all before Thursday afternoon. I have a phone shift on Thursday afternoon, so that means I have to get done what needs to get done before I leave for Intergroup, which doesn’t leave me a lot of time.
That’s all for tonight. Stay tuned …
Courtesy: MorBCN Flickr
The weekend ended yesterday with me feeling the pain of so much work on ones feet. As we try to defy the fact that we are aging, it is nonetheless, the truth. I am not twenty any longer.
But I am determined to return to that mountain next weekend to finish what I started on Saturday. I am feeling it in my legs and in my arms. Felling trees and working with ones hands has its perks and drawbacks.
I spent Sunday sleeping in and not doing much of anything. Tonight I went to class and that was all good. I have some catch up to do for Monarchs. I am not really concerned with that class. My classmates are getting all crazy and shit.
I just wanted to put a note up tonight. I don’t have much else to say for the moment. The countdown to the Deathly Hallows continues… November 19th cannot get here any sooner.
Stay tuned… more to come.
I left the house at 8:30 this morning, en route to a country home way way out past Rowden Quebec. Over the river and through the woods up to Tom and Rene’s country home for the day. It is a two hour ride from the metropolis of the big city to a little home out in the mountains.
It was a beautiful little house on the side of a mountain, with a gorgeous view of a mountain with a grand escarpment of rocks at the summit.This, I was told, this place, was years in the making and a true reward of sobriety. It was just beautiful.
Our work today … wood. Little did I know then, the work I would do all day long. It takes a LOT of wood for a house to burn for the season.
I learned a great many things today.
Did you know that it takes upwards of 2 years for wood to dry properly in order to burn in a fireplace? We started off slow, tossing huge chunks of trees down the mountain into a ditch where we would transport that wood to the shed to be sorted, split and then racked.
Cutting trees, splitting them, stacking them is an ongoing process over a number of years. In the racks outside the house are storage racks where you stack the wood. And the wood is dated as it is stacked so the oldest wood gets burned first.
I got a tour of the property and I got my first lesson in responsible tree harvesting. The property is over an acre of land on the side of a mountain with several creeks running through it. And lots and lots of trees. Trees had been already marked for cutting, this has been an ongoing process for some weeks now.There was plenty of windfall that needed to be stacked to move in the future. It is quite the hike from the property proper to the mountainside where the trees are being cut from.
Got to get it all done before the first flake of snow hits the ground, because once it starts snowing out there you are fucked to cut more bush.
All around the property were racks of drying wood, cut, sorted and racked. Before lunch we transported at least a hundred logs of wood, that is uncut (36 inch pieces) of raw chopped trees. I’ve never lifted so much weight in my life.Through the forest on hand carts … Up the hill down the hill, over and over again …
We moved cut from one side of the property to the other all by hand truck, van and wheel barrows. That all took a few hours to complete. Then we had lunch. A very nice affair, the views from the dining room table are of the already mentioned mountain and escarpment.
After lunch I learned how to use a log splitter. Can I just say that wood working is very tedious. You have to know how the tree grew and how the grain of wood sets in order to properly put it into the machine and get a good split. While I was using the machine, Tom was hacking at the same pile of wood that I was working on with an axe.
Sometimes the axe wins, sometimes the wood wins.
We hit a huge 36 inch piece of wood that needed to be split, and however Tom tried to get his axe to do the job, that log wasn’t having any of that. We just threw it on the side of the pile uncut.
Then it was up the mountain, and when I say UP the mountain I mean UP the Mountain. Huffing and puffing all the way. My new work boots got a fair shake today in walking through the forest moving trees and logs from there to the split pile.
There was a tree that needed to be felled. It was actually two trees that rooted together but grew apart about 60 feet in the air. They asked me if I ever cut down a tree before. The answer was no.
I had a choice. To either split and stack wood, or enter the forest and fell a couple of trees. I chose the latter. So Rick and I climbed back up the mountain in back of the property and set our sights on felling this tree.
Rick cut the notch in the first tree, and with chainsaw in hand I took to the tree like an apprentice. Rick standing behind me coaching me as the blade cut into the tree. “Now if you hear the tree crack, you better get the fuck out of the way.” Set your feet in the ground, hold the chainsaw strongly, and make the cut.
So I am cranking through this tree, and its not going anywhere. I take a break, and re-asses the cut and I start in again. Little by slowly I am making my way through the tree and it splits in two. The tree is about 20 inches round. It splits and leans into a grove of standing trees right near by. I cut the remainder of the tree that was left standing, about 50 feet standing. But the first tree was stuck. It took us 12 further cuts to get the tree on the ground. Cutting from the bottom of the trunk up the tree as it hung in the other trees.
So now there are at least 25 logs to get down the mountain and to the split shack. The sun was going down, and we just left the cut on the mountain to be collected next weekend.
We had a cord of wood to move from the split shack to the storage rack, which took us over an hour to finish and clean up. What is a cord of wood? Let me answer that question…
A full cord is a large amount of wood. It measures 4 feet high by 4 feet wide by eight feet long (4′ x 4′ x 8′) and has a volume of 128 cubic feet.
We cut and stacked a cord of wood today. But the wood we cut today, won’t be burned for at least a year. Tom moved a cord of wood from one of the stack houses into the house to be burned for the next few days. We still have to move usable wood from the stacks to two locations nearer to the house for the winter. It is quite a walk from the house to the stacks to get wood, and once it starts snowing who wants to drudge through all that snow to get at fire wood.
There is something earthly about getting your hands dirty, working with the land all day, and completing an honest days work. It has been a very long time, that I can say that today I put in an honest days labor.
As the sun set we finished cleaning up the grounds. Stacking all the wood and putting all the tools and transportation vehicles in the garage.
Rene and Tom made sure that there was plenty of good food, and a never ending pot of coffee. After a respite for a little while we showered and changed for a supper of stew and freshly baked bread.
It was divine.
We had pie and ice cream and Tom lit the fireplace. It was glorious. We shared a meal and watched a movie. All day in the house Rene was watching Global B.C. via satellite. It was sweet.
After the movie we set off for home, over the river and through the woods from the middle of nowhere to the big bright city. Several times today Tom, Rick and I talked about getting used to the silence of the forest, no traffic, no city … Too bad the down side of having a country home is the fact that it takes two jobs to keep two houses, once in the city, one in the country, Two cars, Two motorbikes, a trailer to pull those bikes around and a dog.
Hopefully next weekend I will get to go back out there to finish the job I started today.
That’s my story of the day … An honest day’s work …
Courtesy: Noticiaspotter – Tom Felton aka Draco Malfoy.
I wouldn’t normally post a picture of Draco Malfoy on this blog because I am a staunch supporter of the Weasley family.
So anyways …
It was a good day. The weather cooperated. It didn’t rain, but it was cold. After last night’s welcome home for hubby we settled in late last night. It was good to have him home. None the worse for wear.
It was a treat to get out of the house for the evening. We went to Chateauguay for our Friday night meeting. And the space had been transformed. There were a bunch of tables sat and twice as many chairs as usual. There were more than thirty people in attendance for the meeting.
There was a cake in the kitchen, so someone was celebrating something tonight. Just what I didn’t know. The speaker was a few years sober. He had a great story and a strong message. Everybody was pleased to hear him speak.
Before the meeting adjourned there was a cake presented and one of the members of the Friday Night meeting was taking her 1 year cake. This is a very important milestone in sobriety, the first year.
We all like to say we remember what that first year was like. The farther we get from that point, the fuzzier the memory gets. My sponsor is up at 21 years now, and I am closing in on nine years. It is always good to see newcomers making their milestones with their sponsors.
Rick told us – his sponsees, that Tom was having a tree cutting party this weekend up in the country. Dave couldn’t make it so tomorrow I am off to the country to do some serious male bonding. Cutting down trees and prepping them for the woodpile. It will be a full day event, hubby said he was ok to spend the day at home resting.
The weather is getting frightful. We’ll see if we get that first snow before Halloween, at this rate in temperatures, it is probable.
That’s all for tonight, I need to get to bed soon, I have an 8 am call in the morning.
It has been a trying couple of days for us. But I think we are coming to the end of the troubles. Hubby has been out of commission and I’ve been trying to take care of things during his absence from home. Hopefully he will be discharged tonight and be home sometime soon.
Yesterday I went to class and it was good. We had a reading comprehension exam based on a reading from the text. We had to master reading from two sources making sure we did not miss the liaisons and the pronunciations. One reading was a bit easier on Canada, the second reading on France was much harder because there were dates and numbers in the reading – and we had to get it right the first time. I chose the second reading on France, and I earned a 97% on my read.
We had some time in the lab last night. We are moving fast through the text and the online exercises help as well. We are on unit three using the Pause Cafe French lessons online. There is listening comprehension, vocabulary exercises and conjugations.
After class I came home and made some dinner. It was very quiet being home alone. There was nothing I could do to help hubby where he was so I went to bed early and we spoke throughout the night.
Today I had to run errands for him, and take care of business for the house, and I had to run up to the general to take hubby some meds and I was trying not to freak out. I did not freak out as of yet.
I was not in the mood to go to class tonight. Between running errands and back and forth to the general and home, it was almost six when I finally got home. I was not going to rush out to Dawson for a class I truly had no desire to go to. So I skipped.
I cooked some dinner and ate. I needed to shower because I had to leave the house as I was this afternoon, hubby needed me to run off to meet him so I didn’t get a shower in.
I was going to go to a meeting tonight, and Rick and Dave went to their step meeting here in town so I was on my own for the evening, I was tired, I hadn’t eaten yet, so I decided not to walk to St. Matthias. I wasn’t in the mood, although I should have hit a meeting.
We’ll do that tomorrow. We are slated to get out to Chateauguay tomorrow night. So that will be ok. We’ll see about Laval for Saturday night.
That’s all for tonight. I am waiting on hubby getting home soon.
I could not decide what image to use for this entry. I have so many to choose from. But this will do for now.
The weather is definitely getting cooler. And the sun is going down earlier and earlier each night. It was almost dark as the bells at the church chimed at 6 before the meeting.
I stopped off at Zeller’s to see if they had winter boots in stock, and I was surprised that they had a handful of sizes. Although they are running $95.00 a pair, which is a little steep, I may go back by there tomorrow and get them. I hope that the pair I looked at will be there.
It was a good day. I got to the church with plenty of time to set up and chill out with a book for an hour. Nice peace and quiet.
Numbers were a bit thin on the ground tonight. We only had 9 people for the first meeting. The core crew did not show up tonight. It was a toss up on one hand you have half the room with more that 20 years of sobriety each, and on the other, people with less than 10 years, myself included. The meeting went quick and painless.
We had a good number for the second meeting. All the tables were sat. At one point there was a commotion up the staircase at the door, and it seems that someone pulled the push bar that locks the door, clear off the door. It isn’t a full moon yet, but whomever did it disappeared from the church. We had to fix the door in order for it to lock properly, we got it fixed with a few screws that popped off the door.
Rick went home and brought out his tool box and went back to the church to really fix the door. This kind of behavior is unacceptable and could result in us loosing our space, if someone is burgling the doors. That’s not what we need right now.
Well, it’s 11 p.m. and I need to boogie, more tomorrow.
Lifted from: Walking with Integrity
For Immediate Release: October 18, 2010
Today, as leaders of Christian communions and national networks, we speak with heavy hearts because of the bullying, suicides and hate crimes that have shocked this country and called all faith communities into accountability for our words or our silence. We speak with hopeful hearts, believing that change and healing are possible, and call on our colleagues in the Church Universal to join us in working to end the violence and hatred against our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters.
In the past seven weeks, six young and promising teenagers took their own lives. Some were just entering high school; one had just enrolled in college. Five were boys; one, a girl becoming a young woman. These are only the deaths for which there has been a public accounting. New reports of other suicides continue to haunt us daily from around the country.
They were of varying faiths and races and came from different regions of the nation.The one thing these young men and women had in common was that they were perceived to be gay or lesbian.
Each in their own way faced bullying and harassment or struggled with messages of religion and culture that made them fear the consequences of being who they were.
In the past two weeks, cities like New York have seen major escalations in anti-gay violence. Two young men attacked patrons of the Stonewall Inn, legendary birth place of the LGBT rights movement in the United States, locking them in the restroom and beating them while hurling anti-gay epithets.
Men on a Chelsea street, saying goodnight after an evening out, were attacked by a group of teens and young adults, again hurling anti-gay slogans and hurting one person badly enough to require emergency treatment. And nine young men in the Bronx went on a two-day rampage beating, burning, torturing and sodomizing two teenage boys and their gay male adult friend for allegedly having a sexual relationship. “It’s nothing personal,” one of the now arrested said. “You just broke the rules.”
What are the “rules” of human engagement and interaction that we, as people of faith, want to teach our congregants, children and adults alike, to live by?
Many have responded from within and beyond the faith community offering comfort and support to the families and friends of Billy Lucas, Seth Walsh, Asher Brown, Tyler Clementi, Raymond Chase and Aiyisha Hasan. Our hearts, too, are broken by the too soon losses of these young and promising lives, and we join our voices to those who have sought to speak words of comfort and healing.
Many others, however, have responded by adding insult to injury, citing social myths and long-held prejudices that only fuel division, hatred and violence – and sometimes even death.
We, as leaders of faith, write today to say we must hold ourselves accountable, and we must hold our colleagues in the ministry, accountable for the times, whether by our silence or our proclamations, our inaction or our action, we have fueled the kinds of beliefs that make it possible for people to justify violence in the name of faith. Condemning and judging people because of their sexual orientation or gender identity can have deadly consequences, both for the victims of hate crimes and those who commit them.
There is no excuse for inspiring or condoning violence against any of our human family. We may not all agree on what the Bible says or doesn’t say about sexuality, including homosexuality, but this we do agree on: The Bible says, “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God and God in them.” Abiding in love – together – is the rule we must all preach, teach, and seek to live by.
People of faith must realize that if teens feel they will be judged by their church, rejected by their families and bullied by their peers, they may have nowhere to turn.
Too many things go unspoken in our communities. It’s time to talk openly and honestly about the diversity of God’s creation and the gift of various sexual orientations and gender identities – and to do that in a way that makes it safe for people to disagree and still abide in love.
It’s time to talk openly and honestly about the use and misuse of power and authority by those we entrust with our spiritual well-being. It’s time to make it safe for our clergy colleagues who are struggling to live what they preach, to get the help and support we all sometimes need.
The young people who took their lives a few weeks ago died because the voices of people who believe in the love of God for all the people of God were faint and few in the face of those who did the bullying, harassing and condemning. Today we write to say we will never again be silent about the value of each and every life.
To that end, we pledge to urge our churches, our individual parishes or offices, our schools and religious establishments to create safe space for each and every child of God, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity. And we ask you to join us in that pledge.
Today, we personally pledge to be LGBT and straight people of faith standing together for the shared values of decency and civility, compassion and care in all interactions. We ask you, our colleagues, to join us in this pledge.
We have just assigned the claim token 8SZ6KJZWXQYR to this claim.
The tapestry of Saint Andre Bessette, of Canada, is displayed on the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica during a Canonization Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI in St. Peter’s square at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010. (AP / Gregorio Borgia)
CTV.ca News Staff
Date: Sun. Oct. 17 2010 9:43 PM ET
The humble Quebec monk who founded Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory was named a saint by Pope Benedict in a ceremony at the Vatican Sunday.
The former Brother Andre, who was credited with miracle healings before his death in 1937, is now known as St. Andre.
The Pope told the thousands of faithful gathered for the ceremony, including hundreds of Canadians, that although St. Andre was poorly educated and working at a menial job, he was an inspiration to many faithful.
“(As) doorman at the Notre Dame College in Montreal, he showed boundless charity and did everything possible to soothe the despair of those who confided in him,” Benedict said.
Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon led the official Canadian delegation to the ceremony.
“Here is a person who throughout his life had a dream, and he was able to pursue that dream, he was able to build the St. Joseph Oratory in Montreal,” Cannon told CTV News Channel on Sunday in a telephone interview from Rome.
“So I think that when one looks at him, and what he was able to do throughout his life, he will be an inspiration for generations of Canadians to come.”
Francoise Bessette, whose grandfather was Brother Andre’s first cousin, was among the thousands of Canadians in attendance.
“I didn’t think this would happen while I was alive,” said Bessette, whose brother was named after the saint. “So to be here today is very special for me.”
In Montreal, the faithful crowded around a big-screen television in the Oratory’s church to watch the ceremony broadcast live from St. Peter’s Square.
His elevation to sainthood will carry some worldly benefits for St. Andre’s hometown, according to Kevin Wright, the president of the U.S.-based world religious travel association.
“When an individual is declared a saint, their shrines attract significant numbers of visitors,” Wright told CTV News Channel. “And we’re going to see that in Montreal.”
He said that while the oratory that St. Andre founded is not as big a draw as sites like the French shrine at Lourdes, it already attracts an estimated one million pilgrims a year.
And Wright said that St. Andre’s sanctification will only boost those numbers.
“Over the next couple of years we could see that double and get up to three, four or even five million people. And that’s incredible.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement that the newly canonized St. Andre was “a great Canadian.”
“Brother Andre’s canonization is an important inspiration to us all, and the Oratory will continue to serve as a central landmark of spiritual strength and faith for Quebecers and all Canadians.”
Premier Jean Charest said in a statement from Quebec City that Saint Andre is a major figure in Quebec and that his “canonization gives full measure to his work as well as to his place in Quebec history.”
All the attention and ceremony would likely have embarrassed St. Andre, who was known for his humility and his faith, which has been described by Jean-Claude Cardinal Turcotte as strong enough “to move mountains.”
St. Andre was born Alfred Bessette in St-Gregoire-d’Iberville on Aug. 9, 1845, and was orphaned at the age of 12.
In 1904, the Holy Cross brother founded Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory, a landmark church on the northern slope of Mount Royal that receives about 2 million visitors every year.
He became known for comforting the sick, and is credited with more than 100,000 miraculous healings before his death in 1937 at age 91. Two of those healings met the Vatican standard for a miracle, reported the Globe and Mail’s Eric Reguly from Rome.
The drive for the canonization goes back to 1940, when it was started by the Archdiocese of Montreal and the Congregation of Holy Cross and St. Joseph’s Oratory.
He was declared “venerable” by Pope Paul VI in 1978, and beatified — declared “blessed” — by Pope John Paul II in 1982.
Benedict announced his canonization in February after officially recognizing a second miracle attributed to him.
Brother Andre died at age 91 on Jan. 6, 1937. During the six days and nights before his funeral, more than one million people filed past his coffin.
His heart still rests in a small shrine in the Oratory, where he was ultimately laid to rest.
The heart, which is on public view as an object of contemplation for pilgrims, is protected by security systems after it was stolen in 1973. Police recovered it almost two years later from the basement of a home near Montreal.
Brother Andre follows in the footsteps of Marguerite d’Youville, who was born in 1701 and was the first saint born on what is now Canadian territory.
Canada’s other saints are Marguerite Bourgeoys, who was born in France in 1620 and is considered the co-founder of Montreal, and eight French-born Jesuit martyrs who were killed during the 1640s.
Benedict gave Australia its first saint, canonizing 19th-century nun Mary MacKillop.
Also canonized Sunday were Stanislaus Soltys of Poland, Italians Giulia Salzano and Battista Camilla da Varano, and Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola of Spain.
Sunday 9 p.m.
I spoke to the service team here at WordPress over the weekend about switching my domain from the old site to this one, and voila they got the job done for me. We also got word from several of the generator sites over the weekend that the blog has been approved across the board and traffic has spiked in the last 24 hours up to numbers that we used to get on the old site.
We are now operating at optimum speed and everything is up and running across the board. All my link sites are connected, the domain is redirecting traffic to this site and I could not be more happy.
Last night I got showered and dressed and bundled up for a trip to Verdun for a meeting, walking all the way to the train station and taking a train down into Verdun only to find when I got there that the meeting was canceled. That was a waste of time and effort.
Tonight I got out to Sunday Nighter’s for the literature discussion meeting and that went well. We read from Living Sober, and eliminating self pity. We had a lively discussion on the topic.
I decided not to stay for the speaker meeting. I instead had to stop by the store to get dinner for tonight, the IGA doesn’t stay open after 9 so I got that done on the way back.
Another week is about to begin. Yay …
I have often thought about hitting that amount in a lottery. The first thing I would do is pay off all of our debts. Secondly, I would buy a condo here in Montreal, in a very tall building because we have a 17th story view now, I would want the same or better. I have mused about this as well… There are people in my life who could use a few bucks, and I would donate a chunk of money to friends.
After taking care of us and my friends, I would gather my friends from far and wide and we would travel the world. Nothing would be more fun that to revisit some of the places I have been to in my life, with my hubby and a chosen few friends.
I think that about wraps up my million dollars…
An increasingly popular bumper sticker reads, “Guns Don’t Kill People — RELIGION Kills People!” In light of recent events I would add religion kills young people: gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender young people.
Perhaps not directly, though. And religion is certainly not the only source of anti-gay sentiment in the culture. But it’s hard to deny that religious voices denouncing LGBT people contribute to the atmosphere in which violence against LGBT people and bullying of LGBT youth can flourish.
The news is filled with the tragedies of teenaged boys who were gay and decided to end their living hell by committing suicide. Maybe they weren’t even gay, but merely perceived to be by their peers, who harassed, taunted, and threatened them unmercifully.
These were real kids with real names. Asher Brown, an eighth grader in Texas, shot himself in the head after endless bullying by classmates and despite attempts by his parents to get school authorities to take his harassment seriously. Seth Walsh hung himself from a tree in his California backyard after relentless bullying by classmates. Asher and Seth were 13-years-old.
Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old high school freshman from Indiana, was only perceived to be gay. But the unrelenting bullying ended with him taking his own life. Seven students in one Minnesota school district have taken their own lives, including three teens.
With the exception of Brown in Texas these suicides are not happening in Bible Belt regions of the country, where we might predict a greater-than-usual regard for religious thought. Instead, they are occurring in states perceived to be more liberal on LGBT issues: California, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
The case of Tyler Clementi is especially instructive about how far we have to go in accepting our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender children. Clementi was an 18-year-old freshman at Rutgers University whose roommate secretly filmed a sexual encounter he had with another male student and then posted it on the internet.
Think about it. If Tyler had been heterosexual and instead filmed having sex with his girlfriend, it would still be an inappropriate invasion of his privacy and tasteless to post the video online. And it certainly would have been embarrassing for Tyler and the girl. But chances are he would have been the recipient of some congratulatory remarks from friends about what a stud he was. And if he was straight he likely wouldn’t have contemplated — not to mention successfully accomplished — his own suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge.
No, Tyler was a victim — not of an inner disturbance of depression or mental illness–but of an external and in part religiously inspired disdain and hatred of gay people.
Despite the progress we’re making on achieving equality under the law and acceptance in society for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, why this rash of bullying, paired with self-loathing, ending in suicide? With humility and heartfelt repentance I assert that religion — and its general rejection of homosexuality — plays a crucial role in this crisis.
On the one hand, Religious Right hatemongers and crazies are spewing all sorts of venom and condemnation, all in the name of a loving God. The second-highest-ranking Mormon leader, Boyd K. Packer, recently called same-sex attraction “impure and unnatural” in an act of unspeakable insensitivity at the height of this rash of teen suicides. He declared that it can be cured, and that same-sex unions are morally repugnant and “against God’s law and nature.”
Just as many gay kids grow up in these conservative denominations as any other. They are told day in and day out that they are an abomination before God. Just consider the sheer numbers of LGBT kids growing up right now in Roman Catholic, Mormon, and other conservative religious households. The pain and self-loathing caused by such a distortion of God’s will is undeniable and tragic, causing scars and indescribable self-alienation in these young victims.
You don’t have to grow up in a religious household, though, to absorb these religious messages. Not long ago I had a conversation with six gay teens, not one of whom had ever had any formal religious training or influence. Every one of them knew the word “abomination,” and every one of them thought that was what God thought of them. They couldn’t have located the Book of Leviticus in the Bible if their lives depended on it yet they had absorbed this message from the antigay air they breathe every day.
Add to that the Minnesota Family Council’s Tom Prichard recently saying that the real cause of the suicides is “homosexual indoctrination,” not antigay bullying, and that the students died because they adopted an “unhealthy lifestyle.”
Susan Russell from All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, California, points out how ludicrous these statements are in her “An Inch at a Time” blog:
Thirteen and fifteen year olds are not ‘adopting a lifestyle,’ they’re trying to have a life! They’re trying to figure out who they are, who God created them to be and what on earth to do with this confusing bunch of sexual feelings that they’re trying to get a handle on. They need role models for healthy relationships — not judgment and the message that they’re condemned to a life of loneliness, isolation and despair.
On the other hand, what’s the role of more mainline, more progressive denominations such as mainstream Christianity, Judaism, and Islam in these recent tragedies? Mostly silence. And just like in the days of the AIDS organization Act Up, “silence equals death.”
It is not enough for good people — religious or otherwise — to simply be feeling more positive toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. Tolerance and a live-and-let-live attitude beats discrimination and abuse by a mile. But it’s not enough. Tolerant people, especially tolerant religious people, need to get over their squeamishness about being vocal advocates and unapologetic supporters of LGBT people. It really is a matter of life and death, as we’ve seen.
I learned this in my dealing with racism. It’s not enough to be tolerant of other races. I benefit from a racist society just by being white. I don’t ever have to use the “n” word, treat any person of color with discourtesy, or even think ill of anyone. But as long as I am not working to dismantle the systemic racism that benefits me, a white man, at the expense of people of color, I am a racist. And my faith calls me to become an anti-racist — pro-active, vocal, and committed.
Some progressive religious groups — the United Church of Christ, Unitarians, Metropolitan Community Church — have long been advocates for LGBT people. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America has recently made great strides in welcoming gay clergy. And my own Episcopal Church has put itself at great risk on behalf of full inclusion of LGBT people in electing two openly gay priests to be bishops.
Still, even in these progressive churches, there is much to be done.
Cody J. Sanders, a Baptist minister and Ph.D. student in pastoral theology and counseling at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas, recently wrote on the Religion Dispatches website about how important it is for churches to act:
Ministers who remain in comfortable silence on sexuality must speak out. Churches that have silently embraced gay and lesbian members for years must publicly hang the welcome banner. How long will we continue to limit and qualify our messages of acceptance, inclusion and embrace for the most vulnerable in order to maintain the comfort of those in our communities of faith who are well served by the status quo? In the current climate, equivocating messages of affirmation are overpowered by the religious rhetoric of hatred. Silence only serves to support the toleration of bullying, violence and exclusion. In the face of what has already become the common occurrence of LGBT teen suicide, how long can we wait to respond?
As good Christians and Jews we must work to change the religious thinking, rhetoric, and practice that communicates to our LGBT children that they are despised by their Creator. We must learn to object to anti-gay jokes the way we learned to tell our friends that we would not tolerate racist jokes. We must demand that our schools not only have antibullying policies, but that they follow through on stopping the practice of bullying. We need to lobby our congressional representatives for the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA, H.R. 4530, S. 3390). And we must proclaim openly, loudly, and often that we love our children unconditionally in the way that God does — always wanting the best and most healthy lives for them.
These bullying behaviors would not exist without the undergirding and the patina of respect provided by religious fervor against LGBT people. It’s time for “tolerant” religious people to acknowledge the straight line between the official anti-gay theologies of their denominations and the deaths of these young people. Nothing short of changing our theology of human sexuality will save these young and precious lives.
Man, was it wet, blustery and COLD outside tonight. The weather is just frightful. It has been pouring rain for hours. Traffic was backed up for miles on the highways because of flooded roads. We had to take another route to the meeting because of floods.
It was a scary ride out tonight, with the rain and traffic. Even the Mercier was flooded over with rain, traffic was moving at a slow crawl. I don’t usually freak out in the van, but for some reason tonight I was unnerved.
We took the reservation route in so that we could go by the tobacco shop to get Rick some smokes – they are much cheaper on the reservation than here in town.
The meeting was good. There were a lot of people tonight, more than usual. The speaker was really great, he shared a good message. He went a little long, some of the folks were more focused on who was coming in and out of the hall, rather than paying attention to the speaker. Some of them were getting a little ancy at the top of the hour, and the speaker was not finished with his share.
Like I said, it was COLD tonight. My winter coat does its job well. People were commenting after the meeting that winter was well on its way tonight. Let us be thankful it did not start snowing in town.
Although I did hear the word “Snow” on television earlier tonight. Somewhere it snowed in the higher elevations.
That’s all I’ve got for tonight. Stay tuned … The weekend has just begun.
CTV.ca News Staff
Hundreds of Catholics from across the country are gathering in Montreal and at the Vatican to mark a unique journey which began humbly more than a century ago.
Blessed Brother Andre Bessette, a frail orphan who grew to become a folk hero in Quebec, will officially be recognized as a saint at the Vatican during a canonization ceremony on Sunday, more than seven decades after his death.
Renowned among believers for his healing abilities and his role in the creation of Montreal’s majestic Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Brother Andre lived to the age of 91 and became known in his time as a miracle worker.
Born Alfred Bessette, he was unschooled, illiterate and frail as a younger man, but he joined Montreal’s Congregation of Holy Cross and worked as a gatekeeper in a boys’ college.
Bessette soon began receiving the needy and the sick and told them to ask Saint Joseph for help. Later, many would say that their prayers had been answered, and for the next 25 years, Bessette would spend his days welcoming people at his small office.
Using money he earned cutting hair at the boys college, he would also construct a tiny chapel in the woods of Mount Royal. That humble chapel would become the site of Saint Joseph’s Oratory, which is now the largest church in Canada and is the world’s largest shrine dedicated to Saint Joseph.
By the time of his death in the 1937, Bessette had become a hero in Quebec. His funeral attracted a million mourners, according to his biography at Saint Joseph’s Oratory.
Throughout his life, however, he remained a humble figure.
“I am nothing,” he once stated. “Only a tool in the hands of Providence, a lowly instrument at the service of Saint Joseph.”
He also dismissed claims of his healing abilities.
“People are silly to think that I can accomplish miracles! It is God and Saint Joseph who can heal you, not I. I will pray Saint Joseph for you.”
About 900 of the faithful are flying to the Vatican to watch the ceremony, with tour packages selling out well ahead of time.
For those who can’t make it to Rome, coming to Montreal to mark the occasion is every bit as special.
“I think this is so huge for Montreal and Quebec,” said Suzanne Murphy, who travelled from St. John’s, N.L. “I think it’s such a wonderful event.”
The event will begin in Montreal starting at 4 a.m. local time Sunday, and will be broadcast on a giant screen in the church’s crypt.
“Everyone here is feeling jubilant,” said Father Charles Corso, adding that last minute preparations are still taking place.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Annie Demelt
Isn’t he cute ??? God I miss leather events. But I couldn’t pass this up.
This week could not have moved any slower. Thank God it’s my Friday, meaning no class tomorrow. It was a breeze this week. One day of French due to the holiday and one class tonight. I don’t know if I really hate Monarchs or if I am just putting up with it because it is necessary to have that class because of credits.
The miracle of the week was Wednesday and the saving of 33 miners from the pit 2050 feet under the ground. I left this comment over on Carmi’s blog, I thought I’d share it here as well.
Imagine if the same world effort put forth to save 33 men, was expanded into a global effort for change, imagine the immediate response of such a focused application.
If only it was so easy to do, for the global stage. Let’s not fool ourselves. the lesson is there for all to see.
I wonder if many big thinkers were watching in that 1 billion telecast last night?
We need more miracles like this in many places of the world. But it ain’t that easy is it? or could it be just that easy?
The weather is getting colder here. The trees that have leaves are still turning. Many of the trees in the neighborhood are already bare. Many of the big trees on my travel paths are still green and green leaves are falling from the trees, they have skipped the turn phase.
Tomorrow we are headed to Chateauguay for our meeting. I am really excited to see them tomorrow. Stay tuned for more…
By Cesar Illiano and Terry Wade
COPIAPO, Chile (Reuters) – All of Chile’s 33 trapped miners were rescued from the bowels of the earth in a special capsule on Wednesday as a extraordinary two-month survival story many call a miracle triggered wild celebrations.
Luis Urzua, 54, who was leading the shift at the time of the collapse, was the last of the miners to travel through 2,050 feet of rock to the surface in a capsule barely wider than a man’s shoulders.
Celebrations erupted across the country as he emerged to a hero’s welcome above the San Jose gold and copper mine in Chile’s northern Atacama desert, wearing his hard-hat and dark shades to protect his eyes after spending 69 days in a dimly-lit tunnel.
Urzua beamed as an elated crowd chanted, yelled, sobbed and waved red, white and blue Chilean flags. The miners have set a new world record for survival trapped underground.
Rescue workers opened the capsule door and hugged Urzua, who had insisted throughout that he would not leave the tunnel until all the other miners were safely evacuated.
They are now all safe, thanks to a meticulously-planned rescue operation that went quicker and more smoothly than anyone dared to believe.
Now the rescue workers who traveled the down the shaft to help evacuate them will themselves be winched to the surface in the metal capsule, named Phoenix after the mythical bird that rose from the ashes.
Church bells rang out in Chile when the first miner was extricated and Chileans were glued to their televisions, proud of their nation’s ability to save the men in a world class rescue operation.
“This was the toughest match of my life,” said Franklin Lobos, a former professional soccer player who turned to mining and driving a taxi to make ends meet, as he emerged from the mine.
The miners were whisked away for medical check ups and were found to be in good health, except for one who has pneumonia and is being treated with antibiotics.
“This is a miracle from God,” said Alberto Avalos, the uncle of Florencio Avalos, a father of two who was the first to emerge shortly after midnight.
Euphoric rescuers, relatives and friends broke into cheers — and tears — as the miners emerged to breathe fresh air for the first time since the mine caved in on Aug 5.
They were all initially believed to be dead but rescue teams found the men 17 days after the collapse with a bore hole the width of a grapefruit. The tiny hole then became an umbilical cord used to pass hydration gels, water and food to keep them alive during one of the world’s most ambitious rescue operations.
Their story of survival captured global attention. Some 1,500 journalists were at the mine to report on the rescue operation, which was broadcast live around the world, including dramatic live images of the miners hugging rescuers who traveled down the shaft to their refuge deep in the mine.
The flawless rescue was a big success for Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, who waited at the mouth of the shaft through the night and day to greet and hug the men as they emerged from the red, white and blue capsule — the Chilean colors.
Pinera, a billionaire entrepreneur who took office in March, ordered an overhaul of Chile’s mine safety regulations after the accident. His popularity ratings have surged and his government has won praise for its handling of the crisis.
Among millions of people who watched television coverage of the rescue of the first miner was U.S. President Barack Obama, who hailed the operation as an inspiration to the world.
“This rescue is a tribute not only to the determination of the rescue workers and the Chilean government but also the unity and resolve of the Chilean people who have inspired the world,” Obama said in Washington.
Thirty-two of the miners are Chilean but one is from neighboring Bolivia and the rescue has helped improve ties between the two countries, locked in a bitter dispute for more than a century over Bolivia’s demands for access to the Pacific.
Bolivia’s President Evo Morales was at the mine to welcome the Bolivian miner, Carlos Mamani, as he was lifted to safety and he thanked Pinera and his government for rescuing him.
Chile will continue to shut old, decrepit mines after the miners’ saga, but the clampdown is unlikely to hit output in the world’s top copper producer, industry insiders say.
The mining industry has played a central and often tragic role in Latin American history, starting with the hunger for gold and silver that drove the Spanish conquest and led to the enslavement of indigenous peoples.
At 10:00 p.m. the rescue of 32 Chilean/and 1 Bolivian Miner(s) began. We have been watching live coverage now for 5 hours. The 5th Chilean Miner is in the capsule and is on his way to the surface. Miner #5 has since made his way out of the mine as I am watching this transpire live on television.
The capsule is making roundtrips by the hour it seems, and everything seems to be going fantastically well. They say over a billion people world wide are watching this night unfold in Chile.
The Fenix capsule has been making the 2,040 foot trip between the mine and the surface. This is nothing short of a miracle, all are alive and over the next 30 hours we will see all miners make it to the surface.
By Michael Warren, The Associated Press
SAN JOSE MINE, Chile – Chile has rescued its fourth miner: the lone Bolivian among 33 men trapped underground for the past 69 days.
Carlos Mamani was greeted by his wife, Veronica, with a hug and kiss that knocked off her white hardhat as Chile’s president and first lady held small Bolivian flags.
Mamani also gestured with both forefingers at the Chilean flag on his T-shirt and shouted “Gracias, Chile!” before a round of back-slapping with his rescuers.
Mamani had just started working as a heavy-equipment operator at the mine when it it collapsed. He was recruited by his father-in-law, Johnny Quispe, who told The Associated Press that he narrowly escaped being crushed himself when the rocks fell, and that everyone at the mine knew it was dangerously overworked.
By Michael Warren, The Associated Press
SAN JOSE MINE, Chile – The first of 33 men was rescued Tuesday night after 69 days trapped in a collapsed mine, pulled to fresh air and freedom at last in a missile-like escape capsule to the cheers of his family and countrymen.
Florencio Avalos, wearing a helmet and sunglasses to protect him from the glare of rescue lights, smiled broadly as he emerged and hugged his sobbing 7-year-old son, Bairo, and wife. He also embraced Chilean President Sebastian Pinera and rescuers.
Also on hand was Avalos’ other son and father.
After the capsule was pulled out of a manhole-sized opening, Avalos emerged as bystanders cheered, clapped and broke into a chant of “Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le!” — the country’s name.
Avalos gave a thumbs-up as he was led to an ambulance and medical tests after his more than two months deep below the Chilean desert — the longest anyone has ever been trapped underground and survived.
Avalos, the 31-year-old second-in-command of the miners, was chosen to be first because he was in the best condition. He has been so shy that he volunteered to handle the camera rescuers sent down so he wouldn’t have to appear on the videos that the miners sent up.
Pinera described how lovely it was to see Avalos’ sons greet their father, especially young Bairo.
“I told Florencio, that few times have I ever seen a son show so much love for his father,” the president said.
“This won’t be over until all 33 are out,” Pinera added. “Hopefully the spirit of these miners will remain forever with us. … This country is capable of great things.”
Minutes earlier, mine rescue expert Manuel Gonzalez of the state copper company Codelco grinned and made the sign of the cross as he was lowered into the shaft to the trapped men — apparently without incident. He was followed by Roberto Ros, a paramedic with the Chilean navy’s special forces. Together they will prepare the miners for their rescue — expected to take as many as 36 hours for all to surface.
“We made a promise to never surrender, and we kept it,” Pinera said as he waited to greet the miners, whose endurance and unity captivated the world as Chile meticulously prepared their rescue.
The last miner out has been decided: Shift foreman Luis Urzua, whose leadership was credited for helping the men endure 17 days with no outside contact after the collapse. The men made 48 hours’ worth of rations last before rescuers reached them with a narrow borehole to send down more food.
Janette Marin, sister-in-law of miner Dario Segovia, said the order of rescue didn’t matter.
“This won’t be a success unless they all get out,” she said, echoing the solidarity that the miners and people across Chile have expressed.
The paramedics can change the order of rescue based on a brief medical check once they’re in the mine. First out will be those best able to handle any difficulties and tell their comrades what to expect. Then, the weakest and the ill — in this case, about 10 suffer from hypertension, diabetes, dental and respiratory infections and skin lesions from the mine’s oppressive humidity. The last should be people who are both physically fit and strong of character.
Chile has taken extensive precautions to ensure the miners’ privacy, using a screen to block the top of the shaft from the more than 1,000 journalists at the scene.
The miners will be ushered through an inflatable tunnel, like those used in sports stadiums, to an ambulance for a trip of several hundred yards (meters) to a triage station for a medical check. They will gather with a few relatives in an area also closed to the media, before being taken by helicopter to a hospital.
Each ride up the shaft is expected to take about 20 minutes, and authorities expect they can haul up one miner per hour. When the last man surfaces, it promises to end a national crisis that began when 700,000 tons of rock collapsed Aug. 5, sealing the miners into the lower reaches of the mine.
The only media allowed to record them coming out of the shaft will be a government photographer and Chile’s state TV channel, whose live broadcast will be delayed by 30 seconds or more to prevent the release of anything unexpected. Photographers and camera operators are on a platform more than 300 feet (90 metres) away.
The worst technical problem that could happen, rescue co-ordinator Andre Sougarett told The Associated Press, is that “a rock could fall,” potentially jamming the capsule partly up the shaft.
Panic attacks are the rescuers’ biggest concern. The miners will not be sedated — they need to be alert in case something goes wrong. If a miner must get out more quickly, rescuers will accelerate the capsule to a maximum 3 metres per second, Health Minister Jaime Manalich said.
The rescue is risky simply because no one else has ever tried to extract miners from such depths, said Davitt McAteer, who directed the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration in the Clinton administration. A miner could get claustrophobic and do something to damage the capsule. Or a falling rock could wedge it in the shaft. Or the cable could get hung up. Or the rig that pulls the cable could overheat.
“You can be good and you can be lucky. And they’ve been good and lucky,” McAteer told the AP. “Knock on wood that this luck holds out for the next 33 hours.”
Mining Minister Laurence Golborne, whose management of the crisis has made him a media star in Chile, said authorities had already thought of everything.
“There is no need to try to start guessing what could go wrong. We have done that job,” Golborne said. “We have hundreds of different contingencies.”
As for the miners, Manalich said, “It remains a paradox — they’re actually much more relaxed than we are.”
Rescuers finished reinforcing the top of the 2,041-foot (622-meter) escape shaft Monday, and the 13-foot (four-meter) capsule descended flawlessly in tests. The capsule — the biggest of three built by Chilean navy engineers — was named Phoenix for the mythical bird that rises from ashes. It is painted in the white, blue and red of the Chilean flag.
The miners were to be closely monitored from the moment they’re strapped in the capsule. They were given a high-calorie liquid diet donated by NASA, designed to keep them from vomiting as the capsule rotates 10 to 12 times through curves in the 28-inch-diameter escape hole.
A video camera in the escape capsule would watch for panic attacks. The miners will wear oxygen masks and have two-way voice communication.
Their pulse, skin temperature and respiration rate will be constantly measured through a biomonitor around their abdomens. To prevent blood clotting from the quick ascent, they took aspirin and will wear compression socks.
The miners will also wear sweaters because they’ll experience a shift in climate from about 90 degrees underground to near freezing on the surface after nightfall. Those coming out during daylight hours will wear sunglasses.
Engineers inserted steel piping at the top of the shaft, which is angled 11 degrees off vertical before plunging like a waterfall. Drillers had to curve the shaft to pass through “virgin” rock, narrowly avoiding collapsed areas and underground open spaces in the overexploited mine, which had operated since 1885.
Seconds before each miner surfaces, a siren will sound and a light will flash for a minute to alert doctors to an arriving miner.
After medical checks and visits with family members selected by the miners, the men will be flown to the hospital in Copiapo, a 10-minute ride away. Two floors were prepared where the miners will receive physical and psychological exams and be kept under observation in a ward as dark as a movie theatre.
Chilean air force Lt. Col. Aldo Carbone said helicopter pilots have night-vision goggles but won’t fly unless it is clear of the thick Pacific Ocean fog that rolls in at night.
Families were urged to wait and prepare to greet the miners at home after a 48-hour hospital stay. Manalich said no cameras or interviews will be allowed until the miners are released, unless the miners expressly desire it.
Neighbours looked forward to barbecues and parties to replace the vigils held since their friends were trapped.
Urzua’s neighbours told the AP he probably insisted on being the last one up.
“He’s a very good guy — he keeps everybody’s spirits up and is so responsible — he’s going to see this through to the end,” said neighbour Angelica Vicencio, who has led a nightly vigil outside the Urzua home in Copiapo.
U.S. President Barack Obama praised rescuers, who include many Americans. “While that rescue is far from over and difficult work remains, we pray that by God’s grace, the miners will be able to emerge safely and return to their families soon,” he said.
Chile has promised that its care of the miners won’t end for six months at least — not until they can be sure that each miner has readjusted.
Psychiatrists and other experts in surviving extreme situations predict their lives will be anything but normal.
Since Aug. 22, when a narrow bore hole broke through to their refuge and the miners stunned the world with a note, scrawled in red pen, disclosing their survival, their families have been exposed in ways they never imagined. Miners had to describe their physical and mental health in minute detail with teams of doctors and psychologists. In some cases, when both wives and lovers claimed the same man, everyone involved had to face the consequences.
Associated Press writers Frank Bajak and Vivian Sequera contributed to this report.
Found on: Inch at a Time – Susan Russell - I can’t post the video but if you click on the hotlink – you can go watch the message.
It’s called the “It Gets Better” project and it’s a YouTube based campaign in support of youth facing homophobic bullying, harassment and thoughts of suicide. Saturday I got this email:
Faith voices – clergy in particular – are strongly encouraged to get involved in this campaign to illustrate the love that is available to the LGBTQ teens from the affirming religious community.
And so on Sunday I recorded this message — which is still finding its way to YouTube: (stay tuned for “film at eleven” — and do consider adding your voice to this important “cloud of witnesses!”))
I’m the Reverend Susan Russell, a priest and pastor from Pasadena, California and I’m here to tell you that “It gets better.“
There are lots of voices out there right now bringing that same message and if you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning teen I hope you are hearing them and I hope you know that no matter how alone you might feel, you are NOT alone and there is a community that wants to support you in the tough times and celebrate with you in the good times.
And as a priest and pastor I want you to know that anybody who tells you that God condemns you is wrong.
And if anybody says to you “But the Bible says …” I want you to remember this: God gave us the Bible as a tool for us to live our lives — not as a weapon to beat up other people – and history is full of people who were wrong about what the Bible says … using it to support slavery, to oppress women and to condemn Galileo for discovering that the earth revolved around the sun instead other way around.
And it turns out that the same people who were wrong about what the Bible said about slavery, about women’s equality and about astronomy are wrong about what the Bible says about homosexuality.
Jesus said love your neighbor – not love you neighbor unless your neighbor is gay.
Homosexuality doesn’t grieve the heart of God – homophobia does. Bullying does. Violence against any beloved child of God does.
And you are a beloved child of God. Created in God’s image exactly as God intended you to be.
God who doesn’t just want your life to get better – God wants your life to get fabulous. And I didn’t always know that.
Growing up trying to figure out who I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to do wasn’t easy and I didn’t always get it right. But it got better. And now I’m married to a wonderful woman who is the love of my life, I am a priest and pastor in an amazing church and my life didn’t just get better — it got fabulous. And so can yours.
If you need help believing that, reach out. To the Trevor Project. To a Believe Out Loud church. To my church — All Saints Church in Pasadena. And remember that God loves you beyond your wildest imaginings and wants you to be exactly who God created you to be.
Believe that promise. Know that God loves you and we are here for you – and grow up to be the best “you” you can be. It DOES get better! God bless!
The weather is getting cooler by the night. Darkness is coming earlier and earlier as well. It was a beautiful day today, the sun shone and it was breezy.
I got off to the meeting early today and all got done as usual. We were missing junior today. But it was a good night nonetheless. We had a good handful of people for the early meeting. And our topic came from the daily reflections … Surrender and Powerlessness.
The visual that came to me was of the end of my slip. Living in a city where alcohol was part of life, an every day part of life was going to be and was a challenge.
I was trying to hold onto a part of my life that I wasn’t ready to part ways with. It was all about keeping up appearances. Going with the herd mentality. Trying to be something that I clearly wasn’t, and I had to grow past this point in my life. I wasn’t 20 any longer, I was in my thirties by the point I quit drinking.
I knew the way back, I knew where the door stood. But week by week, I was putting off the inevitable. Save for certain people in my life at that time, I was spurred on forwards by a power greater than myself.
When I got to the bottom, I knew I was defeated. I was powerless over alcohol. So I quit. And I hit a meeting, and I kept going to that meeting, day after day, night after night. I had things to do, an apartment to keep and bills to pay. And I stayed sober.
In hindsight, I think it was meant to be, that I moved away from that city at 4 months sober. It was good that I left behind that place and that time. The people in my life at that time, gave me all that I needed to set off on my own.
I have friends who still live in that city, and their lives are intertwined with bars, alcohol and parties. I don’t know, if I had stayed there, if I would have stayed sober. Because nightlife was an inbuilt part of living there. How can you live in a nightclub city, without going to a nightclub every night, or every weekend?
I moved here. I never drank or used here, but I got sober here. My education in all things sober began in earnest. I had crossed an invisible line in my life, and I had to grow past it. It was time for me to grow up. Life was moving forwards and I had to stay on the bus, so to speak. And that’s what I did.
Tonight’s speaker was eloquent and the message was clear. Everything I know, I learned in the program. Every step I took in sobriety was because of this program. Every decision I made began at a meeting. I don’t make decisions without passing them by my sponsor. Without consulting my hubby. Without thinking it through first.
I began to grow up into the man I am today. Our speaker tonight spoke about coming to the rooms, and learning all that she learned from here. And the only thing that matters is that we are human beings. Coming here we get a chance to grow up, to become fully functional human beings with feelings and emotions. We learn how to cope with reality as life moves on life’s terms.
It was a beautiful night. We heard a beautiful message of hope and humanity. Our speaker wept at the truth that she is and we are human beings. And I wept along with her. It was almost cathartic.
The only thing that matters is that we are human beings …
You never know what you are going to learn on any given day or at any given hour. But I was there to hear the message tonight, and it was because I was at a meeting. Everything I know about sobriety I learned there. From others in sobriety. It’s just amazing how blessed we are to be here at this moment. To be in this life.
Every minute is precious, every person is a blessing. Every lesson is grace. You know, I don’t know where I would be had I not moved to this place, and it is on nights like this that remind me to be grateful for fate. Everything that I have experienced in this period of my life so far began in a meeting.
I am a human being.
I am powerless over people, places and things.
And if I don’t allow you to bother me then I am unbothered.
and that keeps me sane and sober.
Good night from Montreal.
The day has come, let us mark it with pride and respect. For all that is wrong with the world today, and with all the violence we have seen meted out on LGBTQ kids we must stand and acclaim with one voice that “We are here – We are Queer – Get used to it.”
The National Coming out day is a yearly tradition to bring a message of hope and support to those people who still live in the closet, or in secret. It is a day for us to open the door for many LGBTQ kids to come into community, where they will be loved into the men and women that they were meant to be.
There are so many things in life to experience and there has been so much death and crime perpetrated on people just because they were gay or suspected to be gay.
Hate still exists in this world. And we must stand up and say that YOU will be counted by God on that final day. You who shame us and speak such slander and injustice upon us. You believe that God will allow you to abuse us and to use such language with us, that goes against everything that God stands for. God will deal with you on your last day, I am assured that, as I stand here.
Coming out is a monumental time in a young persons life. And those of us who are here should stand up and be ready to welcome them into life. Coming Out is monumental in any persons life, no matter what age you or where you come from. We are here for you. And we love you just the same. God created you, he loved you into existence.
Therefore let us celebrate the lives of LGBTQ kids today. Let us celebrate all of us in this vast community of LGBTQ people. If you are pondering coming out, there are people out here who will help and guide you.
Let us speak with one voice for Equality. The time has come for LGBTQ people around the world to be given equal rights under the law. We deserve every ounce of support that we can get in turning the tables in the U.S. and in many places of the world, that still see us as second class citizens. We MUST have equal rights. Laws MUST be changed. The light of change has come, and it begins with me, and it begins with You. We are not second class citizens. We are just like you, humans, created by God, we deserve every ounce of respect and dignity that you have yourselves.
Make it a good day for you. Bring your friends, bring your families, bring your significant others.
Just come and BE with all of us.
It was a successful dinner. The turkey came out scrumptious and tasty. In my little kitchen, we managed to pull off another great holiday meal. Turkey, lots of stuffing, gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce and olives.
We put a small dent in the turkey, but when I went to strip the bird for leftovers, OMG there was a lot of turkey left over. That’s what you get when you roast a 15 pound bird.
We will be eating turkey sandwiches for the next week.
Now the clock starts ticking…