December 2011

 Another little Jewel box for you, St Francis, Cranberry, Ohio.  Yeah Cranberry, sits on a high spot on the edge of what was a area of cranberry bogs when the area was settled.  Land was sold by the government on the condition that “it be drained and turned into something useful”.  Can you imagine the uproar today. Anyway St Francis has the original woodwork, and unlike most it was never painted white. Again I took these with flash in a unlit church, no one around to turn on the lights, I could have found them but maybe another day

Front Text : "The Cranberry Prairie" The Cranberry Prairie, southwest of this marker, is a part of Ohio's natural history. The place was named for the cranberries that grew in a swamp here prior to drainage of the area. The Cranberry Prairie was created by centuries of peat accumulation in a late Ice Age lake that formed at the base of St. John's Moraine. Paleo-Indian or Early Archaic peoples probably killed the elk whose skeleton was dug up here in 1981. This elk was dated at approximately 7400 B.C.  By the 1860s, immigrant German farmers had begun transforming the swamp into fertile farmland. "Wild Bill" Simison, a legendary inhabitant, lived in the swamp and settlers respected him for his knowledge of the area. By the turn of the nineteenth century, Granville Township School #7, St. Francis Catholic Church, and Bertke's Store stood at the edge of the Cranberry Prairie

The Cranberry Prairie, southwest of this marker, is a part of Ohio’s natural history. The place was named for the cranberries that grew in a swamp here prior to drainage of the area. The Cranberry Prairie was created by centuries of peat accumulation in a late Ice Age lake that formed at the base of St. John’s Moraine. Paleo-Indian or Early Archaic peoples probably killed the elk whose skeleton was dug up here in 1981. This elk was dated at approximately 7400 B.C.

By the 1860s, immigrant German farmers had begun transforming the swamp into fertile farmland. “Wild Bill” Simison, a legendary inhabitant, lived in the swamp and settlers respected him for his knowledge of the area. By the turn of the nineteenth century, Granville Township School #7, St. Francis Catholic Church, and Bertke’s Store stood at the edge of the Cranberry Prairie





Quick, what images come to mind when you think of the Church in America during the 1980s? For me it’s crappy liturgy, Cardinal Bernardin, hemorrhaging parishes and dioceses, and those awful policy statements from the bishops conference. It’s hardly what one would call “vibrant.” Yet Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr is basing his new vision for “A Vibrant Church” in Cincinnati on a relic from that very decade. Has nothing of greater value been created in the intervening quarter-century?

+These ideas reflect an approach based on the “Ministerially Complete Fact Sheet” used in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in the mid-80’s, the Parish Project: The Vibrant Parish sponsored in 1983 by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) and the National Pastoral Life Center (NPLC), as well as being in sync with the results of “The Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership Project” funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., and published in The Changing Face of Church: Emerging Models of Parish Leadership, by Marti R. Jewell and David A. Ramey, 2010.

This vibrancy is part of +Schnurr’s new focus on “clustering,” a parish administration model that has been an unmitigated disaster for my home diocese of Rochester.

You may have heard of Celoron under the name of “Bienville” or “de Bienville”. His expedition went from Montreal to Niagara, down the Allegheny to today’s Pittsburgh, along the Ohio (including a long rainy stay at today’s Point Pleasant, WV), back up through today’s Indiana and Ohio, along the Maumee to today’s Toledo, from there to Detroit, and from there back to Montreal.

This book (which I think came from the Ohio Historical Society by way of its old journal) collates and translates all the known accounts of the expedition. This includes the account of the expedition chaplain, Fr. Joseph-Pierre de Bonnecamps. He was a Jesuit from the college at Quebec, and taught hydrography there.

Lamott reckons he must have celebrated Mass at least on Sunday August 31st, at the mouth of the Little Miami (near Cincinnati, at California, OH), and on Sunday, September 14th in Shelby County, on Loramie Creek, at today’s Piqua (Pickawillany, the village of that ill-fated Miami chief, Memeskia, also called “Old Britain,” or “La Demoiselle”). The French also lit a bonfire in honor of St. Louis’ Day (August 25th). So that’s probably the first Catholic Masses ever said in Ohio, and maybe the first festival.

Fr. Bonnecamps talks a lot more about mapping and landscapes than Catholic stuff in his account, because it’s meant for the use of traders and scientists. (And he was very chagrined to find out that he missed seeing Big Bone Lick and all the animal skeletons. There’s a Jesuit scientist for you!)

Not to be disrespectful to De La Salle and his exploration of the Mississippi… but I’d rather have learned about this expedition when I was in school! Things close to home are always more interesting.

I’m Suburban Banshee, from up in the Dayton area. Rich asked me to join this blog a while back, but I’ve been lurking/lazy thus far.

I thought people should know that, courtesy of the California university system, you can read or download a book (part of a University of Louvain series) entitled, The History of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, 1821-1921, by John H. Lamott. (He was a history professor over at Mount St Mary’s.)

There’s a very nice frontispiece of the Cathedral, as well as pictures of various archbishops, churches, maps, etc. It’s extensively indexed and has many informative appendices of historical documents and deeds to early Ohio church property, and even includes lists of priests and their dates of ordination. There’s a huge bibliography and list of living sources in the foreword. But mostly, there’s several hundred pages of history written from primary sources. Those of us who didn’t get bupkis in Ohio History about anything Catholic that happened in this state will be comprehensively filled in.

This book has been online since at least 2008, so it’s high time for folks around here to give it more attention. For pretty much everyone, names like Fenwick, Elder, and the rest are names of schools, not of inspirational people. We have no idea of which saints used to dwell in the bounds of our archdiocese, either. If we don’t know how we got here, how can we find the way to go on?

We also can learn from the cautionary tale of the financial problems of Archbishop Purcell, which may well explain a lot about how parishes have done things in this archdiocese. Disasters and scandals aren’t the sole property of our own time.

from the Blaze, tears your heart out,  yet it is beautiful, I pray, may she be in paradise. Honestly brought tears to my eyes

the Egyptian

POCATELLO, Idaho (TheBlaze/AP) — This is not the storyline you may expect in the case of teen pregnancy. Jenni Lake gave birth to a baby boy the month before her 18th birthday, though she was not destined to become just another teenage mother.

While being admitted to the hospital, she pulled her nurse down to her at bed level and whispered into her ear. The nurse would later repeat the girl’s words to comfort her family, as their worst fears were realized a day after Jenni’s baby was born.

“She told the nurse, ‘I’m done, I did what I was supposed to. My baby is going to get here safe,’” said Diana Phillips, Jenni’s mother.

In photographs, the baby’s ruddy cheeks and healthy weight offer a stark contrast to the frail girl who gave birth to him. She holds the newborn tightly, kissing the top of his head. Jenni, at 5 feet and 4 inches tall, weighed only 108 pounds at the full term of her pregnancy.

Chad Michael was named after Jenni and her boyfriend Nathan’s fathers.

A day after the Nov. 9 birth, Phillips learned that her daughter’s decision to forgo treatment for tumors on her brain and spine so she could carry the baby would have fatal repercussions. The cancer had marked too much territory. Nothing could be done, Phillips said.

It was only 12 days past the birth — half spent in the hospital and the other half at home — before Jenni was gone.

Even so, her family and friends insist her legacy is not one centered in tragedy, but rather in sacrifice.

This month, her family gathered at their ranch style home in Pocatello, where a Christmas tree in the living room was adorned with ornaments picked out just for Jenni, including one in bright lime green, her favorite color. She had passed away in a bedroom down the hall.

Recalling Jenni’s infectious laugh and a rebellious streak, her mother held the baby close, nuzzling his head, and said, “I want him to know everything about her, and what she did.”

The migraines started last year, when Jenni was a 16-year-old sophomore at Pocatello High School. She was taken to the family doctor, and an MRI scan found a small mass measuring about two centimeters wide on the right side of her brain.

She was sent to a hospital in Salt Lake City, some 150 miles south of Pocatello, and another scan there showed the mass was bigger than previously thought.

Jenni had a biopsy Oct. 15, 2010, and five days later was diagnosed with stage three astrocytoma, a type of brain tumor. With three tumors on her brain and three on her spine, Jenni was told her case was rare because the cancer had spread from her brain to another part of her body with no symptoms.

Her parents, who are divorced, remember they were brought into a room at the hospital and sat down at a long table as doctors discussed her chances of survival.

“Jenni just flat out asked them if she was going to die,” said her father, Mike Lake, 43, a truck driver who lives in Rexburg, north of Pocatello.

The answer wasn’t good. With treatment, the teen was told she had a 30 percent chance to make it two years, Lake said. While he was heartbroken, Lake marveled at how strong she seemed in that moment. “She didn’t break down and cry or anything,” he said.

But her mom recalled Jenni did have a weak moment that day.

“When they told her that she might not be able to have kids, she got upset,” said Phillips, 39.

Jenni started aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments, while also posting videos on a YouTube site titled “Jenni’s Journey,” where she hoped to share her story with updates every other day. She managed to upload only three videos, though, as her treatments left her tired and weak.

On her second video, posted Nov. 20, 2010, Jenni appears distraught while a family friend records her having lunch with her mom:

“Last night, like, I was just lying in bed and I was thinking about everything that was going on and it just like, it just hit me, like everything, and I don’t know, it made me cry,” Jenni says on the video.

Her mom is shown burying her face in her hands. “Do you know how hard it is to be a mom and know that she‘s sick and there’s nothing you can do,” she says, before collapsing into tears.

Jenni persists: “It’s hard. It’s like, I don’t know how long this is going to last and I just want it to go away … I feel like this is holding me back from so much …”

By March of this year, the tumors had started to shrink, the family said.

In a picture taken at her prom in early May, Jenni is wearing a dark blue strapless dress and gives the camera a small smile. There’s a silver headband in her hair, which is less than an inch long. Chemotherapy took her shoulder-length blond tresses.

Her boyfriend, Nathan Wittman, wearing a black dress shirt and pants, is cradling her from behind.

Jenni started dating Nathan a couple of weeks before she received her diagnosis. Their adolescent relationship withstood the very adult test posed by cancer, the treatments that left her barely able to walk from her living room to her bedroom, and the gossip at school.

“The rumors started flying around, like Nathan was only with her because she had cancer,” said Jenni’s older sister, Ashlee Lake, 20, who tried to squelch the mean-spirited chatter even as the young couple ignored it.

They were hopeful, and dreamed of someday opening a restaurant or a gallery.

Jenni had been working as an apprentice in a local tattoo shop. “She was like our little sister,” said the owner, Kass Chacon. But in May, Jenni’s visits to the shop grew less frequent.

She had been throwing up a lot and had sharp stomach pains. She went to the emergency room early one morning with her boyfriend and when she returned home, her family members woke up to the sound of crying. “We could hear Jenni just bawling in her room,” said her sister, Kaisee, 19.

She had learned that she was pregnant, and an ultrasound would show the fetus was 10 weeks old.

Jenni’s journey was no longer her own.

From the start of treatment, she was told that she might never have children, her mother said, that the radiation and chemotherapy could essentially make her sterile.

“We were told that she couldn’t get pregnant, so we didn’t worry about it,” said Nathan, 19.

Jenni, the third of her parents’ eight children, had always wanted to be a mom. She had already determined to keep the baby when she went to see her oncologist, Dr. David Ririe, in Pocatello two days after she found out she was pregnant.

“He told us that if she’s pregnant, she can’t continue the treatments,” Phillips said. “So she would either have to terminate the pregnancy and continue the treatments, or stop the treatments, knowing that it could continue to grow again.”

Dr. Ririe would not discuss Jenni’s care, citing privacy laws, but said, generally, in cases in which a cancer patient is pregnant, oncologists will consider both the risks and benefits of continuing with treatment, such as chemotherapy.

“There are times during pregnancy in some situations, breast cancer being the classic example, where the benefits of chemotherapy may outweigh the risk to mother and baby,” Ririe said. “There are other times where the risk outweighs the benefits.”

There was no discussion about which path Jenni would choose. Her parents didn’t think of it as a clear life or death decision, and Jenni may not have, either. They believed that since the tumors had already started to shrink earlier, she had a strong chance of carrying the baby and then returning to treatment after he was born.

“I guess we were just hoping that after she had the baby, she could go back on the chemotherapy and get better,” her mother said.

Jenni and Nathan named the baby Chad Michael, after their dads. Nathan has legal custody of the child, who is primarily cared for by Nathan’s mother, Alexia Wittman, 51.

“Nathan will raise him,” she said. She brings the baby to Jenni’s house to visit her family whenever they ask.

Jenni didn’t show regret for her decision, not in the final weeks of her pregnancy as she grew weaker, and not when she started to lose her vision as the cancer took its course, her family said.

Jenni’s last words were about her son as he was placed beside her a final time, her father said. As she felt for the baby, she said: “I can kind of see him.


Oh,  Sob ,>{

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin , Cassella, Ohio, how very appropriate for Christmas. The town name is a corruption of cappella, low german for chapel (double p in german script looks like s’s, english postmaster goofed and name stuck)


nativity is just 1.5 miles from St Rose and 3 miles from St John mentioned in previous posts all on same road. In my fathers youth all these little towns had post offices/general store/ bar/ barber shops.. Many only picked up their mail on Sunday and maybe once during the week until the advent of RFD. These pictures were taken without interiour lighting just flash.

Steyn has a point, but I pray we are not on the road to decline he sees

the Egyptian

swiped from the daily caller

Steyn mocks Western world’s ‘war on Christmas’: ‘Institutional self-loathing’

By Jeff Poor – The Daily Caller   12:17 PM 12/25/2011

The war on Christmas has taken many forms, from substituting words in Christmas carols to banning expressions of the holiday, like nativity scenes and Christmas trees. National Review columnist Mark Steyn thinks this assault on Christmas is not only “nuts,” but that it demonstrates the Western world’s “institutional self-loathing.”

On Canada’s SUN television network last week, the author of  “After America: Get Ready for Armageddon” cited the Royal Canadian Mint’s effort to replace the word “Christmas” with “holiday” in 2002 as an example of the anti-Christmas insanity.

“I don’t get offended at the word ‘Christmas,’” Steyn said.

“I’m entirely relaxed about it. I think it’s slightly odd that we recoil from the word. By the way, the worst example of this in recent years was by our pals at the Royal Canadian Mint, who about eight or nine years ago had that insane campaign, ‘On the first day of holiday, my true love gave to me,’ and you couldn’t say the ‘C-word.’ If you were going to buy a commemorative gift set from the Royal Canadian Mint, you would buy one of the ‘12 days of holiday.’ I thought that was nuts.”

Steyn went on to note that there is no crusade to generalize other religious holidays and that the West’s budding hatred of itself and its values was at the “heart” of the matter.

“There’s something very odd by the way, as I said about this stilted artificial avoidance of Christmas,” he said.

“We would have, you know, a day off on December 25 if it wasn’t Christmas. But somehow it has to be a generalized holiday. Nobody does this with Ramadan, for example. I notice when you look at the big Ramadan festivities at the White House that every president conducts now — nobody bothers to pretend that is a kind of general celebration. Nobody says ‘happy holiday’ instead of Ramadan. And I think there’s something sort of slightly — it’s not a small thing in that sense. It gets to the heart of the most disturbing feature of Western world at twilight, which is this kind of institutional self-loathing that’s at the heart of it.”

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