Friday, September 23, 2016

Fleeing Famine: Irish Immigration at the Knights of Columbus Museum

The Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, CT currently has an exhibit about Irish Immigration

From 1845 to 1860, more than 1.5 million Irish immigrants sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States and Canada. In the cramped quarters below the decks of the "coffin ships," the journey was fraught with the hardship of inclement weather and the peril of disease, but in spite of their uncertain future, the travelers faced these adversities in hopes of finding a better way of life in North America. Fleeing Famine recounts the harrowing experience of the 3,000-mile journey, offering visitors insight into conditions aboard the crowded ships. 

Find out more at http://www.kofcmuseum.org/km/en/exhibits/2016/fleeing-famine/index.html

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Blog Tour: Discovery by Karina Fabian

Enjoy Catholic Science Fiction? Today I'm pleased to be the blog tour stop for Discovery by Karina Fabian.



Karina Fabian is an award-winning fantasy, science fiction, and horror author, whose books make people laugh, cry, and think.  Check out her latest at http://fabianspace.com




About Discovery:

Sisters Ann, Tommie and Rita are part of a classified mission to explore an alien ship that has crash landed on an asteroid three billion miles from earth. Humanity's first contact with beings from beyond the solar system is bound to unlock the mystery of life in the universe, but the crew have their own secrets; hidden fears, desires, horrible sins - and a mission to kill. Researchers discover something unique about the third arm of the ship: something wonderful, terrifying and...holy. This discovery challenges Rita and Ann to confront their own pasts in order to secure the safety of the mission and the very souls of the crew.

Excerpt:



Augustus laughed and put a friendly arm around James' shoulder, leading him down to the ship's offices. He said nothing more until they got to the conference room. He held the door open for James, and when they had stepped through, announced, "Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet Dr. James Smith. He thinks I want him to find Atlantis."
Two men sat at the table. The younger dressed in jeans and a gray collared shirt with the Luna Technological University logo over the pocket; his mousy brown hair and pale brown eyes combined with a tense, nervous posture reminded James of many worried grad students he had known. The older, a fifty-something man dressed in a similar shirt but with tweed pants, nodded James' way. His relaxed full-throated chuckle was for Cole's benefit.
Augustus continued, "James, this is Dr. William Thoren, Dean of Astrophysics at LunaTech, and this is Chris Davidson." "My protégé," Thoren added when Augustus paused. 

The entrepreneur's eyes flicked in annoyance. He hated having his dramatic moments spoiled. Nonetheless, he continued on as if the dean had not spoken. "Chris has been working on a rather uninspiring project for his doctorate that has had a surprising result. But wait!" 
With that impish grin, he reached into his pockets and pulled out four small devices, which he set at four points of the room. When he pressed the remote in his hand, they heard a brief hum, then a shimmery fog formed a dome over them. No one outside the dome would be able to hear them and would only see vague shapes. 
Scientists from the moon? Security fields? Well, if Augustus wants my attention, he's got it. James took a seat at the table, and cocked a brow at Augustus. "So you've found the Lost City of Atlantis in space?"
"Close, my friend. Close. Chris?"
Chris gave a brief glance at his supervisor, and Thoren nodded in a benign, "carry on." He pulled out a handheld computer, set it on the small table, and pressed some buttons. A holographic map of the solar system from the Sun to the asteroid belt appeared, beautifully detailed and large enough that James had to sit back a bit. 
"Sir, are you familiar with the Kuiper Belt?" Chris asked.
James shrugged. What's going on? "Ky-per Belt? That's not like the asteroid belt?"
"This is the asteroid belt." Chris set his finger on the thin line of rocks just past Mars' orbit. He slowly pulled his finger toward himself. As he did, planets rushed past James' field of vision: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. A moment of black space, then the image stopped at a smattering of dots of various sizes.
"This is the Kuiper Belt. K-U-I-P-E-R, even though it’s pronounced ‘Kyper.’ It's really just the rubble left over from the formation of the solar system. Most of it isn't even rock, but ice. Comets come from here. We don't hear much about it because the distances even from the Outer Planets mean it's not really cost effective to live or work there. And since the commercialization of space, most people don't even care…"
"Excuse me, Chris, but why am I getting an astronomy lesson?"
The entrepreneur grinned. "Give him a minute." He jerked his head encouragingly at the grad student, who gave him a shy smile in return.
From the corner of his eye, James saw Thoren glower; then, the expression was smoothed away.
Chris didn't notice. "Okay, the last time anyone has bothered to explore the Kuiper Belt was with the Seeker Probe of 2215. The American President, Linda Montero-Fadil, pretty much pushed it through on personality and stubbornness, but they called it Fadil's Folly…” Thoren cleared his throat.
"Anyway!" Chris started, then floundered a moment, his train of thought derailed. He took a breath, touched an area of the map with two fingers and pulled it apart, expanding that area. He did it again and again, then rotated it and circled an object with a dark center. The rest of the map fell away.
"This is 2217RB86. Seeker did a flyby of it and its neighboring objects. That's what you call, um, objects in the Kuiper Belt. Or Ky-boes. That's what we call them at the university. So, this Ky-bo caught my attention because it's got some very unusual readings, especially around this dark dot... I won't bore you with the details. The point is, Dr. Thoren was able to get us some time on Old COOT — that's a telescope on L5 Station - and um…" He stopped to glance around, as if making sure the security field was still in place. Then he pressed another button and pulled up a different, sharper image of the Ky-bo.
"We found this."
"Oh, my." James leaned forward, his nose only inches from the image. The dark circle had resolved into six crescent arms jutting from a sphere. One arm was partially dug into the rock.
"He didn't find Atlantis," Augustus smirked.
No, he didn't.
Chris Davidson had discovered an alien starship. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Book Review: Mary's Way: The Power of Entrusting Your Child to God



Mary’s Way: The Power of Entrusting Your Child to God
by Judy Landrieu Klein
Notre Dame: Ave Maria Press, 2016

Mary’s Way: The Power of Entrusting Your Child to God by Judy Landrieu Klein is the latest offering in the CatholicMom.com book collection. In the Introduction, Klein states that “it is among a mother’s most important labors to pray diligently for her children.” She also offers two life lessons that she has learned from motherhood: “There is a God and it ain’t me, and I am not in control.”

Klein has five biological children and two step-children. All but the youngest are now adults. While Mary’s Way has much to offer to all moms, those who are a bit further along in the parenting journey – struggling with teens and/or young adults – will derive the most benefit from Klein’s hard-won wisdom. 

The Chapters in Mary’s Way are centered on the key moments of our Blessed Mother’s life as revealed in Scripture: The Annunciation, The Visitation, The Birth of Jesus, The Presentation, The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple, The Crucifixion, and The Resurrection. Mary’s example in each of these moments offers lessons to us as we make our may through life and our mothering journey. 

Klein interweaves her own spiritual journey and what she has learned from Mary. She shares how she made her way back to the Catholic Church, her struggles with unexpected pregnancies (both her own and her daughter’s), a daughter’s mental health difficulties, a son’s addiction, as well as the loss of her husband and her brother and sister-in-law. 

There is a great deal of pain and suffering in these pages and Klein is brave to share it with us so that we may learn from her example and marvel at the way God and Mary have worked in her life. In spite of the trials, Mary’s Way is ultimately a story of hope, of finding that Resurrection experience in the midst of the darkness, of being able to celebrate with Mary when her Son conquers death. 

Thursday, September 08, 2016

At Play in God's Creation: An Illuminating Coloring Book

This was in my email box today:
 
Do you have your special markers? A comfy chair? Some time ahead of you?

AT PLAY IN GOD’S CREATION is an adult coloring book uniquely suited to Catholic audiences. It’s a journey in prayer and meditation using the vehicle of a coloring book.

• High-quality, adult coloring book blends prayer and creativity

• Thicker paper minimizes bleed-through

• Aimed at adults but also appropriate for older children

• Designed to take you on an inward journey to the heart of God and an outward journey into the heart of the world.

• Based on the practice of contemplative prayer, which is a type of prayer without words, helps people to incorporate coloring, art, and play into their relationship with the Divine.

• It can be interacted with page-by-page or as a whole spiritual journey to be embarked upon with companions and friends who appear along the way.

At Play in God’s Creation creates a meditative journey for the word-weary that celebrates the creativity within. This remarkable book integrates evocative, searching drawings with brief prompts and spiritual intentions.

Color-ers and spiritual seekers are taken on a journey through dark, arched passageways and spacious open fields. They will fill the paths with their own designs, or follow the way of the One who went before.
 

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta

Some quotes from St. Teresa of Calcutta (canonized today) from Praying with Mother Teresa: Prayers, Insights, and Wisdom of St. Teresa of Calcutta

Love to pray. For prayer gives a clean heart. And a clean heart can see God.

Everything starts from prayer. Without asking God for love, we cannot possess love, and still less are we able to give it to others.

Each individual person has been created to love and to be loved.  

Start by making your own homes places where peace, happiness, and love abound, through your love for each member of your family and for your neighbors. 

My God, give me courage now, this moment, to persevere in doing Your will.

To all who suffer and are lonely, give always a happy smile.

Smile five times a day at someone you don't really want to smile at - do it for peace. 

Put yourself completely under the influence of Jesus, so that He may think His thoughts in your mind and do His work through your hands, for you will be all-powerful with Him who strengthens you.




Monday, August 29, 2016

Book Review: One of the Few



One of the Few
by Jason B. Ladd
Wasilla, AK: Boone Shepherd, LLC, 2015

“What do you believe about God? Your answer will lead to a worldview that shapes your thinking about humanity, the world, and what exists beyond.”

Jason B. Ladd is a Marine Fighter Pilot, married with children. In “One of the Few,” he shares his own journey to the Christian faith, comparing spiritual discipline to that required for military service. He also contrasts the secular and Christian worldview, explaining why the Christian is superior to the secular.

Ladd offers a reasoned look at faith. He has a logical mind and needed an understanding of faith that would make sense to his intellect. He shares, “I once thought you had to check your brain at the door to believe in Christianity. On the contrary, Christians seeking to understand their faith are using its full potential.”

“One of the Few” will appeal to men and anyone interested in the military. It is written from a broad Christian perspective. The only statement Catholic will disagree with is that communion is described as a symbol. Other than that, the author demonstrates a great respect for the Catholic faith and, in fact, even quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Many people, especially young people, are lost today, searching for meaning in a secular world. “One of the Few” is an interesting spiritual memoir and a practical guide to the Christian life which has the potential to answer their questions and lead them to a life rooted in Jesus Christ.