How’s Donna Doing?

posted by Mike on March 21st, 2019

She’s indefatigable, that’s how Donna’s doing.

Long-time Mustard Seed soup kitchen director Donna Domiziano is back at her post-Mustard Seed apartment off Vernon Street in Worcester. She’s in a wheelchair, mostly healed up after a fall, now doing lots of physical therapy in hopes of being able to get into and out of the chair by herself. At that point, she’ll have an easier time riding in cars, and will get back to visiting soup kitchens and homeless shelters, helping out and cheering up the many down-and-out Worcesterites she befriended during her 30 years living and working at the Seed.

She’s drawing parallels between her current situation and other unexpected setbacks in her life, times when she refused to give up, instead praying for God’s grace and knowing that, sooner or later, she’d see a new way forward. Totally inspiring, this lady, you should pay her a visit.

Lenten Gameplan, 2019

posted by Mike on March 6th, 2019

Fasting: At last, Facebook has become a miserable enough experience that it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice to give it up. So the likely candidates this year are the old classics: giving up (some) sugar, giving up caffeine, and so on. There are so many fasting fads these days, I might play around with a few, more out of curiosity than spiritual discipline.

Prayer: This year, for the first time in a long time, I’m already doing plenty of praying by myself and with my various communities. My plan is to maintain these, in Lenten form, but not add much extra work.

Reading List: Kugel’s How to Read the Bible (because why not provoke a crisis of faith during Lent?), Hart’s weird New Testament translation (at least the Gospel of John, more if it seems helpful), the Catechism (spread out at around 20 pages per Lenten day, stopping at the nearest chapter/article/section break), and Dorothy Day’s diaries (stopping each day when I’m as inspired or discouraged as I need to be). Lent is 6½ weeks, so that feels like plenty of reading to me. (Looking at the stack, I notice that a bonus Lenten sacrifice may end up being “carrying heavy books.”) In the unlikely event I need to fill more time with reading, I have ebooks of St. Thérèse, Girard’s I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, Spitzer’s How to Find True Happiness, and Pilgrim’s Progress at hand. This might be the perfect Lent to include some books or films on clergy sex abuse, but I am already reading tons on that, believe me.

Scent List: Zoologist’s perfume “Bat,” which Luca Turin observes is built around geosmin, the chemical odor of wet dirt and beets. Maybe the closest thing you’re going to get to ashes, but not incense-y, but not bad. Really only something I’m using on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Lent is not a self-help guide, but about entering Paschal Mystery:

The purpose of Lent, therefore, is a microcosm of the life and worldview of the Christian believer. Knowing themselves to be the sons and daughters of the Resurrection, everything they think, feel, and do is placed in the light and hope of eternity. This gives the disciple of Jesus Christ the strength to forgive an enemy, control their sexual passions, suffer patiently, and selflessly serve others. When the Resurrection is lived and heaven is seen as a real possibility for the righteous, then everything is worth it and everything becomes ordered to it.

Affordable Housing in Worcester (508 #324 w/Eleanor Gilmore)

posted by Mike on March 2nd, 2019

508 is a show about Worcester. This week, we talk with Worcester urbanist Eleanor Gilmore about problems and solutions around affordable housing and gentrification in Worcester.

Audio: Download the mp3 or see more formats.

Subscribe with iTunes | Subscribe with Google Play | Contact Info | Twitter feed | RSS

Read the rest of this entry »