In Cana of Galilee…



Transfiguration

Last Monday our family set off for a week’s holiday in one of the most beautiful places on earth, Peneda-Gerês National Park here in Portugal. We wanted to leave early in the morning, but packing bags, putting everything into the cars and generally maneuvering a large family and their two rather old dogs is not something that is done too quickly. In any case by 11 am we were out the door and on our way. “Are we going to stop for a picnic in Sameiro like we usually do Mum?” asked the kids. The pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of(…)

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This was the 2nd Cana Camping Weekend

Early on Friday morning, around 6 o´clock, Anthony, who is 8, opened our bedroom door and whispered, “Mum, can I go ahead down to the park at the Cana Prayer Corner? I want to make sure everything is ready for the Camp tonight”. The excitement was so great, I really don’t know how he and his brothers and sisters managed to sleep at all during the night. From what other families told us, the excitement wasn’t only at our house. For weeks the children of Cana had been planning the event of the year with every bit as much enthusiasm(…)

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Patience

With my eighth pregnancy, the question that people ask me most often has surprised me. No, not whether I’m rich – to which I always reply yes, I am, because anyone who has children is rich. Nor whether my house is a mansion – to which I reply no, it’s not, because we have a room for the boys and one for the girls, whatever their number. No, the question I hear the most is, “where do you get the patience for so many kids?”. I reply in a spirited tone, saying that patience comes with the child delivery kit.(…)

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When are you having an amniocentesis?

This question to a 46-year old pregnant woman is so common it deserves some attention here. My response is quite naturally that I don’t do amniocentesis. And then the surprise reaction, “but isn’t it compulsory at your age?” Amniocentesis is an invasive pre-natal diagnosis that holds a minimum risk of miscarriage (generally 1 out of 100 to 300, depending on the expertise of the doctor and the gestation period) and has a sole purpose – to detect genetic malformations in the baby, or to say it plainly, to check if the baby has Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). There are diseases(…)

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Mothers on their knees

One of the passages that touched me in the Dorothy Day autobiography, The Long Loneliness, refers to an apparently insignificant episode during Dorothy’s infancy. Dorothy Day grew up in the USA in 20th Century, in a family without religion. Around her there were catholics, episcopalians and evangelists, and the churches with their hymns held a great fascination for the young Dorothy although she never went in. Her conversion happened much later, after a failed romance, an abortion, a new romance and a baby in her arms. And the leap to sainthood, an unquestionable sainthood, would start exactly there with the(…)

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