Operation Rice Bowl

Lenten journeys

Operation Rice Bowl started on Ash Wednesday.

Parnell, MI – I picked up our Lenten rice bowl at St. Pat’s Church Parish offices in Parnell this morning right after the Friday mass along with the Little Black Book of six-minute meditations. The daily meditations booklet is my “vade mecum” that will travel with me for the next 50 days. The booklet’s cover is black without a title making it easy to read anywhere without stirring attention.

Secretary Darci Mierendorf informed they were running out of print materials really fast.

“I suppose that’s a good thing,” she said. “We’ve increased the mass attendance list to 140 names.”

Ah, the list that we haven’t been able to get on to participate in a Sunday or a feast mass, is ever elusive. By the time I open the sign-up form on Monday morning, it’s usually filled up except for the early morning masses.

Darci said that the Bishop has lifted the dispensation from Sunday masses as of Ash Wednesday. However, if you can’t get on the list after putting forth the effort, you are allowed to watch live streaming on Facebook both from St. Andrew’s Cathedral and from St. Pat’s.

We’ve been doing just that for close to a year now as COVID-19 hit during last year’s Lent.

I’ve always been fascinated by the power of the rice bowl to help the needy around the globe. For example $40 goes for infant scales to measure growth, $80 can buy chickens to provide eggs for protein and income. $120 contributes to a household garden for family nutrition.

During Lent, I embark on different journeys and the one below started on Feb. 1 and I absolutely love it. It’s my literary pilgrimige that I hope to make into a tradition.

Winter Virtual Book Festival by Pages Promotions LLC.

Blind date with a book going strong

Last night the history workshop with authors JuliAnne Sisung and Xander Cross was so informative, that I might have to buy a replay of it for $5. Loaded with information, the two authors covered so much territory that I had trouble distinguishing between the past, present and the future.

Among the many discoveries that shocked me was that YouTube can be used as a primary research tool much like digging in the attic for old letters, photos and postcards or visiting your hometown museum.

“There are two types of history,” said Sisung. “Cultural and social.”

We also found out that human nature is slow to evolve and that historic events cycle, thus the saying “history repeats itself.”

I realized that while writing my new book “Greenwich Meridian Memoir” which is set on the backdrop of two major historical events: the 1968 Prague Spring and the 1989 Velvet Revolution.

I used this opening quote to roll out the historical feast:

And history has a tendency to repeat itself as Bohemian writer, screenwriter and film director Vladislav Vancura put it:

Aren’t human thoughts and desires like a stream hidden in rain drops and in elusive feelings? They can be discarded, but they come back in a new form giving way to action. And then comes the trial of one era with the next, then comes the renewal of resources, then comes victory.

To be continued………Lenten journeys

The replay of the history workshop is available at:


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