Falling for it.

“What do you think?”

Loaded question on a 3hugs&blessings Thursday!


Especially today because it’s a beautiful fall day in Erie, Pa.

And fall here is stunning!

Beautiful fall foliage by a white burch tree.
Beautiful fall foliage by a white birch tree.

The trees surrounding our Bay Area & local State Park, Presque Isle rarely disappoint!

Presquie Isle State Park Erie, Pa
Presque Isle Erie, Pa
Presque Isle Erie, Pa
The Light House Presque Isle State Park Erie, Pa
The Light House on Presque Isle.

Not to mention the grape vineyards in nearby North East, Pa, our local apple orchards, & Paschke’s Mum Farm!



But it’s our blessings that really outshine even this!

So for today I shall rake through all the ones I’ve been given and squeeze an extra hug into these 3!

  1. Morning walks (with Helen) to Mass at the the Carmelite Monastery.
  2. My friend Tom calling to share the exciting parts of his day with me.
  3. Fall means cider season & Fuhrman’s Cider made in Erie, Pa is officially being pressed!!
Fuhrmans Cider! Fresh pressed in Erie, Pa
Fuhrmans Cider! Fresh pressed in Erie, Pa

Yummy in my rumblin’ tummy!

“Rumble. Rumble.”

These hugs n’ 3 blessings are for you, as I’m praying you’ll count your blessings too!!

“I love Autumn, the one Season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.” ~Lee Maynard

the Whole Wide World!

Mass in The Grand Hall

I’ve known about the World Meeting of Families for months.  I’ve prepared to go for the past couple of weeks.  But it wasn’t until today that it hit me…the Whole Wide World had been invited!!  

Not just our bus of pilgrims, not just our diocese, not just Pennsylvanian’s but they really meant…the Whole Wide World was invited! 


Not just me, not just our bus, not just the faithful in Pennsylvania but literally tens of thousands of others from…the Whole Wide World! (And they are predicting the city of Philadelphia will have approximately 1.5 million people on its streets beginning tomorrow.)

This great epiphany came as I stood amongst a sea of other Catholics during the final Mass this morning for the World Meeting of Families held in the Grand Hall of the Philadelphia Convention Center. Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, presided; as well as, being joined on the altar by a plethara of other fellow Bishops and priests.  It was magical and breathtaking and you could feel the commitment of faith from those around you!  

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia
Then at the moment Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia said,

“At the Savior’s command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say…”

 It hit me! That’s when I looked to my left to grab the hand of a Vietnamese woman and then to my right to have my hand held firmly by a Mexican man.  Here I was in the middle of two different Countries and the three of us were reciting Our Father’s Prayer, as a part of…the Whole Wide World


The tears that fell from that holy moment only helped to brighten my view now on all the others who were in the room.  A cuban couple in front of me. Koreans behind & to the left.  Nigerians to my far right.  And fellow Americans directly behind.  I believe we all felt this immense connection of being a part of something much bigger than us all.  We were family, familia, One Catholic and Apolstolic faith! We were but a small part of a faith that is entrenched in…the Whole Wide World.



How fitting it was that this clarity came under the recitation of Our Father’s Prayer.  The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer the entire Church says every single day at every Mass and it is part of the Communion Rite. Jesus taught The Lord’s Prayer to his disciples when they asked how to pray (cf. Mt 6:9-13, Lk 11:2-4) and it signifies our communion with God and the fellowship we share with one another. In this prayer, the people join their voices to pray for the coming of God’s kingdom and to ask God to provide for our needs, forgive our sins, and bring us to the joy of heaven.

And peope in the Whole Wide World are invited to profess this!

Won’t you join us too?

these hugs n’ blessings are sent to the far corners of the world today!

ps- Papa Francis arrives tomorrow in Philadelphia and…the Whole Wide World can hardly wait!