Sunday, June 24, 2007

Fort Wayne: Headwaters Park

Fort Wayne: Headwaters Park

I was taking my dog, Reese for a walk this morning. We have multiple walks a day but I try to have at least two of them by one of our three rivers. Fort Wayne has the St. Mary’s River on the south side and the St. Joseph River on the north side. They converge downtown to form the Maumee River which then flows to Toledo Ohio and Lake Erie. We generally walk around the banks of the St Mary’s.

However, this morning we go downtown to Headwaters Park. This is Reese’s favorite walk because there is so much to see. The park was planned one hundred years ago but only completed in 1999. It is the gateway to downtown. When we first moved to Fort Wayne the area consisted of a few factories and a road. Today it is a beautiful park that houses numerous festivals. It’s primary function however is to be a giant sponge in the event of catastrophic floods.

The east side of the park has statues, meandering paths, and a covered pavilion that is the home of the ice skating rink in the winter and of entertainment during festivals. There is a fountain that kids play in, different areas of green, bushes and trees. There is the circle of statues of the Hamilton Women. They were movers and shakers in early Fort Wayne history. Edith write a textbook on Greek and Roman mythology titled, The Greek Way. Alice was an industrial physician and reformer for worker safety. Agnes, their cousin was a painter and child advocate. She was one of the founders of the Fort Wayne YWCA. Finally, Ermine Holman Hamilton helped found the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Wayne, the Public Library and donated land for the first African-American church in the city. She was also active in the Women’s Suffrage Movement. The statues are beautiful and Reese likes to walk around them.

There is an impressive statue of Little Turtle, the leader of the Miami Nation. Fort Wayne was known as Kekionga at the time. Little Turtle was a threat to the colonies and defeated two of George Washington’s generals until General “Mad” Anthony Wayne came in and subdued the area. Little Turtle is buried a few blocks from this park.

To the north and the east is the newly formed Maumee River. A large wooden bridge crosses the bridge, on the other side is “The Old Fort”. It is a reconstructed “Fort Wayne”. The French had two forts in the area, the Brits had a fort and the Americans had three forts here. None were at this location! However, it is impressive to walk up to a wooden, stockade fort with out buildings beyond the stockades. Several times a year Revolutionary Re-enactors gather with their tents, fires and goods. It is a great place.

The river is home to fish, turtles, beaver, muskrat, song birds, and birds of pray. However, my favorite is the Huron. Watching Huron fly down the middle of a river with its enormous wing span as it follows the bends in the river is breath-taking. Reese just likes to hunt for bunnies, possum, raccoon and squirrel. In eleven years she has never caught anything but she always notices them.

The west side of the park has another pavilion, a terraced outdoor auditorium and beautiful gardens. The brick wall marks the high of the Flood of 1988. This was a historic flood that severed the city. Schools were closed so that high schoolers, along with workers and service groups could sand bag. President Reagan was here and named us “The City that Saved Itself”.

To the north is Frieman Square next to the Performing Arts Building and the Art Museum. Kitty corner is the Court House Square. My daughter Kerri sang with her school for the dedication of the courtyard. My daughter Ashley was in Civil Air Patrol and as part of the Color Guard helped the late Governor O’Bannon dedicate Headwaters Park.

Memories of the Flood of 82

We park next to the Skateboard Park, Reese loves to watch the extreme sports duds.

Fort Wayne Skatepark

The park is loaded with history. This is the city of the French Fur Trade. It is the center for the early railroads, early industry and mills. This is the site of “Jail Flats” and from this site you can see the new jail. This was the site of Shanty Town during the Great Depression. This was the site of the first professionally organized league baseball game. The Fort Wayne Kekiongas beat the Cleveland Foresters 2-0.

However, for Reese and me it is just an opportunity to walk in the quiet. To take in the smells and sounds of a city waking up, to look for critters and to enjoy one another’s company. Last week we would have referred to this as a "sacramental walk".

Friday, June 22, 2007

Nationals: The Finale

We are the Champions: Queen

Nationals: The Finale

I could not wait for Kerri to call, she was taking waaaaay too long. So I kept checking with the National Forensic League website. Finally, the postings. Kerri came in 3rd place in the nation. THIRD PLACE, that is bloody marvelous, if I was any prouder I would blow up.

At first I read the posting wrong and thought she came in 2nd place. When I saw my mistake I was relieved. I know, I know, 2 is better than 3, but I don’t think so. People who get Silver Medals or 2nd place spend their lives thinking they could have been number one. Third place folks get it. Of all of the people competing only three people make it to medalist or top ranking and the difference between them is miniscule. For the end of a career ranking I think 3rd place is better. Clearly I am a shrink and a dad not a competitor.

Anyway, she will get a boat load of more points. She got a trophy that went up to her waist. She got a trophy for being a four year National Qualifier and she got a small scholarship for being a four year National Qualifier. Then to her surprise she won a video IPOD that can hold up to 75,000 songs.

Kerri says this has been the best day of her life, I don’t doubt it. My baby is a champion.

Nationals: June 20th, 2007

Kerri called. Well, she broke, she is in the National Finals in Story Telling. 93,000 members nation wide, couple thousand in Kansas and she is now one of six finalists.

Her attitude is great. She would love to go all the way and be the National Champion, she is also clear that if she ends up number six she went out with a huge bang.

She is happy, funny and enjoying the company of her friends.

By 5:00 P.M. tomorrow her high school speech/debate career is over. She will have given her final speech, earned her last points and had a lot of great memories. I know she will get at least two trophies and a small scholarship, we will have to wait to see if she earns more. She will be on the National Stage for two awards, one for being one of six folks in the nation who were four year National Qualifiers.

Go Kerri, go Kerri, go Kerri, go…..

Nationals: June 20th, 2007

Well, Kerri keeps calling. She keeps getting knocked out of her events. She has been knocked out of Congress, she has been eliminated in Poetry. She is actually fantastic in both however, I have no doubt her competition was also fantastic.

Doesn’t matter. She is having fun. She is with her friends from all over the country. She will keep in touch with them and when she gets home she will shift gears. She will move from a senior in high school to a freshman in college.

Her next event…Story Telling. She has been doing that since she was three. Well see what happens!

National Forensic League: June 17, 2007

Welcome to Wichita

National Forensic League: June 17, 2007
Last night my daughter Kerri and I were able to touch base. We talked about Chloe, our dog who died. We talked about Portland. But we really talked about Wichita Kansas.

Kerri has been in speech and debate teams all through high school. She has been a National Qualifier four years in a row. She was a state point leader, at one point this year she was one of the top 25 debaters/speech folks (I don’t know the lingo) in the nation. She has over 1600 points and she has successfully competed in a number of different events.

Her first year she went to Salt Lake City. The next year Philadelphia, then Dallas and now….ta da…Wichita! She has a lot to look forward to. Wichita has the Cowtown Museum and the world’s largest ball of string. It also has her friends from all over the nation.

So this morning I drove her to the airport and saw her off. I don’t know how she’ll do but I don’t care. She is already a huge success, I just want her to have fun.

Collegium: Friday: Goodbye and hello

Collegium: Saying Goodbye, saying hello

I set the alarm for 3:00, I need to be on the 4:00 A.M. shuttle. However, I wake up at 2:30. I figure I can sleep on the plane and I shower and get dressed only to discover I read the clock wrong. It was 12:30, I had only slept one hour! I don’t want a repeat of last week when I missed my plane so I stay awake and read. Lord knows I got a bunch of good stuff to read.

When I go downstairs to check out there are three more journals for us to take home and read. Current Issues in Catholic Education and A Journal of Catholic Education of Inquiry and Practice actually look pretty interesting. My modest goal is to also submit something to the journals.

I get to the airport early, no delays this time. I fly from Portland to Chicago and then on to Fort Wayne. It is a long day but I have plenty of time to think. So, how was Collegium?

There were plenty of conflicting events. I cruised the Columbia River Gorge, I toured Portland, and I walked in the ocean. I made new friends. I also experienced the death of my dog and someone I care about was diagnosed with cancer and I was far from my family. And, still, still, Collegium was far more than I expected and I had expected a lot.

People were not dogmatic, people questioned, people were honest, people worshiped to the degree and in the style they preferred.

I read great material. I saw beautiful places. I spent a lot of time in prayer and contemplation. The campus was great, the rooms very nice, and the food fantastic.

However, the best was that the Collegium did what it said it would. It focused on integrating Faith and Reason. We had folks in the Social and Behavioral Sciences in our group. We had philosophers and theologians. However, we also had a geologist, a business prof and an engineering student. We were not limited to the Liberal Arts and the discussions valued empirical data, research and doubt as much as Canon Law, dogma and faith. Bringing it all together was great music, moving worship services and quiet time with others and alone.

So what now? It is time to keep reading, integrating and talking to one another. Then it will be time to take the material and the experiences to our schools. The folks on the East Coast are talking about a reunion. Well, we have enough folks in Chicago, Milwaukee, South Bend, Fort Wayne, Dayton and Detroit that we can also have a regional meeting. It can be a reunion from the “Heart of America”, if you don’t have mountains, deserts or oceans you got to have a cool name. . We can do this.

Finally, conversation is good. We can use this blog to share our stories. I do not have any personal photos posted. So please, send your photos, and stories. However, let’s not use this blog to be a scrapbook for Collegium. Let’s use it to announce conferences, projects, joys, concerns, pet projects. Let’s use it to connect.

Peace and all good,


Collegium: Pilgrimage on the Campus

Poem at Collegium 2007

Pilgrimage on the Campus
Carl W. Jylland-Halverson

Near the bluff where the river bends
just before the ramparts
Explorers free and explorer owned
guard an ever busy vista

Shipping vessels and pleasure crafts
compete for our attention
with rainforest's, limbs stretched high,
in praise of the Creator

“Pick me, pick me.”, they seem to cry,
as if they were all that was
Then to the left across the water, a city rises up
Oz had no more luster

Chains of steel connect the sides
of this busy, separated oneness
Then looking up and further south
Mount Hood completes the crown and humbles all contenders

Behind the guardians
The Redwoods stand
The paths meander
And blossoms sing an olfactory chorus

The chapel calls
And from Body of Christ to Body of Christ we gather
To sing, to praise and nourish one another, and
To begin again, yet once again, our corporate and private journeys

“Pick me, pick me”, we seem to call
vying for His assurance
But we are already His and He is ours, and
So it is time, yet once again, to put foot to path
And continue on the journey


Collegium: Thrusday, Sending Forth

Collegium: Thursday

As usual I get up at 4:30, shower, walk, pray and call Cathi. I tell her about the gardens. She is looking forward to visiting the Pacific North West with me in the future. I find myself taking everything in. This is it. I am ready to go home and still, the redwoods, flowers, mountains, volcanoes, sure beats soy and corn! I watch the shipyard activity, I go to chapel and then off to breakfast.

Breakfast is wonderful but we are all eating less. I think our plan is, if we eat less the last day then none of our gorging the previous week counts! Works for me.

After breakfast we go to chapel for morning prayers. I am going to miss this. The chapel with its Scandinavian-Japanese look, the music, our spiritual directors, this is great stuff.

Then it is off to our Disciplinary Groups. I suspect I am in a different place because this feels productive. We are integrating a great deal of information into our fields. However, the question of academic freedom continues to pop-up. I am so happy that I do not even question my academic freedom, I feel totally supported by my department and school environment. I guess I should not take that for granted.

After break we go to our Small Groups. We discuss an article in As Leaven in the World on marginalization. I find this article interesting. This is very Franciscan, this is Francis and the Lepers. However, in this article it is a reciprocal relationship, the church needs the marginalized and the marginalized needs the church. What I find interesting is that given enough time all of us middle-class white males can join their ranks. The biggest percentage of the disabled in this country are disabled due to age-related illness. We better be caring and humble because we are gonna need others. However, that should not be the reason to be a servant. This is a good book and I look forward to read the chapters on spiritualities.

After our session we all meet outside for a series of photos and then it is off to lunch.

After a nice break we meet again in our Small Groups. We are now talking about preparing for home and what we will take with us to our campuses. This reminds me of returning from a Red Cross mission. People will ask what it was like but they really do not want a long description, familiar territory. We all write out “gifts” for one another e all take this seriously. For me this is a time of beginning to say goodbye. This has been a great group, a smart group, a funny group and a darn good-looking group.

After the session we go to Chapel for our “Being Sent” service. Each small group walks up to the alter. They form a circle and each member holds up a candle that is lit by the group leader. Then the leader speaks to each of them and give them a private blessing and then, with arms out raised we all give them a blessing. After this beautiful service we have Eucharist.

Afterwards we have a reception outside. It is beautiful. Then we have an elegant dinner followed by toasts, readings, jokes. Theresa steps up and reads my poem to the entire group, it is well received. However, the best part was the company. Afterwards we have another social but after a short time I need to go back to my room to complete my packing. The collegium is almost over for me and I can feel myself changing gears.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Collegium: Worship

We are Marching in the Light of God: Gisingen

Nada te turbe

Collegium: Worship

We have been blessed by great leadership. This was true for both Mission-Values and Planning through Tom Landy, and in making sure EVERYTHING was in order thanks to Joyce Gawlick. We had great Small Group leaders and our retreat leaders helped blend the intellectual with the practiced spiritual.

However, the one group that kept all of us focused everyday were the Ministry Leaders. Megan Fox-Kelly and Marty Kelly were young but enthusiastic. They did their jobs with authority. They were sensitive, creative and fun. The provided us with guided worship in the morning and evening, they taught us styles of prayer. They organized Eucharist.

Worship was also special because the music was unbelievable. We started the week with drums, dancing and African and Caribbean rhythms. We ended with harps and Latin. Maureen Briare directed the music ministry and she was awesome. We could not keep track of all the instruments she played. Additionally, her voice was beautiful. She did not however play the didgeridoo or bagpipes, the slacker!

Some of our lessons and techniques included:

Praying with Scripture
Centering Prayer
Remembrance and Spirituality
Imagination and Prayer

The sessions often flowed seamlessly into the next activity. The Sending Forth ceremony was a wonderful integration of the Small Groups and the larger Collegium of 2007.

The music spanned all styles and cultures and included:

Uganda Aaleluya!
We Are Marching
Alleluia! Sing to Jesus
Christ Be Our Light
Nada Te Turbe
O God Beyond All Praising
And a number of songs written and composed by Maureen.

This was the fuel, along with fantastic food, that kept us going!

Collegium: Wed. and Portland

Portland Classical Chinese Garden

Rose Garden, Portland

Collegium: Wednesday

I get up, shower, walk, and call Cathi. We are all sad and tired. Cathi then tells me a relative was just diagnosed with cancer. This is getting to be a long and difficult week. I wish I was home and I am glad I am here. But mainly for my family I wish I was home.

I still have things to do and learn so I walk some more. Spirituality of place is something I get, and something I need.

I then go to breakfast. I just enjoy being with my fellow pilgrims so much. After breakfast it is off to chapel for Morning Prayers. Our spiritual lesson/exercise today is on Discernment. I am familiar with this because I am at that stage currently with the Secular Franciscan Order.

Afterwards we meet in the Terrace Room for a Major Presentation. Christine Firer-Hinze from Fordham University speaks on Catholic Social thought. This is stuff I need to know, much of it I do know but I am new and there is so much more to learn. However, I have been exhausted and it is difficult for me to pay attention consistently. However, everyone tells me she was great. Everyone in our Small Group plans on buying a DVD of her talk. I will as well since I missed something special.

We then have lunch in this elegant room followed by more questions for our speaker. Clearly she was special, people did not want to stop asking her questions, I have got to get that DVD!

After a break we meet with our Small Group, ahhhhh, home! We talk about our readings. Mainly, Gaudium et Spes, Ex Corde Ecclesiae and the Mendota. This is a group that started out with not everyone knowing what occurred during Vatican II and now we talk about these documents with a degree of assurance. Of course it helps to have a Jesuit in our company. We are all aware that what it means to be a Catholic University is different in each situation, each campus. Still, we are here to make sure we struggle with how we can maintain that identity without stifling secular research and being true to our values. Our protestant members actively participate and I cannot imagine the Academy without them, we would lose too much that is of value.

Finally, we are off for our evening in Portland. I am clear that I am going to the Classical Chinese Garden in Chinatown and then will go to the Rose Garden. We end up with a neat party of explorers. Chris, Cathy, John and Jean join us. However, so does Judy (Judith) Maxwell Greig. She is the Provost at Notre Dame de Namur University only I did not know it. So I was funny, flip and more relaxed than I would have been. She was great fun.

We are let off at Powell’s City of Books and we then walk through Chinatown. The city fluctuates between very nice and hurting. We get to the garden and we are not disappointed. The Classical Chinese Garden is an authentically built Ming Dynasty style garden. Material and craftsmen were shipped over from China. The garden has covered walkways, bridges, open colonnades, pavilions and beautiful landscaping. There are multiple rooms and environments, all one the edges of Zither Lake. The lake, really a pond has fish and lilies. We then go the garden’s tea house.

We all choose to have our tea outside. It is wonderful. We each have a different tea. That means different type cups, leaves, and aroma. Two of our members have a ceremony which consists of three teas. They learn how to use hot water to warm the cup before using it and to toss out the first bit of tea because it is aged and dusty. John orders an exotic sounding tea. When I comment about his perfect diction he states he lived in Bhutan for ten years. He travels to Africa and Asia fighting slavery and torture, he ran a school in the Himalayas. Dull, I am feeling really dull right now!

This place was great. In the middle of the city we were carried off to another world. Now our group splits up. Chris, Cathy, Judy and I take the trolley and tunnel up to the Rose Garden. The Garden is on the side of a hill looking down at downtown. Oregon is the center of Rose growth. Roses are used for foliage on the sides of the expressway. This garden is an experimental garden. Deep purple roses and bright yellow roses grab our attention. Every color is here. People from all over the world are here taking pictures. It smells wonderful.

This is the oldest official continuously operated public rose test gardens in the United States. Each year hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world enjoy the sights and scents of the gardens. There are over 8,000 roses and more than 500 species of roses here. We take pictures, we inhale. And then we walk down the hill and go to town for dinner.

We all go to Jake’s for dinner. This is a famous seafood restaurant. Sophie Tucker, Jack Benny and Humphrey Bogart and us, have all eaten at Jake's! It is not cheap, salmon is $34.00. I order fish and chips! Judith orders this elaborate appetizer for all of us. It is a chilled seafood platter that has lox, crayfish, crab, shrimp and mussels. It is wonderful. We are joined by Graduate student Florian Ploeckl from Yale (and German) and Father Dan Sweeney, a Jesuit and friend of Chris. After a great meal and great company Judy, Cathy and I head for our bus to go back to campus. Chris and the guys stay out talking philosophy over brews. It was a fun night. We saw a lot of Portland. It was artsy, modern, old, beautiful, dirty. I like it and it served as a distraction. I would love to come back to Portland with Cathi (my wife, not my collegium friend!).

The Lord Almighty

The Lord Almighty: Fr. Richard Ho Lung and Friends

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Collegium: Chloe

Collegium: Chloe

I have had many, many pets. Chloe however has been by far my favorite. She was a Border collie mix that we got from the shelter as a puppy. She picked me.

Chloe has always been unconditionally loving. Not just of me or our family, but of everyone. Our other dog, Reese is a chow mix and she loves Cathi and me, likes our kids and everyone else can take a hike.

Chloe was a big, walking stuffed animal, our very own panda bear.

She had always been fragile. She had a urinary problem when we got her. She had a weak stomach and then she developed arthritis in her hips and back knees. And through it all she was a happy, silly, loving dog.

I would walk the two dogs and all of the neighborhood kids would come to pet and hug Chloe. We would go to sidewalk sales together. Chloe would pick out stuffed animals, “her babies” and then carry them home in her mouth.

It was clear the last year that our time together was limited. Last October she ran to me and her back leg gave out. I was sure that was the end but the vets said she needed rest and she would be able to walk again. They were right. However, her movement and range became smaller and smaller.

I would carry her up the front stairs. For the last four months I have been carrying her up to the bedroom at night. She would wait for me to pick up this 80 pound dog and she was never anxious about my possibly dropping her. Instead she would reward me with kisses when we got upstairs.

She loved kids. When my nephew Andre would visit she would lick his face like he was vanilla custard on an August afternoon. She loved to nap with any member of her family.

My relationship with her was intensely intimate. I never went into medicine because I was easily grossed out. However, at the end I had no problem wiping her nose or washing her back side. I would hold her face in my two hands and kiss her between the eyes and she would wag her tail and give me a kiss. She was wonderful.

I am sorry my daughters had to help her on her final voyage. I am also glad they were able to do it. I am especially pleased that Kerri stayed with her past the end. Kerri was struck by how there is life and then it is gone. It was clear to Kerri that we are more than our shells. I am proud that acting out of love Kerri can do difficult things. I am also glad we all had Chloe’s model of unconditional love. I can never pull that off and yet I know it is important and now we all know what it looks like.

I am not confusing this with a tragedy. My specialty is disaster mental health. I am not confusing the death of my dog with trauma, untimely death or a disaster. I am also not confusing it with “just one of those things”. I know we are all grieving now. I know we will move on and remember all the good things about having Chloe in our lives. But not today. Today we just know that a beloved member of our family is gone, there is a hole in our home and we are sad. We miss you Chloe, thank you for giving us so much joy, we love you.

Collegium: Tuesday

Cannon Beach

Collegium: Tuesday June 12, 2007

I get up, shower, read, and walk. I am just waiting to call Cathi to see how Chloe is doing. The news is not good. She was in pain all night. I now go into “Procedure Mode”. I cannot be there to do what has to be done. So I tell Cathi to call the vet ahead of time so there is no waiting once they get there. I express my preference for someone to be with Chloe to the end but understand if they cannot do this. I request that Chloe be cremated and that we receive the ashes. I cannot believe we are having this conversation. I cannot believe I am not at home.

Cathi will call the vet. I hope I am wrong, that it is “not time”. I go to breakfast and tell a few people in my Small Group. However, today we are not in our Small Groups, we are having a retreat day. There were a number of retreats to pick from: Franciscan, Ignatian, Benedictine, Feminist and Centering Prayer. I had signed up for Centering Prayer.

After breakfast I call Cathi but there is no answer. We go to morning prayers and then off to our retreats. We are in a different chapel. It is small but nice. As we enter music is playing. Our leader Dennis McAuliffe teaches Italian Literature at Georgetown. He is also the Director of the Georgetown College Catholic Studies Program. However, for today what is important is his vast experience in Christian Meditative Prayer.

I find out we will not be learning Centering Prayer but rather Christian Meditative Prayer. The latter uses a mantra during the entire meditative session. This will prove to be useful.

We have a break, I call Cathi and she tells me “Chloe is no longer with us”. My daughters brought her to the vet and my youngest, Kerri, stayed with her during the euthanasia and then stayed longer. I go to my room. I am very, very sad. However, after a while of expressing that sadness I go back for our second lesson.

I do not know how I will be able to meditate but the mantra makes all the difference in the world. The mantra is “MARANATHA”. The repetition helps me not focus on Chloe while I am in the chapel.

Despite my grief I have things to learn here that are important to me. Our teacher was taught Christian Meditative Prayer by Laurence Freeman, OSB. He in tern was taught it by John Main. Before Main was a monk he was a member of the British Foreign Service in Malay. There he was taught to meditate by a Hindu monk. Main practices this meditation for years. Once he was a monk himself (Catholic not Hindu) he continued to meditate. Until he was caught by the abbot and told to stop. He stopped for years and then as a teacher came across the writings of one of the Desert Fathers, John Cassian. With this information Main began the modern Christian Tradition of Meditative Prayer.

Well, I love anything to do with the Desert Fathers. I love meditation and the music that was played before and after mediation was great. So, in between moments of sorrow this was a great talk.

We practice our meditation a second time and then had a lecture on the fruits of meditation. Dennis also gave us handouts and information on forming Christian Mediation groups. After the class was over he told us he was renting a car and driving to the ocean. He anted to know if anyone was interested in joining him. I could not raise my hand fast enough.

Umberto Taccheri, professor of Italian at St. Mary’s College, Bjorn Schellenberg, professor of Mathematics at the College of Mount Saint Vincent and Barry Dauphin, professor of Psychology at the University of Detroit all sign up for our little road trip. The drive from Portland to the coast is an hour and a half during rush hour. For me it seems forever but when I get too sad I focus on a mountain, the forest, and wildlife.

We finally arrive at Cannon Beach. It is beautiful. The smell of salt water, the sound of hundreds of gulls and the crashing of waves lets us know we have arrived.

Cannon Beach has enormous rocks jutting out of the water. We walk the beach, take pictures, and look for shells. Then we go to a Thai restaurant for dinner.

After dinner we walk some more on the beach. As I am looking at the Pacific Ocean Kerri calls me. We talk about Chloe, about Kerri’s job of being with Chloe to day. It is a sad conversation but we are happy to talk to one another and we are happy Chloe is no longer hurting.

We drive home and I have a restless nights sleep.

Collegium: Monday

Face of Jesus

Collegium: Monday June 11, 2007

I start the day as usual, with a walk around the campus. I call Cathi at 6:00 A.M. which is 9:00 A.M. her time. She tells me Chloe continues to look like she is in pain. She is trying to make Chloe comfortable, I guess I will be taking her to the vet one last time when I get home. I have a heavy heart.

Today is all work. We have breakfast, go to chapel for prayers and then off to different groups. Today we meet in our Disciplinary Groups to work at identity integration with our professions. I believe this was useful for our newer faculty members and they made up a large section of this group. However I work at a school where this is not a problem. I would have preferred to spend the time with my assigned Small Group.

Realistically I do not know how they could avoid having this group. We are going though enormous amount o information on Catholic Higher Education and on Spirituality. How could we not look at the intersect between those issues and our own disciplines.

After a break we meet with our Small Groups. I love this group. Theresa lights a candle. Then we all hold hands in a circle and say a prayer. We do the same at the end of the session. Our group is bright, funny and active. Today I say the prayer. It is the poem Cathi encouraged me to write. It is well received and they have me say it again at the end of the session.

Today’s session focuses on the Images of Christ. We all read The Illustrated Jesus Through The Centuries by Jaroslav Pelikan. The book is beautiful. I sound intelligent because the night before, while at Powell’s City of Books I bought Linette Martin’s Sacred Doorways: A Beginner’s Guide to Icons. We talk about different aspects or foci of Christ and how they are illustrated though time. Mainly we talk about the importance of concrete images to help grasp the unknowable. We all recognize the dance between illumination and idolatry. It is a great conversation.

During lunch I realize I am not feeling very well. After lunch we have a discussion on Pluralism. It is a good discussion and important if we are to honor our Catholic identities at Catholic Universities and also respect other traditions and worldviews.

After the discussion we all go to chapel for our spiritual lesson and prayer. This is followed by Eucharist but I have to go back to my room and rest. A number of our group members are going to Portland tonight for Chinese food in Chinatown. I would love to go but think it is best I just rest. I take a nap.

That was a good choice. Our dinner is clams, cornmeal lasagna and great veggies. Afterwards we all watch a film Maura Smith has been making. She is a professor of films at Desales University. The film is on apparitions of Mary. Maura has traveled to Bosnia, Syria, India and Ohio to make this film. Afterwards we all critique her film so she can make additional edits. I found the film interesting and I believe the film will have a larger audience then just Catholics if she is good at identifying other faith communities that take apparitions seriously. I just loved being part of the process. I feel like I have a tiny piece of ownership of the film. It was also nice just to support Maura, she is a really neat lady.

It has been a long day and so it is finally off to bed.

Collegium: Powell’s City of Books

Powell's City of Books

A number of us get together to share a cab into downtown Portland. We plan on visiting Powell's City of Books. I love our group:

Cathy Giapponi is a professor of Strategic Management at Fairfield University in New York. She is also a funny, “real” person who is just a joy to be around.

Chris Kaiser is an Associate Dean at Seton Hall University. He is a dapper young man who values family, faith, fine beers and good company. I wished he did not live so far away.

John Perry is a professor of Religious Studies/Peace and Conflict Studies at Saint Paul’s College in Winnipeg Canada. He is also a Jesuit priest and an expert on current slavery and torture. John is brilliant, humble, funny and compassionate. His laugh is contagious.

Jean Didier is the only one among us tonight who is not a member of our Small Group. She is a professor in Legal Studies/Management at Saint John’s University. She is a lawyer for a passion for social justice. Tonight she was walking-Prozac, once in the store she could not stop smiling.

Powell's City of Books claims to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. It is located in the Pearl District on the edge of downtown and takes up an entire city block between NW 10th and 11th Avenues and between W Burnside and NW Couch Streets. It is open 365 days a year, and contains over 68,000 feet of floor space.

The inventory for its retail and online sales is over four million new, used, rare, and out-of-print books. The store it shelves new and used books side-by-side. It buys around 3000 used books a day.

When we first enter the stir we are not impressed. However, within fifteen minutes we are lost. It reminds me of a gigantic version of Fort Wayne’s Hyde Brothers Books. This place has everything. However, I do not feel like a Portlander. I do not have any piercings, no tattoos and my hair is only one color. I will have to consider making some changes!

The store has a wonderful coffee shop. Down the street is Powell’s Technology store. Everybody buys something tonight. I find a copy of the Philokalia. When I was in the Pastoral Counseling program we studied both the Desert Fathers and The Way of the Pilgrim. The Philokalia was central to the story of The Way of the Pilgrim. The book is a collection of stories and wisdom reading from Orthodox sources from the fourth century to the 15 century. It is a great find.

Afterwards we all go to Henry’s 12th Street Tavern for a beer. Everyone has Oregon brewed beers. Clearly I am not sophisticated, honey beer is not for me.It has been a long, good day. However, when I get back to my room I continue to work on a poem about the Collegium. This is a good experience, I am happy to be a part of Collegium.

Collegium: Sunday June 10, 2007

Columbia River Gorge

Collegium: Sunday June 10

I get up early and talk with Cathi. Our dog, Chloe is arthritic and her pain seems to be increasing. I may have to put her to sleep in the coming weeks. This is sad, she is my all time favorite companion animal. However, I thought I was going to have to do that last October and so everyday we have with her in which she wags her tail, barks in happiness and licks our face is extra. We were all clear in our family though that we would not keep her alive for us if the quality of her life deteriorated, if she was in pain more than she was happy. That day may be nearing.

I walk around campus. The bluff is breathtaking, the redwoods majestic. The buildings are huge, as it is the art.

The campus is a sensual assault not to be missed. If you were blind you would still appreciate the beauty of this campus. You would hear all the different birds, you would hear the boat horns, the shipyard crane bells, the rustle of small critters and the laughter of collegium members.

You would smell all the different shades of greenness. Each building, each bend in the road results in flowered trees and bushes, gardens and of course roses.

We have a wonderful breakfast and then it is off to chapel for Eucharist. This is The Chapel of Christ the Teacher. It is a beautiful wood chapel directly opposite of Franz Hall. Beside it is the commons and behind it is St. Mary’s Student Center. Directly behind it is the bluff overlooking the river. The entire area is a dance of open space and trees reaching for the heavens.

In 1953 Father James Fogarty, C.S.C., started the chapel trust fund. The chapel was dedicated on October 5, 1985. This is a new chapel but it looks like it has always been a part of the campus.

The exterior consists of red cedar, oversized brick and a concrete tile roof. It looks simple and breathtaking at the same time. The chapel has a lantern-style steeple. This reminds me of a Norwegian Stave church and in fact that was the intention of the architect.

Next to the chapel is a Marian Garden. It is simple and reminds me of Our Lady going to Stonehenge!

The doors are massive, wooden and intricately carved. They are heavy and opening the door takes a little effort. You have to want to enter, and it is worth it.

If the outside of the chapel looks Scandinavian the inside looks Japanese. The balcony, which surrounds all four sides of the chapel, consists of wooden screen-laced windows. The dome is held up by four massive Douglas fir columns. To the side are two chapels and in the balcony are the Stations of the Cross. This is where we gather multiple times a day. We meet for spiritual direction and education, for worship and for Eucharist.

The baptismal font is a stone cross with descending steps into it. On the outside it says, “One faith, one font, one spirit make one people; no barrier can divide where life unites.”

After Mass we get on our buses and head for the Columbia River Gorge. We drive for 45 minutes. The country is beautiful. This is the land of mountains, rivers and rainforest. It is also the land of volcanoes. Within driving distance are Mt. Hood, Mount Jefferson, Mount St. Helen and Mount Rainer.

We arrive at the Sternwheeler Riverboat Cruise dock. We get a group picture standing in front of the boat. Then we board for our Babette’s Feast. I finally get my salmon along with a variety of shell fish, eggs, meats, vegetables, deserts and champagne.

We cruise down the gorge, I have no idea why I did not realize a gorge was a fjord! I feel like I am back in the Holy Land, Norway. The mountains rise up, Washington State is one side of the river, Oregon the other. The Columbia River Gorge is a river canyon cutting the only sea-level route through the Cascade Mountain Range. It's 80 miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep.

There are platforms sticking out of the water. These are for Native Americans. By treaty four different tribes have the right to fish these waters in the traditional manner, standing on platforms with hand nets.

We go under the Bridge of the Gods. Charles Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis under this bridge. We see waterfalls, both on our drive up to the dock and along the cruise. Multnomah Falls take our breath away. It is the second highest year-round waterfall in the United States. Though Multnomah Falls is wonderful all of the falls in the Gorge are breathtaking.

The best part of the cruise was the camaraderie. We laugh, we are silly and irreverent. Coming back there are three teenagers on a cliff, as we wave to them they turn their backs on us and moon us! Nobody is offended, though one person does mention that one of the mooners is carrying a little too much body fat. I reply that I think they were being cheeky.

When we get back to campus we gather in our Small Groups. We watch the film “Finding God in All things: A Sacramental World” by Michael Hines. He use to teach at Notre Dame, you can always trust a Hoosier!

The video was great. It blended Babette’s Feast with our cruise. He was not speaking about just the Seven Sacraments, but of all the concrete sacraments of life. He stated that sacraments were needed to make what is always present in every situation visible. He was talking of Grace which he described as God’s love outside of the Trinity. That love is everywhere all the time. However, whenever something is always there we habituate and do not recognize it. So sacraments are needed to state the obvious.

Our lunch was a sacrament, the cruise, our fellowship, all sacraments. It was a great film that was very consistent with my Franciscan worldview.

Best of all, we are getting to know our Mentor, Theresa. This is her first time mentoring and she is a natural, authentic, caring, and able to set limits and boundaries. I think she will be a staff member of Collegium for a long tome.

Small Group meets twice, we have a break and then we go to chapel for our Prayer/Spirituality session. Afterwards dinner and social hour.

I talk with my youngest daughter Kerri, she tells me Chloe had a difficult night, I am becoming increasingly concerned.

A group of us then get together to go into Portland. We decide to visit Powell's Bookstore tonight. It is the largest bookstore west of the Mississippi. this way we get to spend time in the store and free up our night in Portland later in the week seeing other sites.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Collegium: Day Two: A Fresh Start

We are Marching in the Light of God

June 9, 2007

The campus is beautiful. I get up early, after only three hours sleep, and walk around. This place is lush, the trees are over five stories tall. The trunks are enormous. Flowers are everywhere. And roses, they grow in landscaped areas and they grow wild.

The University of Portland is on a bluff. It is 130 acres of trees, flowers, art.

I walk over to the bluff that overlooks the Willamette River. Behind me is a statue of Lewis or Clark, a Native American guide and their slave/explorer. In front of me is the river. As I look down from the bluff I see a very busy port. There is a riverboat being repaired, a military ship in dock and lots of boats and ships in repair. Beyond that I can look across the river to Forest Park. This is the largest urban wilderness in America. It is three times larger than Central Park and this is a rain forest.

To the left I see downtown Portland and the mountain range beyond it. And then further east there it is, Mount Hood. It is enormous, snow capped and looks like it floats in the air. I call Cathi and tell her what I am looking at and she tells me to stop telling her and to write about it, so I do.

I go to breakfast and meet members of the collegium. They had all been looking for me and are glad I made it.

Then we have a formal lecture and finally we meet with our small group. I love my small group. It is made up of a grad student, a Jesuit Priest, and professors of math, philosophy, social work, geology, business and we have an assistant dean. Not too shabby. Best of all, they are just likable folks.

After lunch, a wonderful lunch, we gather and watch the film, Babette’s Feast. It is a film that shows the impact of sacramental living. It is simple, powerful and I love it.

For our spiritual service we sing African and Caribbean hymns, listen to African drums, steel drums and we dance. We are marching in the light of God! I love this. Then we celebrate Eucharist before supper.

We end the evening with a social hour and then it is off to read. We had lots to read before we got here and now we are given more books. I am no longer hungry but I sure am tired. Still, this has been a wonderful day.

Collegium: Day One The Longest Day

June 08, 2007

I have been accepted to participate in the 2007 Collegium. The Collegium summer colloquy was developed in response to concerns about the religious identity of Catholic colleges and universities. The Collegium purpose is to assist Catholic institutions uphold their faith-based mission statements and identify, recruit, and develop new faculty who can both articulate and expand the vision of the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Collegium is a national organization of Catholic colleges and universities. It was founded by and directed by Thomas M. Landy. The Collegium consists of 62 colleges and universities. In 2002, Collegium became a part of the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU), which includes over 200 members.

The Collegium meets in one of three Holy Cross Order universities; College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, Massachusetts, St. John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota and the University of Portland, Portland, Oregon. This year the Collegium is in Portland. I am going to the Pacific Norwest!

The focus is on the Integration of Faith and Reason. This is a combination of learning and focusing on the Catholic Intellectual Traditions and spiritual development. We will not study spirituality, the program includes retreats, we will practice our spirituality. I am excited.

But first I have to get there. I was supposed to leave at 6:00 A.M., fly to Atlanta and then fly on to Portland. By 11:00 A.M. I was to be in Oregon, renting a car and taking time before registration to visit the Pacific Ocean. That did not happen.

I missed the plane by about two minutes. The next plane got me to Atlanta too late to arrive in Oregon in the morning. When I finally boarded the plane in Atlanta a severe storm hit and we sat on the tarmac for three hours. Instead of eating Salmon at our banquet I was given a cookie.

When I got into Portland I took the light train to the Convention Center. There were no students there to guide me to the shuttle to the university. When I called the school the students were not able to help me. I walked around trying to get a cab. People were putting up tents all over the place. Tomorrow was their Rose Parade. It is the 100 anniversary of the parade. I did not know Portland was the rose capital of the world.

I finally got a cab. We drive past bus stops all covered with Native American styled mosaics. The city looks like an artist colony. I finally register and get to my room at 11:00 P.M or 3 A.M. my time. I am starving and exhausted but I am in Portland!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Living Stones

Build with Living Stones
My Experience
by Kathleen Lotter

In the Franciscan movement today persons from thirty-nine nations of the world are participating in a remarkable mission program. The program is Build with Living Stones, translated into 13 languages. Experiencing the best in current theology, the program addresses inculturation, peace-making in a culture of violence and the continuing Franciscan tradition in the church among others. The task that St. Francis undertook in his day, "to fill the whole world with the Gospel of Christ," is our task today. Build with Living Stones helps us to reflect on this call and move from reflection to action.

Last year I kept hearing about a program called Building with Living Stones that would be taught my Sr. Anita Holzmer. Sr. Anita presented an outline of the program at our fall 2006 Staff Forum and I had also been reading about the program in Working Together. I thought and thought about it and finally decided to enroll in the program. I wanted to learn more about Francis and Clare and this would be the perfect venue.

I was really nervous when September 14, 2006 rolled around. I had no idea what to expect or who would be joining me for this 8 month venture. We met in the Campus Ministry dining room. There were 8 of us: Janice Pekrul, Vicki Jacobs, Trish Bugajski, Ken Williams, Randy Troy, Betsy Slagle, Theresa Letizia and me.

During our first session, we viewed a video on St. Francis and Clare and Sr. Anita gave a brief presentation on what would be covered during our 8 months together. During the next 7 months, I learned quite a bit about Francis and Clare. I heard stories about a hungry wolf and how Francis met with the wolf and told him that he was doing great harm and deserved to die. Francis, however, made the wolf agree to make peace with the people of Gubbio and never to harm them again. What a cool story!

Another story was of Francis meeting with the Sultan. The Sultan listened to Francis and admired his courage for speaking about his God and Savior. Francis and Brother Illuminato were invited to stay with the Sultan but the Sultan did not accept the salvation that Francis offered for fear of revolt by his people. What courage Francis had! He spoke with such a pure heart that the Sultan had no choice but to listen. Could we do that today? My guess is no.

One of the units in our text that had everyone all fired up was the one entitled Brother Sun and Sister Moon: a Franciscan View of the Environment. There was a heated discussion on how we’ve become such a wasteful society and what ways we can be more responsible to our community and Earth.

During my 43 years, I’ve had the opportunity to experience different faiths. Growing up I attend a Quaker (Friends) Church and a southern Baptist Church. During my years at Ball State University, I attended a Methodist Church. I experienced my first mass when I first started my work here at USF three years ago and I am now attending Sugar Grove Church of God with my husband. Build with Living Stones has taught me that no matter what your denomination is, we all believe in the Father, Son and Holy Ghost and all wish for peace.