Posted in COVID-19/Pandemic, General Interest

In the Time of COVID – 19: A Few Uplifting Words From My Cousin Dan . . .

As kids and probably the last time Dan was shorter than me. He stands 6’5′ and I stand a scant 5’2″.

“Remember that each day is an opportunity given to us by God.” Fr. Dan

“Thank you Fr. Dan for reminding us.” The students at Holy Ghost Prep 



Cousin Dan’s students at Holy Ghost Preparatory School in Pennsylvania asked him to do a video and this is the result. It has been making the rounds on Facebook, well received.  So here it is for you, an island of peace and uncommon good sense for troubled times.

My cousin Dan:

What Have We Done That People Can Pick Up Weapons and Kill?, Fr. Daniel Sormani, C.S.Sp.

Fr. Daniel S. Sormani, C.S.Sp.

My cousin is a priest who has lived and worked in Algeria and Dubai and until recently was teaching theology at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. He asks in a feature article for The BeZine, What Have We Done that People Can Pick-up Weapons and Kill.  

“We have become our own worst enemy. Whenever we separate the world into ‘them’ and ‘us’, whenever we accept blind generalizations and cease to see a unique individual before us, whenever we forget we are all victims of carefully orchestrated deceit and deception for wealth and power, the force of darkness wins. Bullets will never win this struggle, only the heart and mind will.”

Mom’s rosary beads and Dan’s Arabic Bible

The CitySon Philosopher, me, and Cousin Dan, Gamble Gardens, Palo Alto, CA 2018
© 2020, all photos Jamie Dedes and family

“Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure.”  Lucille Clifton

Posted in General Interest

WRITING FROM OUR PERSONAL SACRED SPACE, Henri Nouwen

Henri Nouwen (1932-19960 Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian
Henri Nouwen (1932-1960) Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian

Writing is a process in which we discover what lives in us. The writing itself reveals to us what is alive in us. The deepest satisfaction of writing is precisely that it opens up new spaces within us of which we were not aware before we started to write. To write is to embark on a journey whose final destination we do not know. Thus, writing requires a real act of trust. We have to say to ourselves: ‘I do not yet know what I carry in my heart, but I trust that it will emerge as I write.’ Writing is like giving away the few loaves and fishes one has, trusting that they will multiply in the giving. Once we dare to ‘give away’ on paper the few thoughts that come to us, we start discovering how much is hidden underneath these thoughts and gradually come in touch with our own riches. ‪#‎HenriNouwen‬ REFLECTIONS ON THEOLOGICAL EDUCATION (unpublished) www.henrinouwen.org

My cousin, Father Daniel Sormani C.S.Sp., shared this quotation with me on Facebook. It is from the Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian, Henri Nouwen. I very much agree with Father Nouwen on this matter of writing, its meaning, source and value in our lives.

Suggested reading: My cousin Dan’s article: What Have We Done That People Can Pick Up Weapons and Kill? This article was also featured in our Waging Peace Collection in The BeZine.

Photo credit ~ by Frank Hamilton under CC BY-SA 2.o license

– Jamie Dedes