Thursday, May 12, 2011

Sarah Piccini's Framing Faith

Sarah Piccini's book, Framing Faith: A Pictorial History of Communities of Faith, is an enjoyable book that I found to be extremely rewarding to read. The book delves into the influence of faith in the lives of Catholic immigrants to the North Eastern part of Pennsylvania during the late 1800's and the early 1900's. It took me back to my high schools days, and visiting Pennsylvania Dutch Country, and feeling a sense of awe in how religion influences communities. This book goes into a brief history and overview of 10 Catholic churches with an amazing array of photos by photographer Ivana Pavelka. It also has a basic layout of how most Catholic Churches are arranged, and what different items are and what they mean to Catholics.

The beautiful work of photographer Ivana Pavelka, and her students from the ARTS Engage! program are simply breathtaking.

I sat and actually let my children look at the wonderful display of the history of these churches, and they recognized some of the items and statuary. This would be a great family book to snuggle up with!

I would recommend this book to someone who loves history, particularly if they like religious history. These memories will now live on in the hearts and minds of those in that part of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and in the hard work of Sarah Piccini, Ivana Pavelka, and the Lackawanna Historical Society, just to name a few.

Here are a couple of pictures from the book:

Monday, May 02, 2011

Bin Laden is what?

Now that Bin Laden is dead, what should we do? I've spoken to my friend Chris Plante many times about this. Chris would ask me what is our mission over there? Here's how I saw it: Our main mission when we first went in there was to rout out the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. Period. Not to build schools and roads, or hospitals or the Afghani military. Kill the bad guys and leave. Now we can leave. The rebuilding of that country is up to the Afghani people.

There was much criticism about the wisdom of fighting in the mountains of Afghanistan. After the beating that the Russians took in the 80's, people thought it would be unwise. There were others however, just a few weeks after 9/11/01, who quietly worked behind the scenes in Afghanistan. Those who said, "We will make those that attacked us pay."

Tonight America can celebrate a victory that was a long time coming. I'm watching people dancing and cheering in the streets. It's now almost 0100 on the morning of May 2, and there are still people pouring into Times Square, and gathering outside of the White House. We deserve this. I hope those overseas that were dancing in the streets while our buildings burned, and people jumped to their deaths out of the windows of the World Trade Center, are now watching us dance. This monster had attacked us time and time again, and I hope he felt a cold chill when he realized he was going to die.

Housed in Pakistan, in a military area about 60 miles north of Islamabad, Bin Laden and one of his sons, were living in a specially built compound. So now I'm wondering who gave up his location? Whoever they are, they are very rich indeed. Our military command with the help of Islamic Affairs is handling his body, and they are treating him with more respect than his own people have done with our troops.

I remember seeing the Pentagon on fire that horrible day on 9/11/01. As I raced into Maryland across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, I was filled with a rage that rose within me like a volcano. I knew we would strike at those that hit us, and we would hit them with the full might of our military. Although many of my family and friends have been to either Iraq or Afghanistan, thankfully they all came back alive.

I am forever indebted to those that gave their all. I am grateful to those who have served, are still serving, and those that have yet to serve. And to our Special are the reason America will sleep better tonight! May God bless you and this great country!