Thursday, January 31, 2008

March For Life... Media Coverage?

+JMJ+
Come Holy Spirit!

Yeah, well... was there any? For a public demonstration which included somewhere around 100,000 people - possibly the largest demonstration Washington D.C. has ever seen? Or what about the Walk for Life is San Francisco? In its very few years, already tens of thousands of people take the time and effort to walk... no journalist, reporter, or story dared to make its way into the public eye. Ironic, isn't it? I did find a story online though, which concluded this way...

"What is sure is that a very large, dedicated and vocal group of people has been trying for 35 years to protect life and to reverse a Supreme Court decision that many Constitutional scholars say is wrong; a decision that has allowed the legal termination of millions of pregnancies. Whether the establishment media talks about the marches or not, it doesn’t seem like these passionate activists will be going away any time soon." - http://www.jbs.org/node/6955

Yeah. We don't need media or newspapers or news broadcasts. We know the tide is being turned. We know the truth. We have God.

Home to Florida!

+JMJ+
Come Holy Spirit!

The life of a traveling actress is exciting, adventurous, joyful, fulfilling and hopeful. I learn more than I teach, I think. God is so amazing, and is constantly opening our eyes and our minds to Him, more and more every day. We really do want to love God more and more every day, and to serve Him in whatever we do. We praise Him after a long and intense week of shows, and after the opportunity of bringing Him and His Love to so many others. Thank You, Sweet Jesus, for life, for this chance. May all that we do be done for the Honor and Glory of God! All for His Kingdom!

FUS

+JMJ+
Come Holy Spirit!

God's Mercy is so much greater than our sins...

Steubenville had one of the best crowds we've ever performed for. They were great. It was neat to finally be able to see the campus and meet some people from there. They were so awesome. Walking down the sidewalk, you hear people passing you saying the Rosary, kneeling before the chapel, and lots of people in Adoration. This was a time to focus on God's Mercy, because healing and forgiveness is such a necessary part of the pro-life position. Have you ever heard of St. Maria Faustina - a Polish Nun who lived in the 20th century who had apparitions and visions of Christ and His Holy Mother? She saw angels and demons and teh Baby Jesus. She actually talked to Christ many times, and He spoke to her about His Divine Mercy. It is a message for our times, for sure. One of my favorite quotes from her diary (and I've got many many favorites) is this: Christ told Sister (now Saint) Faustina, "My Mercy is so much greater than your sins." He is just waiting for us to turn to Him. He desires to give us His Mercy, but we must ask for it, and be willing to accept it! It says over and over how so many people turn away from God, because they don't accept His Mercy and Forgiveness. You've got to check it out. It is so amazing. There is so much to say and understand about this message! God is so good to us! Check out this website: http://thedivinemercy.org/

God loves us so much. All He asks is our love in return.


video

Madonna High School

+JMJ+
Come Holy Spirit!

Marathon II: We performed "Sarah" for high schoolers - 4 shows. We had to shorten the production to fit it into one class period, but I really like performing this way. You are very close to the audience, and each one is no more than 40 people. That type of environment makes a more powerful impact, I think, for this kind of drama. And we had to hurry and pack up because from WV we had to go across the border into Stuebenville for a show that night...

Weirton, WV Rachel

+JMJ+

Come Holy Spirit!

First time to West Virginia! We met about 20 people including a really amazing Priest. Proof of this: he had enormous rosary beads painted all around his car! Tomorrow we have another show for them - but all day long at the school.

Fireplace Room

+JMJ+
Come Holy Spirit!

Ok... so back to Ohio...

Tonight we performed for a pro-life fundraiser. There were many families, as well as a lot of kids. The most memorable event besides the show was that the fireplace in the room was not ventilating properly, and consequently all hundred of us were stuck inside the smokey room for hours. The costumes and props smelled like a bonfire for days!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Ever heard of Lutz?

+JMJ+
Come Holy Spirit!

Oops... how could we forget life before Ohio? We had a show in Lutz, Florida two nights before we left on tour. "Rachel" made her appearance before a live audience of about 150 people, parents, young ones, and visiting youth groups. We had a great question though, that made me start thinking: was Rachel alright after her fall? Does she really choose God again and turn away from her sin? Is she really sorry or only temporarily sorry? Well, I guess that's a question that we can't answer, except in our own lives. Rachel isn't dead yet, and she has her whole life to make that choice - however long that might be - just like the rest of us. Of course we want to know that everything is going to be alright, but it's not a one choice deal. It is a constant turning back to God and a life of constant conversion, saying yes to HIM at every moment, saying sorry and begging for forgiveness when we do fall. Rachel is very real in that sense. She is in some ways a model and in some ways meant to inspire but also to warn all those who meet her, that she's still a work in progress. And that means you still have to keep working...

SMCC-Marathon

Wow. Today was intense. We were up early, arrived at the high school by 715, and had our first show in the gym at 755. The school has 48 minute sessions, separated by 3 minute intervals. Translation: you have 51 minutes to perform an entire show, clear the stage, reset the stage, fix the dressing room and reorganize the props and costumes. In theory, not too bad. In practice, it meant saying the last word of the show, hearing the bell ring, changing, and then saying the first line of the next show. In the few moments backstage in between stage appearances, if you had your next costume on extra quickly, then you organize the dressing room. If you wanted to reset the bed, you had to do it during the show. We had a twenty minute lunch break and back to performances. We did seven in all. By the end, I started forgetting what scene came next. We just did that scene right, so that means it can't be happening again right now. Thankfully, I only started to put on the wrong costume once, and then remembered where we were. The good thing was that over 400 high school kids were able to see our show. The bad thing was that we weren't able to interact with them at all. It was a day to remember, a success overall, but very tiring!

St Gerald, pray for us!

+JMJ+
Come Holy Spirit!

The students of St. Gerald's Catholic Grade School were great kids - an attentive and responsive audience. These future saints of America are on their way! It's beautiful to find Catholic kids who know and love their faith - they're not that easy to find. We had an amazing response from these shows...

"A future saint of America can be anybody. Boy, girl, or anyone who belongs to any race. A saint of America is someone who puts others before themselves. Someone who cares for everything made by God. A future saint respects all life and thinks of it as a blessing of God not something that means nothing. A future sain of America does the little things everyday that people may not notice, but God does and by doing the little things we grow closer to God."

...From an 8th Grader...

Swanton

On the Anniversary of Roe v Wade, we arrived in Swanton, Ohio. The pastor Fr. Zak met us at the church and explained the schedule to us, one that included dinner. This dinner was no ordinary dinner. We had salad, tea, walleye (my first time!), and, what is truly amazing, three desserts with all calories removed. Father assured both of us that we would receive no harm from this spread of dulcet delights since he had specifically asked the place to remove all calories for us. Quite a special treat that!
But on to the show! It was preceded by a prolife prayer service, complete with a procession with the nationally touring Our Lady of Charity picture, hymns, intercessory prayers, bible readings and an amazing homily. Our show followed immediately. We received a standing ovation, our first of the year! It is always humbling to think that we are serving God and His mission to save souls. It is easy to become glib about what we do.... ok, another show... now move on to another church... But we cannot forget what our purpose is, and how God uses us to work out the salvation of His flock. The reactions to our show tonight really brought this home to me. Two little girls were so excited to talk with us, tell us stories about their friends, and how they helped make the brownies being served in the parish hall right then. They are the reason we are fighting, for the joy of life in their faces. Another woman had brought a group of teenagers with her. She said she was set on fire by the events of the night, both the show and the service. She wanted to take the prolife mission seriously now, actively and not passively. Then came a woman with tears in her eyes. "I am 'Sarah'," she said, "I am that woman with a secret. I had an abortion many years ago and what you were portraying is real. Not a day goes by when I don't regret the abortion. The memory of the abortion causes me more pain than the memory of the rape." This gave me pause. What we are doing is real. We are not playing on people's emotions with concocted dramas. We are trying to save the lives not only of thousands of babies but also thousands of mothers who are led by the prochoice argument to believe that they have no choice. Well, you do. You have the choice to give life to your baby. The choice to be loved unconditionally by your baby. The choice to love her with all your might. You can choose life by sparing yourself the trauma of an abortion and its aftermath.
Pray for all the woman who are alone and frightened and hurt by an unwanted pregnancy, that they may be given the love and support they need to free themselves from the bonds that seem to imprison them. Pray for the women who have had an abortion and who are suffering with the consequences of their action, who are tormented by the memory of what could have been, by the memory of what they have done. Pray that we all are filled with love for God, for others, and for ourselves.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

More Pro-Life Websites...

+JMJ+

I just found these. Take a look...




http://www.prolife.com ...> A Collection of AMAZING stories, websites, information.

http://abort73.com ...> AMAZING stories, facts, videos.

http://www.prolife.com/life_begins.html ...>When does life really begin?

http://www.prolife.com/NATHAN.html ...>Conversion of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, Ex-Abortionist.

http://www.virtuemedia.org/ ... > Watch the Commercials!

http://prolife.com/FETALDEV.html ...> Fetal Development Timeline

http://www.justthefacts.org/clar.asp ...> Fetal Development Pictures

http://www.lldf.org/pmdd-info.html ...> Legal, Law, Etc.

Keep researching! Learn the facts! This is too big of a world problem to ignore...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Getting Ready for the Walk For Life!

+JMJ+
Come Holy Spirit!

We recently saw the movie, The Great Debaters. It was a phenomenal movie. I loved it. It was moving, passionate, motivating, eye-opening, thought provoking - hmm. It was very good. There were many good lines and lots of great moments, but one in particular got me thinking. There was an argument between two of the student debaters. The younger one was losing hope - that the fight they were fighting and the life they were living would never get better, because they hadn't had the chance to speak and debate with anyone who opposed them. His line went something like "all we ever do is talk and argue with groups of people who think just like us..." In other words, there was really no room for changing hearts or minds, because they didn't really disagree with each other.

Well, that same thought has crossed my mind over and over as we travel across the US performing Catholic and pro-life themed shows for a bunch of Catholic and pro-life people. Sometimes we find those 'riding the fence' and by showing them the truth we leave a room of pro-lifers behind us. But, why don't we get out there and face pro-choice groups, call them out to talk, debate, or discuss, and try to convert them?

The truth is, if such believers would want a show or desire to engage in such a presentation, we would love it. We would be there in a heartbeat. But our focus right now is to CHALLENGE every single person out there who is pro-life to prove it. To act on their belief and do something about the fact that almost 50 million humans world-wide have lost their lives in the last 34 years. We did everything we could as a country to stop WWI and WWI. We helped out in Vietnam and Korea, and intercede all over the globe for the sake of justice. Why else would we be so involved currently in world matters - if not for the strong hope that the world may find fairer and more just ways of governing and living?

Ok. So WHY DON'T WE DO SOMETHING BIG to stop abortions? How can we just sit back and let this happen? If you believe that abortion is murder (which it is - I challenge anyone in the world to prove me wrong) then how can we sit at home doing nothing? I'm tired of the spilling of blood. I can't stand the fact that thousands upon thousands of mothers are silently grieving a 'legal' action - as if it has no consequences on their emotional or mental state. We do what we do - perform pro-life dramas for Catholic audiences - because we must DO SOMETHING. We challenge others to put their beliefs into action. "Be not afraid!" the words of John Paul II, and even of Christ Himself, echo and reecho to each of us. Be not afraid to go out into the streets, and bring Christ and His Love to the world.

Pray. Fast. Offer up sacrifices. Pray at the clinics. Counsel at the abortion mills. Speak about it in your home and classroom. Read everything you can get your hands on and find the facts. There are so many great websites and books - try a biology book. Write your own dramas and perform them. Give talks and speeches. Offer assistance to Crisis Pregnancy Centers or Single Mothers Homes. Support these women and men who are so afraid. Pray for them to make the right decisions. Talk to them about what those decisions are. Challenge the school systems and let them know you have a voice. Know who your schools have as speakers and presenters at your children's schools. Love. Forgive. Ask Questions. Demand Answers. Don't be silent. Silence is Acceptance. We have too much work to do.



Next week there is a Walk For Life in San Francisco, CA (January 19) and the March for Life in Washington, DC (January 22). Take a look at their websites: http://www.walkforlifewc.com/ and http://www.marchforlife.org/



... If you can't make it to either of those, check out what is happening in your area. I know almost every big city will have a demonstration, a rally, or a walk of some kind. If not, get your family and friends together and start one yourselves. Have a special Mass and prayer. Contact your diocese and see what is happening.

This past Wednesday we did two more shows in California - a Catholic school in the morning and a Catholic Parish that night. The pro-life voice is getting stronger. Pro-lifers are everywhere. Pray and work hard so these babies and their mothers and fathers may live!

"Mustangs" or "How You Know God is Good"

The disparate nature of the two titles of this post may give you some cause for legitimate befuddlement. But before you check with your doctor, check the rest of this post.
Here is the logic of the situation.
God is awesome.
Mustangs are awesome.
God is a Mustang.
No wait, that wasn't where I meant to go with that...
Mustangs are good.
God is good.
Mustangs are God.
No, no... (did anyone say heresy? Blasphemy, even? I hope not.)
Ok, so I maybe I didn't do so well in that logic course. Well, maybe I never took a logic course.
In any case, my point is that God loves us. He asks us to be faithful to Him and serve Him, but even more to love Him. And He delights in loving us too. He loves to please us, to give us gifts. His love is so great and overflowing that He cannot restrain Himself from giving to us. Thats why He created us in the beginning: He loved us before we even were, and so gave us Life and Light. The Bible stresses the Fatherhood and Brotherhood of God, and our role as little children. We are meant to trust Him, rely on Him for protection and surety. We pray for our daily bread in the prayer He taught us. But even more than what we have to do, more than our duty, is what we do out of love for Him and others. Thats why the greatest commandment is not "Serve God and Your Neighbor" but "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." (Mtt 22:37-40). If we truly love God and know His Love for us, what we do, our actions, will be full of love and so in accordance with all the Shalt nots of our faith without even trying to be. We don't need to worry about how we have to go to church on Sunday if we want to go there to be with the God we love and who loves us for who we are.
Just like a loving father, God wants to show us His love in major ways and in difficult situations, but also in little tiny ways, the little ways that brighten our day because they are so unexpected.
Case in point: this past week we went to the rental car company late at night. Turns out the place was closed. Would we be stuck at the airport? NO, there is a little rental place still open. The cheapest car they had? Well, there was a choice between a plain four-door blue car, a plain four-door black car, or a neon yellow brand-new snazzy Ford Mustang. Now, this is not intended to be a plug for the Ford company. I am not getting a commission fee or anything, but that car was so yellow it hurt my eyes to look at it. I had no idea whether or not the multitude of baggage alluded to many times before on this blog would fit into this car, but after much discussion, we decided it would have too. We spent the rest of the trip in an amazing car. God gave us a little gift right there. Like a child, I was so happy with this pretty plaything that my mind and heart were lifted to praise God.
God does have a sense of humor, and I hope He laughed to see my childish delight in that car.
Oh, we got to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and to Napa Valley in that car. It was pouring rain, very foggy, and windy, but our neon yellow car blazed right through it all no problem. We had a morning performance at Holy Trinity School in Napa. Originally, it was just for the highschoolers, but the headmaster decided to open it up to 5, 6, 7, and 8th graders as well. The kids helped us convert their chapel into a stage, and then back again afterwards. And carry our props out to the CAR.
God is good.

Ignatius Meeting

+JMJ+
Come Holy Spirit!

Well, we finally made it to San Francisco! Everyone a little wet, but safe. ;-D We arrived at Ignatius Press in the early afternoon, and met the Ignatius Family for lunch. After a quick bite to eat, we turned a small section of the lunch room into a stage and Rachel and Sarah came to life. That's another favorite part of mine: taking a normal everyday space and turning it into a different world, giving it a new life by bringing characters and stories to life between its walls. It always amazes me how quickly a space can change. It's like reading a book - just by opening its pages your mind can travel anywhere and learn about people from all over the world, hear their conversations, see what they see, and learn life lessons. That's the beauty of a story, I guess. Even though it's told from your tiny living room.

It was awesome to finally meet our sponsors and the people who make our life as traveling actresses possible. They are the ones responsible for any good that comes of our work - in a sense, they are the ones who gave us our hands and our feet to carry Christ to the world. We thank God for them. Check them out whenever you have time. They are a top seller of Catholic books and videos... http://www.ignatius.com After an afternoon of shows, we took a tour of Ignatius Press (amazing!), visited the surrounding churches (beautiful!), and drove through San Francisco. There's something really incredible about the Golden Gate Bridge. I loved it all! Now we spend some time in San Francisco, braving the rain storms and small floods, with a few more shows later this week...

CRAZY weather and cancelled flights.

+JMJ+
Come Holy Spirit!

Well, as we know very well by now, weather in the Midwest is crazy. We're not in Florida anymore! On our way to California, Elizabeth had a three hour layover in Georgia, and my flights were cancelled. Thankfully, I had enough time that I could still make the show by flying out the next morning. We got to San Francisco in between two of the worst storms the west coast has seen in years! Yeah... it was exciting. God always gives enough time. We made it to the shows fine.

CHRISTMAS BREAK!!!

+JMJ+
Come Holy Spirit!

Alright! After three weeks of travel, 13 shows, ice and snow storms, many hotels, lots of people and much fun, it's BREAK TIME! We have been counting down the hours until Christmas, and we are very excited and making ourselves ready for the Baby Jesus to be born. God bless you and have a Blessed Christmas!

JPII Shows...

Interesting how our English language allows for such great freedom. Take the title of this post, in exemplum. JPII shows... well, what is the object of that Subject and verb? The former pope shows us what? Lots of things, notably his call for sanctity in the laity and in family life, the call that we as actresses in a Catholic drama company take to heart. It is up to each of us as members of the Mystical Body of Christ to reach out to all of our brothers and sisters, to take action in the world as participants in His mission to save souls, as representatives of His Church.
On the other hand, the JPII shows are our mainstage productions put on in conjunction with our St. Louis-based troupe at the John Paul II Auditorium. This beautiful little theater was to be our home for the three shows that would conclude our Midwestern Christmas tour. Since we do not usually perform with much of a stage, or any solid tech systems to speak of, the MSP were greatly impressed by the technologically and spatially advanced situation we now found ourselves in. We actually had a set. We really did have heavy red curtains and two levels of lights from every directions and an amazing sound system to play with.
And we had a whole other cast too! The St Louis cast does a funny opening act, and we were all rolling with laughter every rehearsal and show as the script slowly morphed with much ad libbing and side comments to the audience.
Speaking of the audience, we were able to meet and greet many different age groups after each show and chat on topics ranging from what we do, what they do, plays we have all acted in, down to where a good site to find online movies could be found. The old cliche "Its a Small World" (accompanied in my head by that outrageously repetitive Disney song) was proved again and again over those few nights. "Hey, you went to TMC? Founded by Peter Sampo? He taught me when I was in college years ago!" "Hey, I recognize you from ..."
We also were able to watch the airing of EWTN's "The Surprise," a Chesterton play in which our director played a main role, between shows. We have a contract with EWTN to begin filming in May for our own series, Theater of the Word, in which the MSP will have a segment. Look for it sometime over the next year!

Missionaries of Charity - St. Louis

+JMJ+
Come Holy Spirit!

The Missionaries of Charity. I love them. Some of the most beautiful and joyful women on this earth live in the MC convents. They love God so much and serve Him so well! We were able to spend the morning with them during their Christmas Party for the shut-ins. They have volunteers who help drive the sick and disabled people to their soup kitchen, as well as many lay people who cook the lunch and serve the food. When we arrived, we saw the dining room transformed into a Christmas wonderland: decorations, Christmas trees, colored pictures (from the little children), red and green tablecloths... everything was set up perfectly for their Christmas Party. And as I watched, each seat was filled as the celebration began. These were people who were so sick that if such a party like this didn't happen, they wouldn't leave their poor homes, hospital beds, or wherever they spent their time. The Sisters organize this party for them - to feed them, to love them, and to give them a very special Christmas - one that I know they will never forget. Elizabeth and I performed "Making Room" which was very well received - but that was hardly the highlight of the day! The audience soon became a congregation, as the Sisters prepared the room for Mass. They asked a Priest from the area to come and celebrate Holy Mass with them that day, which made the whole day so special! His homily was an inspirational and passionate plea to them - to give their lives to God, for "there is no secret what God can do." He repeated this chorus over and over, and it was echoed by his congregation. He told them how to forgive and how to cling to God, even in spite of terrible suffering. Physical suffering was the least of what he talked about: the emotional scars from family, relationships, spouses, children. He challenged these people to believe that God could change their lives, and that they could be happy again. There were shouts of "Amen! Alleluia!" from these seemingly sickly people, who began to realize and actually believe that "There is no secret what God can do!" The priest was on fire and he was passing that flame of love and hope on to people who had lost it. The Holy Spirit was moving! It was AMAZING!!! The people were responding, some were crying, others got their hope back. And me? I was so motivated and filled with joy!! He opened our eyes to the power and mercy of God. He told us we could be healed and we could be loved - because we were first loved by Him. He made us see that we could love again - that healing and forgiveness was ours, if we could accept it. It was beautiful. He reminded us that there is no secret what God can do... he brought a life to my heart that I didn't realize needed to be awakened to a much greater faith. It was incredible, and I was so thankful to be a part of that day.

After Mass and receiving the Eucharist and we all received the blessing from Father. The room then filled with Christmas Carols and lots of good food. Santa Claus came to town and each of the people there received a Christmas gift, as well as a plate of food to take home with them. We had so many amazing conversations with them, and talked much of God, and who He is, and who we are. I learned so much. It was beautiful.

This was a life changing event for me. I hope that in the future, my husband and babies will come with me to events like these with the MCs, and we will see God at work in our lives. It was incredible. I would tell everyone - Go! Serve in the soup kitchen! Talk to these people! Learn from the Sisters! Learn from the poor! Love them like Christ loves them! It was beautiful.

video

Rockin' in Rockford

Ok, so what if Rockfordians get that all the time, I think there was come rockin' going on there.
We returned to Rockford to make up the two shows weather had made impossible to put on the week previous. It was a grey gloomy day, mushy with melty slushy snow (say that five times fast, why dontcha?) when we arrived. The set up was simple and the first show, for the students of St. Edward's Catholic school, went per usual. We had a few hours break before the evening show, so we checked out TAN Books and crossed a few names off of our Christmas shopping list there. Then we went on a quest for an Arts and Crafts store. We were looking for a glass container of some sort, whether square, flat, boxed, or circle or spherical was incidental to our plans. Our handy dandy GPS took us down some very long dark roads that seemed to be leading nowhere, but later rather than sooner we showed up in the mall area of Rkrd. Once there, there is really very little to tell, except that we did find an Arts store and a vase-like glass structure, complete with a lid (that later failed us miserably by breaking most inconveniently in our car after being crushed by one of our enormous suitcases. Silly lid.) We rushed back to the church and started the next show. The audience this time was about 200 kids from the CCD program, coming in from a variety of backgrounds. Most seemed unphased and unaffected by our performance, until the concluding talks. Typically our conclusions run about 10-15 minutes. Mary talked for almost an hour, interacting with the kids and demanding responses from them. Soon everyone was having fun, shouting out answers to her questions and joking with her and each other. By the time the kids filed out, the air was charged with great energy. Hopefully, God will work with what few seeds we were able to sow and grow a beautiful oasis in this troubled world of ours. Rock(ford) on.

No Show in KY

+JMJ+
Come Holy Spirit!

Ahh... the joys of winter... snow, ice, wet, slush, rain, bad weather, snow on top of ice, wet slush, makes really bad weather... I love the snow and winter time if I'm inside and warm, or on Christmas morning - a white Christmas seems to be the most memorable. But - trying to get people to come out from their safe and warm homes, even for a fun evening of Christmas shows is close to impossible. Consequently, show number three (this time in Kentucky) was taken from the books... It was a LONG drive to only get one show, but what can you do? Maybe visit some friends and get some Christmas shopping done. ;-D Stay warm!
God bless, Mary

A Story Written in Reverse Aesopian style

Moral of the story: you can't fool kids.
You may think it odd that I begin with the moral, rather than following the great Aesop's tradition of concluding with the point. But then I have learned a great lesson from the kindergartners, first and second graders of Holy Trinity School. Get to the point, fast!
So we arrive at the school at around 730 in the morning, having arisen at 5:55 am to make the drive. In this somewhat groggy state we size up the sitch: an enormous echoing gym with limited seating arrangements. Stage? One rotating chair. Lights? An amazing old-style can light that sends light blasting into your face from only one direction. Perfect.
We are quickly ready, and watch as the kids file in under the direction of their frazzled looking teachers. The show starts... and perhaps you're asking yourself when the point is coming... be patient... setting the scene is always the most important part of any story-telling attempt. Anyways, the show starts with me coming out as the inspector trying to find out who killed Christmas. For the kids, this was no joke. This was serious, and they really were going to help me find out whodunnit. Mary skitters out from the side, dressed in puritan garb with a black robe, white neck wrap, and a pointy black hat with a buckle. Very Pilgrim, right? Oh no, don't be so sure, my sharp-eyed gumshoes. The kids look on in horror, and then a single voice begins a cry that is quickly taken up by the rest of the shrill-voiced children, all 150 of them: "It's a Witch! She's a Witch!" It took a while to silence them, for what are two adult voices against the power of 150 young ones? After this day, I can answer without hesitation: absolutely nothing. The rest of the scene continued with just the usual comments from the intensely involved audience. The second scene brings Mary on again as a car salesman-type character. The kids instantly recognized her though, even with the costume change, and took it upon themselves to warn me: "Thats the Witch! She's the Witch!" The swell was even harder to calm this time. The final moment comes in the third and final scene, Mary as a police inspector from the future moves to arrest me for killing Christmas in my own life and heart. The kids came valiantly to my defense:"Don't take her! She didn't do it! You're the witch! You did it!" I tried in vain to admit my guilt, to persuade my supporters that I indeed was the guilty one, but to no avail. I do believe that the situation would have become ugly, had not Mary stepped up to the plate: "Listen, y'all kids," she said, "if you don't shut yer mouths, I'll write y'all tickets!" This threat slowly took affect and eventually all was quiet again. The script had pretty much gone out the window by this point, so we wrapped up in good ad lib style.
Have you forgotten the moral? It wasn't that we all kill the Spirit of Christmas by materialism, false tolerance, or by being killjoys. Rather, it was never to forget that you can't fool kids, no matter how clever your disguise.

Our Lady of Guadalupe

+JMJ+
Come Holy Spirit!

Well, after an ice storm cancelled the rest of our tour in Rockford, Elizabeth and I drove a few hours through CRAZY cold weather to beat the storm before it hit south of us. After much excitement, and God taking good care of us, we ended up at a grade school (with a really nice re-done stage/theater) on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. There we were able to perform the pro-life drama, in honor of her! Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to St. Juan Diego in 1531 in Mexico. She appeared as a young princess, great with child. Her message was one of love of God and love of people, and after the apparitions and miracles surrounding her coming, MILLIONS of people were converted to Christianity. She has been taken as the patroness of the Americas and the patroness of the unborn, and we ask her intercession for the ending of abortion. So, it was very special for us to perform on her feast day. God is so good to us! My favorite quote from her from these apparitions is this, "Am I not here, I who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Do you need something more? Let nothing else worry you or disturb you." I love Our Lady of Guadalupe! She is my favorite... to quote St. Louis de Montfort, "To Jesus through Mary..."
God bless you, Mary