The Christmas Season

Christmas Family

O God, Who have brightened this most holy night with the splendor of the true light, grant, we beseech You, that we may know in heaven the joy of that light which we have known mystically on earth.

Sometimes I realize I have no business keeping a weblog.   Though I do get a fair amount of visitors, I’m a very self conscious blogger.   While on Facebook or Twitter I usually just say what I want to say (with appropriate filters,) when I blog I tend to be like, “Here’s a picture from of my daily life. Um… buh bye!”

With that being said, here are a few things on my minds the last week, month, year…

  1. Questions about Pope Francis.   People will often ask me what the Holy Father means when he says things like, “And since people have a tendency towards the sickness of coprophagia, it can do great harm.”

    I don’t know.   Coprophagia sounds completely disgusting to me, I have zero tendency towards it, and as much as some people have said this expression is commonly used in South America,  I’ve never heard it used there despite my 6 visits, and being taught all the dirty words (to the great hilarity of my teachers,) on my first visit of 2.5 months.

    I honestly don’t know, but it’s obviously in the realm of the bizarre.

  2. What about the dubia?

    Cardinal Burke is the voice of those presenting the dubia to the Holy Father.   It’s a normalized, though rarely used part of Church practice.   Since Pope Francis has not answered the dubia, one can only look to what Cardinal Burke has to say about them.   He’s pretty concise in this interview from EWTN:

  3. “Father, what about your family?”

    I had a great time with my family this Christmas Season. I tend to stay busy, and realized I haven’t spent a lot of time at all with my niece and her children. In fact, the picture up top of is of Alyssa the Lovely, my great niece.  While it a long story the point of it is, we all got together Monday, the day after Christmas Day, and had a grand time. I’m always preaching about families, and realized I needed to get back to my own. Time flies when you stay busy.

  4. “Father, we’re so worried about you being transferred.”


    Yes, well, I don’t see that happening anytime in the near future.    I don’t know why there are rumors circulating about that I will be transferred,  but they are completely without foundation.   While it’s vaguely possible that the Archdiocese may decide that my charmingly eccentric personality and brilliant management skills (work with me here, people….) may be direly needed somewhere else, the fact is that there are many truly wonderful Priests who could fill any need the Archdiocese needs; and I feel they are entirely happy with my being out here in the hill country.   As am I.  It’s one of the best places on Earth to be

  5. “Father, what do you do with all the photo you take?”

    I often post them on Facebook, Twitter, or here.   The photos on the Parish website are from my cameras. A lot them are sitting on hard drives waiting to be turned into books to leave in the Parish archives for future use.

With all of that being said…   Merry Christmas!


Steak and Bake


Over the years I’ve scraped together my pennies, saved up and otherwise cut expenses, well, for many reasons. One of those reasons is so that occasionally I can afford a nice meal out somewhere. For the last several Christmases, I’ve gotten together with my friends Barbara, and Fr. John, as we all are in similar Christmas schedules and get together later in the day, with a minimum of fuss, dishes, prep time, etc. And for Christmas, I don’t think we spend a dime more than we would otherwise after all is said and done.


I mean, the lump crab salad alone is amazing.


Barb is a dear friend, who’s stood by me through thick and thin, who helped care for my mom in her illness as I was approaching ordination, and who has great choice in restaurants for Christmas day.  When she said she had made reservations for Ruth’s downtown at 3:45, I knew it would be a great choice.


Fr. John is a great friend.  He’s another one of my Priest friends who claims he’s an introvert, though I have serious doubts about that.  Still, he’s pensive and earnest.

Our server here said she was from a small , private Catholic school on the Northshore, that we had probably never heard of.  I said, “Well, …. SSA!”  Like… d’oh.   Her jaw actually dropped.  I guess they get a lot of tourists here, or otherwise non Northshore folk.


See. Fr. John has his pensive moments.


After that we retired to the Roosevelt, which is a festive place to have an after dinner drink.  And if someone you’re dining out with has been inexplicably lavish enough to have a room for the night, and not only a room, but a suite…  then by all means (it’s a long story, but sensible.)  Bring Christmas presents!  Settle in and have an enjoyable evening.

It was a one of a kind, and lovely, evening.  The perfect ending for a prayerful day.



Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

For obvious reasons, I don’t have a lot of time for blogging during the Advent and the Feast of Christmas. During the actual Christmas Season, from the 25th until January 6th or so, there’s a lot more time to be spent updating here and there.

But suffice it to say that despite the busyness, it was a marvelous time.

Here are a few things I learned this Christmas:

  • Making a reservation at the hotel where you’re going to be having dinner is ostensibly a great idea, until you forget to cancel the reservation and have to either pay for the room or stay in it.
  • There’s nothing wrong with staying in it, but it’s much more expensive than staying at one of your friend’s rectories.
  • It was very nice having a place in the city where friends could congregate and socialize. So, while I doubt I’ll be staying at the Roosevelt again anytime soon — if ever, even though it’s entirely lovely — it was a good way to spend Christmas night.

That’s about it for my social life. Now, back to my prayer life….

Merry Christmas! O Magnum Mysterium

Latin text

O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare
Dominum Christum.

English translation

O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.

The Rev. Kenneth Allen