A trip around the Bend

I finished up my third McMenamins passport a couple weekends ago in Bend. It was really a very nice weekend. I drove over on Saturday and checked into my room at the Old St. Francis. The room itself was great! And the two new buildings on the property, including several secret rooms, made this terrific property even better. This might have been my favorite overnight at a McMenamins so far.

Mid-afternoon, I went to visit my friend, Angela, and her son, Henry. I’ve known Angela since we were in elementary school. We sat and chatted, took a walk along a scenic river path in town, then had dinner at Jackson’s Corner, a local favorite.

I returned to the hotel and did a bit more wandering around until some other friends were freed up to meet me for drinks. Nori, Nori’s boyfriend, John, Brian, and Amy came out and the five of us enjoyed an evening of conversation, drink, and really just being together. Taking advantage of the fact that I was staying the night at the same location where we were imbibing, I indulged with a White Russian, a beer flight, a pint of cider, and two Old Fashioneds. The Old Fashioneds were made with an apple whiskey which I found to be particularly good.

Sunday morning, I got up to walk across the street for Mass, but I’d gotten my information mixed up and there was not Mass at this location at this time. I returned to the hotel, had breakfast and checked out. I stopped in Sisters on the way home and attended Mass at St Edwards there.
When I got back into my car following Mass, I turned on the Vikings game. Ugh. The trainwreck that would be their first loss of the season was underway. Perhaps mercifully, the trip through the mountains would prevent me from listening to the game.

Finally, that afternoon, I caught a ride with Brit to our gaming session in McMinnville. It was a good session wherein Filibert got to kick much ass and even revivify a fallen comrade.


You know, life after derby might not be so empty after all.

St. Paul – Day 3

Yesterday I checked out the Church of the Assumption.

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And this morning I attended Mass at the Cathedral of St. Paul.

IMG_2323IMG_2324IMG_2325 IMG_2326 IMG_2327 IMG_2328 IMG_2330 IMG_2331IMG_2348St. MatthewSt. MarkSt. LukeSt. JohnSt. AnthonySs, Cyril and MethodiusSt. TereseSt. BonifaceSt. PatrickSt. John the BaptistSt. PaulIMG_2350IMG_2353

The Cathedral was really beautiful, but as I should have expected, the service was quite sterile and lifeless. A soprano so ‘well-trained’ that I couldn’t understand a word she was singing. And music selections clearly chosen to be artistically beautiful, but not especially singable by the assembly. Why bother, we’re really just an afterthought anyway.

Vindication and apology due

This story is years late in the telling.

Throughout my 20s, I had in my circle(s) of friends, numerous supporters/advocates of the LIFE TEEN program.
I was not one of these supporters.

LIFE TEEN was (is?) a youth program centered around the celebration of the Mass. Typically, a parish would identify one weekend Mass, usually Sunday night, as a LIFE TEEN or ‘youth’ Mass which would be followed by the LIFE Night (youth group meeting). At the Mass, the homily, music, and pretty much everything else was prepared with an eye towards appealing to and connecting with teenagers. So, for example, the music was often led by a band and the songs that were selected would, as many times as not, come from hits on Contemporary Christian Radio. Teens would fill all the ministerial roles (except presider), regardless of their ability to do well at that role. During the Eucharistic Prayer, teens (and only teens) would be invited to come up around the altar, presumably to help them feel closer to Christ. Because as we all know, proximity equals depth of spiritual and emotional connection. At the end of Mass, LIFE TEEN replaced the dismissal text, “The Mass is ended, go in Peace.” with “The Mass never ends, it must be lived.” Frequently, hand gestures were proscribed to accompany some of the ritual music or other moments in the Mass. And there were, perhaps, many other local flavors to the way a LIFE TEEN Mass was done.

Well, I alone among my friends did not approve of all these things that were being done, starting with the very concept of a ‘youth’ Mass. I believe that all Masses are for all people. To single out a group and make a Mass (especially a weekly Mass) focus on or dedicated to that group denies the universality of Mass. Supporters of these things will say that separate but equal is sufficient; as long as everybody has a Mass that they can go to, we can carve out one for that most vulnerable of groups, teens. I have also heard, many times, that this or that parish has several Masses for adults, what’s wrong with having just this one for teens? My position, of course, is that those other Masses aren’t just for adults, they’re for everybody.

Although I didn’t have a particular objection to people going up into the sanctuary for the Eucharistic Prayer, I felt it was wrong to only invite some of the people who’d gathered for Mass. Because, you see, most of the people in attendance were not teens but adults, the parents and supporters of teens. Ignoring the majority of the gathered faithful was a recurring theme at LIFE TEEN Masses. I remember attending the very first LIFE TEEN Mass at St. Anthony’s in Manteca, CA. The presider had what must have seemed like a clever way of resetting the room for Communion. Following the Eucharistic Prayer, to clear the sanctuary, the priest invited the assembled teens to exchange with one another a sign of peace, and then to go back out to the pews to exchange a sign of peace with everyone else. I and the rest of the adults there for Mass weren’t invited to exchange a sign of peace; we were an afterthought, a prop to get the teens back away from the altar.

Anyway, my friends had no issues with any of this. As long as we were doing everything we could think of to coddle and cater to the little darlings (teens), we could do no wrong. No such thing as abuse in service to the greater good. We would often argue about the legitimacy of the practices of LIFE TEEN. I was always alone on my side of the issue whereas supporters of LIFE TEEN would close ranks against me.

Then, in 2004, LIFE TEEN, the formal organization, was called to task by bishops and other officials in the Church. They were to stop calling teens up around the altar and saying, “The Mass never ends…” at the end of Mass. So we have at least a partial correction, one which eliminates the most visible of the abuses.

I think these friends of mine owe me an apology.


I don’t even know if LIFE TEEN is really around any more or if it retains any of the cachet that it seemed to have 15 years ago. The lasting effect for me is that I feel like my friendships really suffered. I was never part of the “in” crowd. I was aware that my friends often gathered to celebrate and share their faith, but I was seldom invited. I suppose I needed different friends. As a result of moving (and possibly something that led to me moving), I am not friends with any of these people any more. I wish things could have been different because many of them are great people.

As is typical for me, the impetus to write this up and post it has evaporated as a result of writing it. Cathartic I suppose. Nevertheless, I’ll post it as a record and reminder of what I was feeling and thinking.


A song that we used to sing that helped me get through some of the times of strained relationships is Press On (written by Bob Filoramo).

For the man who follows Jesus all the days of his life, picks up his cross and walks with his God, a glorious inheritance awaits him at the end where he will see and know his true Father, and the pearl of great price is in his hand.

So as for me I will press on in running the race with my eyes fixed on Jesus who inspires and perfects my faith, I will fight the good fight with all my heart and soul ‘til the day that I’m with Jesus, the day I’m finally home, the day that I have won the crown.

He will approach the throne of his Father with Jesus at his side, the Father will rise and say, “Welcome home! You’re a good and faithful servant, come in and take your reward. The battle’s done come, and take your rest. Stay with me for evermore”.


And the heavens will resound with a thunder of praise, the Angels and the Saints will shout for joy. And the Father will dance for his son has come home. Another warrior returns from the fight. Another victory for the Lamb of God.


Salem, day 2

After having been up since just after midnight (and that was following about 2.5 hours of sleep), I finally went to sleep last night around 11:30. I slept until 9:30 this morning and let me tell you, that felt good.

Today I felt a bit better. Part of that was due to all the running around I got myself into. Being busy is a good distraction from feeling sorry for myself.
Places I stopped at today include:

  • DMV
  • Skippers (for lunch)
  • Steam Heat (a coffee shop in Keizer)
  • St. Edward’s Church
  • Way the heck south of town to look for a computer repair shop
  • Fred Meyer’s
  • Fortress Computer Repair (not the place I was originally looking for)
  • Wholesale Sports Outfitters
  • Worksource Oregon
  • Best Buy (terrible customer service)
  • back to St. Edward’s for daily Mass
  • and finally back home

The other reason that I’m feeling better today is that I got my computer set up and connected to the internet. A small measure of comfort and familiarity has been restored.

I smell like smoke

Got up at 6 AM this morning when I received a phone call from Jose asking about how to unlock the gate behind the community center. Too damn early! By 7 AM, I was down there to help get the day going. The bbqing and sales went well; at one point I even had to go get 50 more lbs of meat. Even with that, we ran out after the noon Mass. So sorry 2:00 Mass.

In the middle of it all, I had to step away and do the music for the 10 AM. You know what? I fricking rock at leading music for Mass. Mike is a way better guitarist than me, but I kick ass at leading.

Went for my run tonight. Was a bit harder than I’d like. Part of the problem his how arid the weather is. It gets difficult to breathe as my throat dries out. Despite my poverty, I’ll have to see about getting a hydration belt or something. Carp.


Tonight, we had another meeting to discuss and plan the implementation of the New Translation of the Roman Missal. I think it was a good meeting. It was Fr. Ramon, Deacon Jose, John, Jody, Cynthia, and me. We talked about how it went last week and whether we wanted to continue with the plan. We also talked about the selection of a new setting of the Mass. Last month, I had suggested and hoped that we would agree that the entire parish should use one common Mass setting for at least the first year. However, last month, that was not everyone’s position.

Fast forward to tonight. Fr. Ramon thought that we had agreed last month to use one setting for all the English Masses, so he was sort of pushing that course of action. There was still a little resistance, but I do believe that the consensus os that we will indeed all be using a common setting of the Mass. Yay!

We also revisited the choice of assembly resource in the pews. It looks like we will be ditching United in Christ for either Breaking Bread or the Music Issue. That too is good news.

All weekend in a day

Wow. Today was busy. Busy but fun.

This morning, the 10 AM English Mass moved to the new church. It was oh so familiar to me, but it was really new for Mike. After Mass, he went on and on about how I really stepped up and saved the day for the group. At the risk of being overly modest, I didn’t do anything that he won’t be fully up to speed with in two weeks. Still, it’s nice to be appreciated. I’d say that music went well. We have lots of room in which to get better, but it was a solid start and I am very much looking forward to the weeks ahead!

Right after Mass, Cathy, Joey, and I went to the California Ballroom to watch the Modesto Portuguese Pentecost Association parade and then have some sopas. In all the years that I’ve gone to festas, I’d never had sopas before. Well, that streak has ended. It was pretty good. I LOVE all the cultural shiz!

Spent four hours over at the House of Robot Pets playing the new Star Trek game that Ross and Mike have created. It went pretty well. It calls for a lot of creativity from the players. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll stick with the game, but it was fun.

Then back to the festa for dinner. More sopas. I scored a pair of tickets to the bullfights tomorrow. w00t! After dinner, I sat and enjoyed the music of a group from Terceira, even though I had no idea what they were saying. I stayed for a bit of the dance, but as I had no dance partners, I left before 10.

Finally, I managed to get in my run for the day. 3.65 miles in 41 minutes. This was 5 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking, rinse and repeat. Not sure why it should surprise me, but breathing while running is getting easier. 🙂

Tomorrow: the bullfights!

Rain in June

What great weather this weekend! Rain off and on. Of course, I love the cool weather. Thank you global warming!

Mass this morning went well. It was the last time in the old church. Next week, the schedule changes and we’ll be in the new church. About time! It seems like there is some general consensus about how to move forward. That’s good. I’m tired of fighting.

Went for my run this afternoon. A total of four miles in intervals of 3 minutes running, 1 minute walking over 50 minutes. Then I cooked a steak for dinner. Yum.

Here’s another lipdub. My friend, Betty, shared this earlier today.

Flagpole Sitta

Met Mike and walked through the use of the sound system at the new church today. I am excited for the schedule change and moving forward. I’ve been listening to some of the new Mass settings that can be used starting in December. Mike and I are leaning toward the Mass of Renewal by Curtis Stephan. It seems really singable and moves right along. We’ll continue to listen to this and other settings for a bit, but I suspect that we’ve got a winner.

Five of us playtested a new game that Ross and Mike (different Mike) have created. It’s set in the Star Trek universe. I thought it went pretty well. It’s still in alpha testing, but it went smoothly enough. Good times.

Got word today that Starbuck is in for September! w00t!!

Went running tonight. Did about 3.5 miles in <35 minutes. It’s getting easier. 🙂

Really tired for some reason tonight. Off to bed.

But first, enjoy this lip dub.


Lip Dub – Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger from amandalynferri on Vimeo.


Tonight was my last meeting as Grand Knight. I’m relieved to be done, but I wish I could have accomplished more. Hopefully I accomplished SOMETHING! I am apprehensive about Bill taking over starting next month. His attendance sucks and I don’t expect that it will be improving much. 🙁

This was a short work week. Monday was a holiday and as is true all summer, I have Fridays off. I’m very glad to be off tomorrow. I plan to meet Mike at the church to go over the use of the sound system, head to a different Mike’s house to playtest a new game, and finally, do my 10K training tomorrow evening.

Plans for September seem to be coming together. Exciting! So far, Rizza is coming for Jeff’s wedding, Dave (and hopefully Rizza and Starbuck) is coming to hike up Half-Dome. The possible plan is to run the 10K on the 17th, do some wine tasting on the 17th/18th, spend a day on the lake on the 19th, and go to Yosemite from the 20th through the 22nd. Much of this may not come to pass, but it sure is fun to plan!

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