UP Catholic 10 23 2015 E Edition Page 9

T his time of the year, I almost have to close the window shades in my office to get my work done. The autumn leaves of deep reds and the most intense yellows with amazing blue skies make it hard to stare at a computer monitor. For the first 15 or so years of my journalism career, the work was a lot more hands-on. I spent a lot of time in the darkroom developing film - from 35mm film for the photos to film the size of a newspaper page for the negatives we sent to the printer to produce the printing plates. Newspaper layout was a lot different then as well. The text was printed out in strips, which then had hot wax applied to the back before getting stuck onto paste-up boards. All of this hands-on work made for a physical connection with the freshly inked newspapers delivered from the printer. Now we take the photos with a digital cam- era, write and lay out our stories on a com- puter and send digital files to the printer. The emotional connection to the printed pages remains, but I miss the physical connection. A couple of years ago, Vickie and I started praying a rosary together on a regular basis. We're not real techies, but we can rarely be found without our iPhones on hand. We have a couple apps on our phones that contain all the prayers of the rosary as well as virtual beads to count the prayers. As we'd go from bead to bead on the phones, they would buzz and make a weird noise like a thunk as we moved from bead to bead. It wasn't the most edifying experience. These days we do it low tech. We keep one of those little ring rosaries in the glove box and I carry a rosary in my pocket ev- ery day. This year we've really taken to saying a rosary together at some scenic spot. When you live in a place as beautiful as this, you really should take advantage of it. We'll take a drive to the lake shore, Presque Isle or recently, the Dead River Basin. I'll admit that sitting on a park bench saying a rosary when a jogger goes by can make me feel a little self-conscious. But we're not making a spectacle of ourselves and we shouldn't be embarrassed about practicing our faith. There's something else about praying the rosary in a beau- tiful setting. The experience of touching the beads, saying the prayers and being in the presence of God's amazing creation feels very real. It connects, in a certain way, the spiritual and the physical. It's hands-on and it helps me to pray. D uring this pre-elec- tion time I am struck by the real- ity that all of the issues under discussion are symptoms of problems and failings but are not the real core issues. Of these issues I count the lack of respect and reverence for life and the pauci- ty of real heroes for our inspira- tion. There are plenty of fake heroes in our world of celeb- rities from the sports and entertainment worlds, many of whom make the gods on Mount Olympus look virtu- ous. But true heroes? How do we find heroes? From my own growing years I know that reading stories (biographies) of good people who made a difference for others was the most forma- tive gift my parents gave me. Heroes of faith, heroes in public life, everyday heroes who lived quietly and well. As the season of gift-giving nears may I suggest that you make sure to include some such inspirational reading for those you love. One of my contemporary heroes is Father Stanley Rother, a diocesan priest from the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. In June, 2015 a theological commis- sion at the Vatican formal- ly recognized that Father Stan's murder in Guatemala was a true martyrdom and therefore does not require a miracle for beatification. Stanley Rother was born in Okarche, Oklahoma, a few miles northwest of Oklaho- ma City, on March 27, 1935. His family were farmers; he spent all his growing years living on the farm, where he gained the knowledge and skills that equipped him to work among the poor in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. His parents were staunch Catholics, attending daily Mass along with all their farm chores. It is not sur- prising that in his early years Stan talked about becoming a priest. His seminary years were difficult. Often his superiors sent him to the farm area to repair machinery and do oth- er chores. This was not good; Stan needed all the time and help he could get for his studies so much so that he was eventually dismissed from the seminary because of poor grades. His father took him to talk to the bishop who assured them that his best priests were not his smartest priests. The bishop made sure that Stan had tutoring and the help that he needed. He was finally ordained on May 25, 1963. Here I find the Holy Spirit almost amusing - shortly after ordination one of the first actions of Vatican II was to give us the Mass in English so Stan did not need the Latin that had given him so much trouble! Now the Tz'utujil people of Guate- mala spoke a very difficult language which Father Stan mastered with relative ease! Father Stan served in several Oklahoma parishes but was one of the first to volunteer when the archdi- ocese accepted the mission in Guatemala. Of all the first missionaries sent Father Stan was the only one to persevere. Here he was a pastor! His work consisted of worship, education, service - despite the poverty of the people he was not a social activist. However, the Gospel is radical, and he and his cat- echists became targets of the anti-religious revolutionaries. In the summer of 1981 Father Stan visited his family and the archbishop who by then was Archbishop Charles Salatka, former bishop of Marquette. Although he wanted Father Stan to return to the archdiocese he saw Father Stan's sorrow at being asked to stay in the states and so he gave him permis- sion to go back. When asked why he wanted to return his answer was simple (yet so like Jesus). He said, the shepherd cannot run. During the night of July 28, 1981, three men broke into the rectory and there Father Stan was beaten and shot in the head. Father Stan is buried in his family plot in Okarche. However, his flock asked that his heart be returned to them and their request was grant- ed. Today a small shrine is located near where his mar- tyrdom took place and there his heart is enshrined. For more information, con- tact The Rother Guild, P.O. Box 32180, Oklahoma City, OK 73123. www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC October 23, 2015 9 Reverend Sebastian Kavumkal Your Parishioners & Staff of Holy Name of Mary - Proto Cathedral Sacred Heart Mission - Sugar Island Thank you Father Sebastian for leaving your home and country to help us all reach our ultimate homeland in heaven. You truly are a Man of God! Monsignor Michael Steber St. Peter Cathedral, Marquette I know my sheep and mine know me. Pastor....Shepherd.... Teacher.... Counselor... Father Thank you Monsignor Michael from your grateful parishioners. Faith is a hands-on experience We can find real heroes in our contemporaries HERE AM I John Fee REFLECTIONS FROM NORTHSTAR Regis Walling Video online! Visit www.youtube.com/ theupcatholic

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