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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

uh oh

Oh dear.

Although I am always tickled pink to find Catholic clergy and religious with their noses to the fund raising for a worthy cause grindstone, especially in these days when the really good work they do is buried under the weight of the sins of a few, this is not the news I wanted to hear.

"Catholic Priest Floats Away on Party Balloons."

Oh dear.

It seems Father Carli, down there in Brazil, was trying to raise money for a spiritual truck stop. That was a really good idea. Sometimes the truckers there have to wait for hours and hours at the docks for their shipments to come in and load. What a lovely thought that the men could spend that time in prayer! Better than many of the alternatives. Very many. Of the alternatives.

But, to raise this money, Father Carli decided to try to break the world's record of the longest flight with party balloons tied to a chair. I'm not clear on just how this was going to raise money. Maybe people were involved in a pool as to where he would land, or just taking bets on whether the balloons would lift him or not.

Father Carli zoomed into the sky in his party balloon chair, disappeared into the clouds and has yet to be found. He wasn't totally hair brained. He had one of those tracking devices like you have in your SUV, a thermal suit, a floaty chair. I hope he had lunch. His chances are good, as the water is really warm right now.

We're praying for the intercession of St. Anthony.

Today's question:
Is there a patron saint for people trying to lose weight? I could use all the help I can get...
Thank you and God bless!

Sure there is! There are two ways you can go.

A fat saint: Thomas Aquinas. More than one priest that I know, when they want to
answer the question "how fat was he?", will answer with, "as fat as Thomas Aquinas." Although I have heard that St. Thomas had some sort of unfortunate glandular issue that caused him much suffering, the fact is he was fat. Very fat. Famously fat. He cut a semi circle in the dining table so he could sit closer.

"Fatty fatty two by four,
can't get through the kitchen door. "
One of my mother's favorite poems.

Here's another:
Here lies the body of Anna,
done to death by a banana.
It wasn't the fruit that made her go,
but the skin of the thing that laid her low.

Or my all time favorite:
Of all the dumb surprises,
there's none that can compare,
with stepping in the darkness
on a step that isn't there.

You have to think about that one for a second.

I digress.

So...Thomas Aquinas, who was called, "The Dumb Ox" in school and who became a Doctor of the Church, in fact, one of the greatest Doctors of the Church ever, would be a good way to go.

Or you could go in the other direction, a really thin saint, with St. Catherine of Sienna. She had to have been very thin. It has been said that she survived for long periods of time with only the Host to sustain her. She didn't sleep much either.

And she didn't live very long.

But for sticking to a diet, who could be better? And on top of that, she is a Doctor of the Church as well! There are only three woman who have that title, two Theresa's (St. Theresa the Little Flower and Teresa of Avila) and Catherine.

Hope this helps!

And for Father Carli, instead of the usual, "Holy Tony come on down, something's lost and can't be found", we're going with this prayer, written shortly after the death of St. Anthony, by one of his contemporaries, Julian of Spires:

The sea obeys and fetters break
And lifeless limbs thou dost restore
While treasures lost are found again
When young or old thine aid implore.




Barb said...

Thank you!!!

beaucetinha said...


Greetings from Brazil.

They're still looking for Father Carli. Thank you for praying for him. Any breaking news, I'll let you know.

(Love you blog!)


Anonymous said...

Just a thought, but isn't counting on the proceeds of gambling a sin? So if they were taking bets on where he would land in order to raise money, then wouldn't the prayer truck-stop be built on sin? I've always wondered about this, even in my own parish...


Robert said...

Thank you sister for plugging two superb Dominicans! I'd never thought of asking the help of the Saints for my weight problem, but as a lay Dominican myself this really should have been a no brainer for me. I think I'll go with St Thomas, since we are both fat men who try to wrestle with truth. I can only hope that one day, like him, the Lord may bless my efforts.

Faith said...

Gambling isn't a sin, is it? I thought that was a Baptist thing? Catholics can gamble as long as they are not using money that should have gone for the mortgage or groceries. In other words, in moderation.

If gambling is a sin than my parish growing up sinned a lot to raise money. We had bingo, roulette wheels and a raffle (for a car that was donated by a local dealership) every year at the Parish Bazaar. It was the highlight of the year!

Jeannette said...

Someone's gambling problem destroyed a family marriage. Gambling problems increase when states legalize it. I don't think raffles would cause someone with a gambling problem to relapse at your parish picnics. I wonder about bingo though.

RadioPie said...

What about St. Jude as a patron for weight loss? - if you're big enough to be concidered to be a "lost cause." I finally joined a gym (ironically at the local Jewish community centre...) I told my family and they actually laughed at me, assuming I was joking.

Hyla Waldron said...

Cute Blog!

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

My tombstone is gonna read: "Here lies me, Laura. I was scared half to death...twice."

Faith said...

Hi Jeanette, out of control gambling can do lots of destruction, so can out of control everything; like drinking or working or shopping. But in moderation, none of these are sins.

Monica said...


My tombstone will read "I told you I was tired."

Elizabeth said...

Sr., I have a question for you off this topic, but I'm not sure how to send it to you other than a comment.

Is there any resource you know of that has information on different religious orders and their habits?

In my childhood parish, we had a convent of Sisters of Saint Joseph. Our current parish has a Franciscan sister. But at a public school event tonight we saw a child's family with a sister in a habit of mostly white with turquoise. It made us curious how to find out what order it would be. I teach children in our religious educations classes and they are curious about the different habits, since they only see one regularly.
If you have any suggestions, I would love to share it. Our priest and visiting seminarians do a good job of encouraging vocations, and it would be good for the girls to know that there are a lot of different orders. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Dear Elizabeth,

I suspect that the religious you saw in white and turquoise is a member of the Intercessors of the Lamb religious community. I have seen them at a few Catholic conferences and their habit is very distinct.

berenike said...

It seems it is true that St Thomas would never have made it as a jockey, but "Thomas Aquinas was a humungous lump of lard" thing is an attempted slur started I believe by ole Martin Luther, including the cut-out place at table.

Jez said...

I think you should check out this Jesus puppet:
what are your thoughts? Is it sacrilegious? I think it's cute.

Lola said...

I think I'm going to Offer it UP when I reach for that cookie, I'm going to Offer it Up when I'd rater surf the internet than go for a walk.

The excess pounds I need to lose, just might help the holy souls in purgatory as I Offer It Up as a way to get healthy. Maybe I'll even leave a smaller "carbon footprint".
I'll say a decade for The brave Fr. Carli as I walk today. He has lots to do on the ground, like complete the Trucker's chapel and hear a bunch of confessions.

Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration.

BTW any suggestions on how to celebrate Pentecost Sunday?

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

Sister, I thought that St. Edith Stein was also named a Doctor of the Church???
Thank you for your wonderful blog.


Sister Mary Martha said...

Nope. Not yet, anyhow: