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Pope Francis' Holy Land Triumph


The image, understandably, went viral. Pope Francis had just finished praying at the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism and, just so, one of the holiest sites in Christendom. This last remnant of the Temple loomed above him as he prayed silently, then placed a note into one of the crevices of the wall. So far, the image recalled the earlier images of Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI doing the same.

Memorial Day


Growing up in a small town, Memorial Day was a big deal, the day our town hosted its own parade. When I was very little, I was mostly excited by the fire trucks that always took part in the parade down Main Street. Later on, Memorial Day’s focus was on making sure my trombone was polished and oiled, so I could join our school’s band in what I am sure were some ear-splittingly painful renditions of the national anthem and other patriotic songs.

English Organs


There is just something about English organs that makes me happy and I have never been able to identify it. The North German and Dutch organs are rightly renowned for the bright voicing of their diapason chorus and their earthy reeds. The great French Romantic organs are known for the warmth of their tone, especially the soft string stops in the swell. Late nineteenth century U.S. organs often have a diapason chorus that is as rich as chocolate cake.

Left Goes Bonkers on Benghazi


Yesterday, I turned on the television at lunch and watched The Reid Report. Host Joy Reid was downright truculent when interviewing Congresswoman Linda Sanchez over the decision of House Dems to agree to appoint people to the special committee investigating what happened in Benghazi when four Americans were killed in a terrorist attack. Evdiently, Reid and others on the left think the Dems should have boycotted the panel. This is crazy.

Pope Francis in the Holy Land


The Holy Father arrives in the Holy Land today. It is difficult to imagine an apostolic trip that will be more loaded with symbolism, as we witnessed in the visits of Francis’ predecessors to Jerusalem and its environs. Who can forget the image of Pope Paul VI walking through the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem or standing by the windswept shore of the Sea of Galilee? Or of St. Pope John Paul II praying at the Western Wall? Or of Pope Emeritus Benedict at Yad Vashem? Pope Francis will add to that litany of memorable moments and memories in a land already filled with both.


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August 15-28, 2014


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