Blessed Encounters

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I had two encounters today that made me very happy. The first took place after Mass. I was in the sacristy removing my vestments when a smiling lady entered and, with a delicious Irish brogue, introduced herself as Mary Marmion. Yes, Marmion — as in Blessed Columba Marmion, the Irish Benedictine Abbot whose writings have so influenced me for the past forty years . Mary Marmion Corden, a native of County Louth, Ireland, now living in Connecticut, is the great–great–grandniece of Blessed Abbot Marmion. Irish Sister Mary Marcella, O.S.B. joined us for a chat. I had the privilege of blessing Mrs. Corden, invoking the intercession of Blessed Columba Marmion, of course.

The second encounter took place in my favourite neighbourhood bakery, Bread and Chocolate on Whitney Avenue in Hamden, Connecticut. Bread and Chocolate is owned and operated by Jaime and Alejandra Zapata. I was standing at the counter talking with Jaime when a woman sitting in the restaurant heard me mention Rome. She identified herself as Jewish and said that she had visited Rome, seen Saint Peter's, the Vatican Museums, etc. Susan Berman then introduced me to her mother, an absolutely radiant older lady who immediately said to me, "I am a Holocaust Survivor."


She related something of her story. Until the Nazis forbade Jewish children to attend non–Jewish schools, her parents sent her to a Catholic Convent School. Later, she was obliged to attend an all–Jewish school at some distance from her home. She remembers seeing a great synagogue destroyed. After the Krystallnacht in 1938, she and her sister were sent to England as part of the famous Kindertransport. Her parents and youngest sister perished near the Polish border. I was astonished at the vivacity and wisdom of this lady: she said that world still had not learned its lesson, even after the Shoah, and spoke to me of the situation in Darfur. "The Lord bless her and keep her: the Lord make His Face to shine upon her, and be gracious to her: The Lord lift up his countenance upon her, and give her peace" (Num 6:24–26).


OK then, let us learn. Our Father is losing patience. He has given us an example in the students from Santa Clara (below.)

Your mentioning Darfur in your blogging is imperative. And as doubtless you have noticed, blogging volume regarding Darfur has plummeted. Thank you for your efforts.

We are hopelessly stalled in Saving Darfur. But it is only hopeless if we-the-citizens continue to be bystanders risking little or no cost to ourselves.

Please help promote what must fast become our role models; nothing less will stop the Genocide:
DARFUR HEROES: Santa Clara Univ Vigil & Fast

More Darfur Heroes at DARFUR Dying for Heroes

Thank you, Rosemary, Dave, Mary Rachel, Jay coming up on week three of
Rescue Darfur Fast-Till-Genocide-Stops

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

Donations for Silverstream Priory