From the Desk of Deacon Richard… Chesterton’s Café

From the Parish Bulletin for
Sunday, April 19, 2015
The Third Sunday of Easter


I have had this idea — or maybe you could call it a dream — for awhile of opening a restaurant that would feature gourmet soups, stews, and chili, plus fresh-baked bread. What would make it different is that when a person stops in and purchases lunch for him- or herself, the cost of the meal they buy also covers a bowl of the same soup and bread for a person who is homeless or hungry… essentially a buy-two-get-one plus the knowledge that you have just fed another human being.

Now, I have no idea if something like this could ever be able to generate sufficient income to keep its doors open and keep feeding people, which would be, I would think, the basic definition of success for a restaurant like this. Also, I should probably point out that I have no idea how to run a restaurant and am in no way qualified to do so. Aside from a short stint working in a fast food burger joint years ago when I was in high school, I have no experience in running a restaurant at all.

Still, I keep thinking about it and praying about it. And I feel like maybe the Holy Spirit is guiding me in it as the idea comes into more and more focus and takes on more shape. Father and I have discussed it and batted a few ideas around. We’ve even named it: Chesterton’s Café. It might be something that would be based at the parish, or it might not. It might involve a food truck, or with the regulations Kansas City puts in place it probably won’t — I found out this week it would take a total of 11 license to operate under such a model. And that’s not counting anything additional Raytown might add.

Will it ever happen and if it does, what form will it take? I have no idea. But I do know if it is truly inspired by the Holy Spirit that it will happen and it will happen in its own time and in the way it is suppose to happen… as long as I am open to the workings of the Spirit.

And this is true for all of us: if we are open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, then we will find ourselves guided to the path God intends for us. Our shortcomings won’t matter; what we don’t know won’t matter. When we are doing the work God intends, we will, as the psalm says, be guided in right paths. It has been rightly observed that God does not call the qualified, He qualifies those He has called.

Let us pray always for the grace to hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit and to answer God’s call.

Dcn. Richard

From the Desk of Deacon Richard

Dear Parish Family:

I caught myself using the very euphemistic phrase “those less fortunate” in an announcement in this week’s Bulletin when thanking the people who participated in giving Christmas gifts through the REAP Giving Tree. Upon thinking about that, I decided I really have neither the ability nor the desire to accurately judge the fortune of people whom I do no know, so I changed the phrase to the far more honest “other people.”

It is important to remember — to remind ourselves, and to remind each other — that a person’s true fortune cannot be measured in material goods. After all, isn’t a young couple newly married and working hard to establish themselves and yet possessing few luxuries and maybe even lacking some necessities fortunate in a true sense of the word?

I remember when Katei and I were a young couple and had only recently come to Kansas City hoping to find jobs; we relied on the charity of Katei’s sister to give us a place to live until we could find work. Were we homeless? Perhaps not in the classic sense, but we weren’t all that far away from it either. It took time to find work — the economy wasn’t all that good then, either, and it was when you still had to go through classified ads looking for something that might fit; there was no such thing as or online applications.

Katei found a job before I did. When she did, we filled the car with gas and went to Winstead’s, where we spent the last $5 we had on a Skyscraper Malt that we shared to celebrate. We were truly broke until that first paycheck came in… and then we both started getting paychecks, and then things changed. At no point, though, do I think we became more fortunate. Our true fortune is found in the gift God has given us of each other; material trappings are perhaps nice, but they pale in comparison to any true standard of what it means to be fortunate and to be blessed by God.

Dcn. Richard

The Fifth Little Pig


Why did the Little Pig cry “wee, wee, wee” all the way home? This is the sort of question that keeps me up at night. I have wondered for years what possessed the little pig to cry “wee! wee! wee!” all the way home. Turns out, there’s a reasonable explanation for it.

It seems that in the 1880 Little Folks Series book The History of the Five Little Pigs, there were – reasonably enough – five little pigs, the children of one Mrs. Pig. There is no accounting of the father of these little pigs, but the eldest son in the stories is called Mr. Pig. This would not have been nearly as uncomfortable in 1880 as it is in 2014.

Some of these pigs were wise; some of them were foolish. The author of this particular History does not speculate as to why this is; he simply seems to accept without question that it is the case and that such is natural. Nineteenth-century literature is chock full of prejudices such as this, especially as regards pigs, so this should come as little surprise. Then was not an enlightened time and people thought nothing of passing prejudicial judgment on pigs.

 It remains unclear as to whether or not charges were pressed against Farmer Grumpey.

The fifth and youngest Little Pig, at least according to this History, was particularly foolish. It seems the Little Pigs and Mrs. Pig lived in the vicinity of one Farmer Grumpey. It further seems that Farmer Grumpey was quite dictatorial as regards the administration of the land of his farm and he was loathe to allow anyone other than himself (and, perhaps, Mrs. Grumpey and any little Grumpeys that there might have been – the History’s author is silent as to whether or not Farmer Grumpey and Old Bachelor Grumpey are the same individual) fish on his part of the river.

One day, the Fifth Little Pig decided to engage in various outdoor activities and piscatorian pursuits, and although he had been warned not to fish on Farmer Gumpey’s holdings, this foolish (if we are to accept the opinion of the author of the History) pig ignored the warnings and presumably any posted signs that Farmer Grumpey might have had the foresight to post and went fishing.

The fishing that day was good, and the foolish Little Pig soon landed a large fish. However, he was discovered by Farmer Grumpey before making good his escape and was subsequently beaten with what the History’s author describes as “a great whip.”

Though the foolish Little Pig abandoned his fish and ran, Farmer Grumpey succeeded in catching him and,as the account reports, “laid his whip over his back for some time.”

As a result, the Little Pig ran off, crying “Wee, wee, wee,” all the way home. It remains unclear as to whether or not charges were pressed against Farmer Grumpey.

The Pelagian Drinking Song

Hilaire Belloc

Hilaire Belloc

Pelagius lived at Kardanoel
And taught a doctrine there
How, whether you went to heaven or to hell
It was your own affair.
It had nothing to do with the Church, my boy,
But was your own affair.

No, he didn’t believe
In Adam and Eve
He put no faith therein!
His doubts began
With the Fall of Man
And he laughed at Original Sin.
With my row-ti-tow
He laughed at original sin.

Then came the bishop of old Auxerre
Germanus was his name
He tore great handfuls out of his hair
And he called Pelagius shame.
And with his stout Episcopal staff
So thoroughly whacked and banged
The heretics all, both short and tall —
They rather had been hanged.

Oh he whacked them hard, and he banged them long
Upon each and all occasions
Till they bellowed in chorus, loud and strong
Their orthodox persuasions.
With my row-ti-tow
Their orthodox persuasions.

Now the faith is old and the Devil bold
Exceedingly bold indeed.
And the masses of doubt that are floating about
Would smother a mortal creed.
But we that sit in a sturdy youth
And still can drink strong ale
Let us put it away to infallible truth
That always shall prevail.

And thank the Lord
For the temporal sword
And howling heretics too.
And all good things
Our Christendom brings
But especially barley brew!
With my row-ti-tow
Especially barley brew!

— Hilaire Belloc

The Game of Fetch

Game of Fetch-FINAL-SR

Not many people know it, but Uncle Murphy invented the game of fetch. It used to be, people simply through sticks at dragons. Though the dragons were deeply offended by this, it made good sense to the people.  But, as Uncle Murphy saw the general movement away from dragons and to dogs for the role as Man’s Best Friend, Uncle Murphy thought it would be downright unfortunate to throw sticks at dogs.

Luckily, the dogs were very cooperative and did not mind chasing the sticks. Although it took some convincing initially to get them to pick up the sticks with their mouths, they eventually agreed since it was for the good of mankind and the game of fetch was born. Fortunately, the humans were much easier to train to play this new game than the dogs had been.

The dragons realized they were on the outs; they eventually decamped and, except for the dragonling Spud — who lives with Uncle Murphy not so much as a pet but more of as an accountant — emigrated far away from the humans. As they went, some of them could be heard to mutter, “We invent fire, and do they remember that? No. We tell them that gold is valuable, and do they remember that? No. We tell them the secret of eleven herbs and spices on their fried chicken, and do they remember that? NO! But you eat one virgin….