Monday, June 29, 2009

Arrivederci Saint Peter's

Dear family of God's faithful people at Saint Peter's in Olney, Maryland,

“First you will see me, then you will not see me, then you will see me again.” With these words Our Lord refers to His Paschal Mystery and instructs us to look forward in hope to His coming again at the final judgment. In a less serious vein, these words apply very well to my own life here among you, the blessed people of God at Saint Peter’s. You have seen quite a few priests come and go in the same way you saw me arrive last June and now see me departing one year later. If you think it’s rough being a “trainer parish” sometimes, try being the trainee! Through all this you accepted with faith, persevered in hope, and supported with prayers and actions of love. You have been a tremendous solace, an example, and a true family of faith.

“I am a pilgrim on the earth, like all my fathers before me”. These words of the Psalms well describe the life each one of us enter into upon our baptism as people of faith who do not find here on earth a lasting city. Our thoughts are above, with Christ the Lord, seated at God’s right hand. The Archdiocese is rich in people but sometimes not so wealthy when it comes to workers for the vineyard. For this reason our leaders must be careful to distribute God’s gifts prudently and wisely among His people. This often necessitates the transfer of our priests. I promised obedience to Cardinal Hickey, and all his successors, at my ordination. In this, as in all matters of obedience, it is the Lord whom I truly serve and obey. In this way I also truly serve His people in a more generous expression of His love.

As people of Faith, we above all others have a right to say:”See you again!” We sincerely mean it, as we all look forward to our heavenly home reunion at the end of our pilgrim way on earth. I say the same, and truly hope that it will be sooner rather than later. You can catch up on my pastoral and military experiences anytime by visiting my blog, A Priest Life.

I have often said in jest, and do so now, “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now” as our Lord did upon departing from His Apostles. How wonderful are the riches of wisdom, knowledge and grace that the Lord has yet to reveal to us in the journey ahead! For this reason we are hopeful in Christ, as our Holy Father Benedict so beautifully and so often invites us to be. May He always be your hope and mine, all the days of our lives!

Arrivederci, “Until we see each other again”,

Father Cusick

(Photo by Michal Sajnog : The morning walk up to the church for holy Mass.)

News from the tomb of Saint Paul

Yesterday, in Rome at the Basilica of Saint Paul-Outside-the-Walls, the Holy Father revealed some exciting news. Special instruments were used to extract material from the traditional tomb of Saint Paul for tests and Pope Benedict revealed the results to the world. First, in Italian:

"Inoltre, piccolissimi frammenti ossei, sottoposti all’esame del carbonio 14 da parte di esperti ignari della loro provenienza, sono risultati appartenere a persona vissuta tra il I e il II secolo. Ciò sembra confermare l’unanime e incontrastata tradizione che si tratti dei resti mortali dell’apostolo Paolo."

My rough translation:

"Very small bone fragments, place under carbon 14 tests on the part of experts, have resulted in being understood to be of a person who lived between the first and second centuries. This seems to confirm the unanimous and incontrovertible tradition that treats these as the mortal remains of the Apostle Paul."

It was also revealed last weekend that archaeologists working in one of the catacombs at Rome have uncovered what is believed to be the oldest extant image of Saint Paul. More on that here.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

PriestYear Intention

That all priests may open their hearts and minds to learn from the humble thoughts and holy words of the Vicar Priest of Christ on earth, our Holy Father Benedict.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Moving: "I am a pilgrim on the earth..."

"... like all my fathers before me."

None of us have a permanent home here on earth, and the Psalm reminds us to keep our eternal destiny ever before us. Transfers arising for the sake of work, to a new home or as part of our chosen vocation also provide signposts on our way to the Father.

Thank you, Kane Office Movers! "Phase One" complete.

Somebody asked me today, "How many phases are there?" The answer? "Depends."

PriestYear Intention

Pray for those who pray for priests: visit Daughters of Mary, Spiritual Mothers of The Priesthood.

Please send special or particular intentions to be shared. No names please.

Thank you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

PriestYear Intention

That priests will open heart and mind to Christ and His truth and thus never "misguide others with their private doctrines"as Benedict sought in his Homily for Vespers to open the Year for Priests.

In photo Bishop Rifan and priests offer Pontifical Mass in NYC. Thanks to Rorate Caeli.

Monday, June 22, 2009

PriestYear Intention

Please pray for priests moving to new assignments in these days.

BXVI to priests:

"You are my friends if you do what I command you (Jn 15: 14). Let this be our common resolution: all of us together, to do his holy will, in which lies our freedom and our joy."

Send your intentions for priests to mcitl DOT blogspot DOT com AT gmail DOT com.
No names, please.

Thank you.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Jesus Christ Eternal High Priest, sanctify our priests!

«Fedeltà di Cristo, fedeltà del sacerdote»
[O]ur needs, our limits and weaknesses must lead us anew to the Heart of Jesus. If it is in fact true that sinners, by contemplating Him, must learn from Him the necessary "sorrow of sins" that leads them to the Father, this is even more true for sacred ministers.

How to forget, regarding this, that nothing makes the Church, Body of Christ, suffer so much as the sins of her shepherds, above all of those who turn into "robbers of sheep" (John 10, 1), either because they misguide them with their private doctrines, or because suffocate them within snares of sin and of death? Even for us, dear priests, the call to conversion and to recourse to Divine Mercy holds true, and we ought also to present with humility to the Heart of Jesus the request that He preserves us from the terrible risk of harming those whom we are bound to save.
Benedict XVI

Very best wishes to Archbishop-elect Augustine Di Noia, O.P.

Some indicators of the reason for my joy in anticipating the 11 July archiepiscopal ordination of Father Augustine Di Noia, O.P., at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.:

"I think the liturgy should give us a sense of the heavenly liturgy; it's about God, not us," DiNoia said.

Looking at liturgy today, Archbishop-designate DiNoia said, "The great danger is when the focus is on the celebrating community" rather than on God.

Archbishop-elect Di Nois has been appointed secretary at the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

Many best wishes. Tanti auguri!

For more information, please visit The New Liturgical Movement.

Friday, June 19, 2009

War Memorial, Fordham University Church

I invite readers to take a look at the news item on Fordham Notes blog in regard to the restored doors of Fordham University Church, the author's alma mater. The bronze decorations celebrate the veterans of every service sent forth by the University to defend our Nation. The author is also a graduate of Fordham University's Army ROTC program, receiving a commission as a second lieutenant of Armor in May 1984.

Thanks to Sean McCooe, FCRH 84 classmate and blog follower, for bringing attention to this item.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Father's Day

The family gathering was held near the boat and Bay a week early to accommodate the schedule of the priest in the family. Thanks, Mom.


Daughter and grandson


Youngest grandchild contemplating the view of the Bay and the harbor. Despite appearances, she hasn't quite yet graduated to mental prayer; in reality she is suffering the penalty of a "time out" imposed by her parents.

Friday, June 12, 2009

In the garden: "How lovely is thy dwelling place"

How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! * my soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my flesh * have rejoiced in the living God.
For the sparrow hath found herself a house, * and the turtledove a nest for herself where she may lay her young ones:

Thy altars, O Lord of hosts, * my king and my God.
Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, O Lord: * they shall praise thee for ever and ever.
Blessed is the man whose help is from thee: * in his heart he hath disposed to ascend by steps, in the vale of tears, in the place which he hath set.
For the lawgiver shall give a blessing, they shall go from virtue to virtue: * the God of gods shall be seen in Sion.
O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: * give ear, O God of Jacob.
Behold, O God our protector: * and look on the face of thy Christ.
For better is one day in thy courts * above thousands.
I have chosen to be an abject in the house of my God, * rather than to dwell in the tabernacles of sinners.
For God loveth mercy and truth: * the Lord will give grace and glory.
He will not deprive of good things them that walk in innocence:

O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
-- Psalm 83

(The garden revealed some pleasant surprises upon the most recent inspection. A robin family has constructed quite a solid nest in the grape vine arbor and the preoccupied parents of these young ones in potens protested my presence loudly and persistently. The vine itself, about three years old, is bearing fruit for the first time this year.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

La Bicicletta

Off to the hospital on my donated Dutch conveyance for the usual Wednesday visit.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fordham Class of '84 Jubilee

Fordham University church

Rose Hill splendor

555 suitemates Kevin, Kevin, Tom and John

Phil, Kevin, Laura, Smaragda, and Sheila

Keating Hall by night and decked for Jubilee

Gothic and gargoyle: Fordham University church

Laura with butterfly balloons on Ed's Parade

After the '84 class Mass 6 June in Dealy chapel, from left to right: Unknown, Sean, Smags, Phil, Gloria, Terri, Joanne, Tom, Kathy, ?, Fr. Kevin and Angela

The class of '84 "breakfast club" Sunday morning. Top row, left to right: Cecilia, Phil, Claude, Kevin, Ed and Smags. Bottom row, left to right: Nathalie, Kevin, Laura and Sheila.

Fordham seal emblazoned balloons around campus

Saturday, June 6, 2009

To the Fordham Class of 1984: "Thank God! Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things He has done."

Dear Fordham Class of '84,

"Thank God! Give him the praise and the glory. Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things he has done for you, by blessing and extolling his name in song. Honor and proclaim God's deeds, and do not be slack in praising him.”

Today we, members of the Fordham University class of 1984,celebrate our 25th anniversary. While we gladly join in the fun of seeing one another again and recounting the events and people that have filled our lives in these intervening years, we also come to this point in time with mixed emotions. Marking 25 years since our graduation together from this wonderful place of grace, learning and growth can bring to mind many events, some pleasant and others not so. Some of our class members have died and we will pray for them together here this morning. Others have not found time so kind a companion as perhaps others among us. We see then that time is not always a welcome guest in our lives.

Are there not some who see time merely in terms of loss: loss of youth, beauty, choices and blissful ignorance as well? Are we not tempted also sometimes to see our lives in these mere worldly terms and to experience a sense of loss as we look back over the years? Time has also brought tragedy to some, as parents, spouses or children suffer illness and are sometimes, tragically, taken from us far too soon. Is it not true that sometimes we find ourselves wishing we could turn back the clock so we could be exactly as we were in 1984, young and carefree, full of energy and facing a world and future seemingly filled with endless opportunities?

What does it mean for us to mark this Jubilee? Should it not somehow be for us more than simply one year among many which happens to bring with it the excuse to return to Fordham and reminisce? How must we, as people of faith gathered in Christ this morning to worship Him, the Lord of history, engage in this exercise of looking back? Can we do so for a higher purpose of more than merely counting the years that have passed?

In these days of Pentecost, in which the Church celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit, our Holy Father Benedict has invited us to see ourselves as more than the sum of a number of activities the age brought by passing years. In his homily for the Sunday of Pentecost he said,

“If we do not want Pentecost to be reduced to a mere ritual or to a suggestive commemoration, but that it be a real event of salvation, through a humble and silent listening to God's Word we must predispose ourselves to God's gift in religious openness. So that Pentecost renew itself in our time, perhaps there is need -- without taking anything away from God's freedom [to do as he pleases] -- for the Church to be less "preoccupied" with activities and more dedicated to prayer.”

I think the same might be said about our 25th anniversary of graduation from Fordham. If we want our lives and the lives of those we love to be more than a mere commemoration on this anniversary, we must see ourselves and our lives less in terms of mere activity and more through the grace of Faith, as God’s people dedicated to prayer and praise. That is, we must see ourselves as spiritual as well as physical. We are spiritual beings created by God and therefore with a need to be profoundly open to His Spirit by means of prayer and praise. Our holy Mass this morning provides the most excellent means of doing this.

In the Scriptures proclaimed today we are invited by Raphael, who speaks for the living God, to “acknowledge the many good things he has done for you.” In order to do this, we must look back upon our lives and we must choose to see the intervention of God. We have blessed by a Fordham education and formation, some have sought further education, we hope that all have found meaningful and productive work, some have gotten married or ordained, and in the most beautiful work of cooperation with God, some have brought children, both spiritually as priests and naturally as parents, into the world.

As men and women of faith we are able to see all that is good in our lives as a gift from a loving God. This too is how we can mark the years that have gone by and we can respond by giving God “the praise and the glory”.

Is this not what we have been given to do by Christ as we have celebrated and prayed by means of our faith at Sunday Mass and on other occasions in our parish and family life? In Christ, the Lord of history and king of creation, risen from the dead, all time and all beings are recreated. All things each day are made new, but never more so than when we, dedicated to prayer as our Holy Father urges, experience the new Pentecost of Faith. In Christ what we do becomes more than merely activities that fill our days and years but nothing less than a foretaste of future glory with He who has gone before us and prepared a place for us.

The real intervention of Christ in our lives as incarnate God who shared with us everything but sin, brings out of our faithful experience of worship and prayer the new creation of the Spirit as we cry out “Abba”, Father. We do this only in Christ, only in the Spirit and thus always in the love of God the heavenly Father. In Christ, then, the days and years become for us much more than merely sand passing through the hourglass, as it were, but a foretaste of heavenly glory itself. In Christ, all time and all history are redeemed, made new, and we ourselves as well. Therefore, “do not be slack in praising Him” – use all that you have and are in doing so!

Perhaps more important than any other way we could celebrate 25 years as Fordham grads is this holy Mass in which we include God in our lives, acknowledging His role in all that the years have brought, pray for ourselves and our families, intercede for the dead and look forward to eternal life. It is Christ in word and Sacrament, truly ours in this liturgy, who never fails to bring joy into all of our lives, for it is Christ whom we here invite, for whom we make room, who has been present with us all of these years and will accompany us as we go forward in hope and love.

“Give God the praise and the glory.Before all the living,acknowledge the many good things he has done for you,by blessing and extolling his name in song.Honor and proclaim God's deeds,and do not be slack in praising him.”

Happy 25th anniversary, Fordham Class of 1984!

(This morning at ten o'clock I will deliver these remarks as I celebrate holy Mass with members of the Fordham University Class of 1984.)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Awesome priest

... and amico.

Father Carlos of Newark joined me for cena on Friday at Mario's on Arthur Avenue, The Bronx.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Moroccan culture celebrates color and beauty through mosaic art at the Agadir airport.

After checking bags Sailors and Marines take a breather before loading the plane home. Petty Officer Otwell, Lcpl Hernandez, HM2 Moore, and HM2 Volpe (l to r.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Promotion and "Au Revoir Morocco"

4th Med Battaliion personnel muster for a promotion ceremony.

Congratulating newly-promoted HM1 Bond of Allentown Pennsylvania.

Group shot with CDR Dabrowski's souvenir Moroccan flag.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Casbah

View of the reconstructed walls of the casbah high over modern Agadir.

A photo from 1950 shows the concentration of buildings existing inside the casbah before the overwhelming destruction of the 1960 earthquake which desolated it and left it the empty abandoned site of today.

The casbah is the ancient fortress on a high point overlooking the modern city of Agadir.

Camel rides are offered .

Ancient doorway of the fortress looks down on new city below along the coast.

Camels, merchants hawking wares and a stupendous view await visitors.

Wild cats have an exotic look with long pointed ears.

View of the arc of sandy beach, "La Plage" of Agadir.

Shepherd on motorbike corrals a wayward lamb back to the fold.

Costumed Berber demonstrates adept handling of a snake.

Haggling over handmade Moroccan crafts.


Bonjour mes amis,

I posted fresh photos this morning of scenes of life in Agadir. You can see them here. Our 4th Medical Battalion Navy and Marine Corps team deployed together here for exercise African Lion 2009 shared dinner last night in Agadir. Photos here.

Merci beaucoups for your visit,

Thank you for visiting.


Kamsahamnida, Dziekuje, Terima kasih, Doh je, Grazie, Tesekur, Gracias, Dank u, Shukran

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