PELLA — For years, Cecilia Worstell had felt called to open a Catholic bookstore in Pella. But with no business background, the member of St. Mary Parish thought the venture was impossible.
After prayer, discernment and what she believed to be a sign from God, however, she opened Mystical Rose Catholic Books on Dec. 8, 2010. Operating it is now her full-time ministry.
She hopes that ministry fulfills a need that she saw after she and her husband, Randy, and sons Ranson and Rainer moved to Pella 12 years ago from Arizona. “This is not a Catholic town,” Worstell said. To buy Catholic books, DVDs and other items, area residents typically had to drive to Des Moines or shop online, she said.
She discussed with Randy the desire God had impressed on her heart to open a bookstore in Pella, but the couple agreed the idea was impractical. In 2010 her family made plans to move to Des Moines, where Randy was then working.
But after two failed attempts to find a home in the city – plus a near-accident en route to one house-hunting expedition – the couple began to reconsider. “I don’t think God wants us to move,” Randy said.
Meanwhile, they prayed for a sign indicating God wanted them to open a bookstore in Pella.
A homeless veteran new to the area obtained a job and had enough money to rent an apartment through the VALOR Program of Humility of Mary Shelter Inc. in Davenport. When Cathy Jordan, VALOR’s program lead, visited with the vet a week later to see how things were going, he mentioned his back hurt. She discovered he’d been sleeping on the floor of his new apartment because he couldn’t afford to buy furniture. “He was too proud to say so,” said Jordan, who immediately contacted the ONE Foundation for assistance.
Within a short time, the vet had a bed, purchased from Bruce’s New and Used Furniture in downtown Davenport with a voucher from ONE Foundation. The seven-year-old nonprofit’s mission is to create an environment that allows people with disabilities to pursue and achieve their life’s goals and interests. New Choices, Inc., which provides services to individuals with special needs so that they can live as independently as possible, supports ONE Foundation.
Since 2005, ONE Foundation has assisted hundreds of individuals with modest needs such as a piece of furniture, bed sheets, household appliances, and rent deposit, said Jim Kay, president and chairman. Referrals for financial assistance must come through agencies that serve the individual needing help, which allows ONE Foundation to respond quickly to requests.
1 DAVENPORT — Humility of Mary Convent, Mass
4-11 OCEANSIDE, CA — Region IX Bishop’s Retreat, Prince of Peace Abbey
14 DAVENPORT — Humility of Mary Convent, Mass
14 DAVENPORT — Priests’ Personnel Board, St. Vincent Center
15-16 WASHINGTON DC — Catholic Schools strategic planning
17 DAVENPORT — Presbyteral Council, St. Vincent Center
17 DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University Board of Directors reception
18 DAVENPORT — St. Ambrose University, Board of Directors
22 CLINTON — Alverno Chapel blessing and dedication of new altar
22 IOWA CITY — Evening Prayer for Life, St. Mary, 7 p.m.
23 DAVENPORT — All-school Mass, All Saints, 8:15 a.m.
29 IOWA CITY — Diocesan Pastoral Council, St. Patrick
31 DAVENPORT — All-school Mass, Assumption High School, 9:25 a.m.
The Catfish Letter Arts School will offer a series of workshops and classes in 2013. The classes are being offered by the newly formed Art Legacy League (ALL) dedicated to preserving and promoting the tradition of art education principles developed by the late Father Edward Catich.
A “Meet and Greet” with most of the instructors will be held Jan. 19 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Bettendorf Community Center. Instructors will demonstrate various calligraphy and art techniques and provide course outlines.
Fr. Catich was a world renowned calligrapher, stone inscription carver, printer and liturgical artist who founded the St. Ambrose College art department in Davenport and taught there. He served as a priest in the Davenport Diocese until his death in 1979.
Paul Herrera, chairman of ALL, said workshops and classes will be offered at the Bettendorf Community Center from January to May.
Courses include calligraphic handwriting, introduction to calligraphy, introduction to brush writing, paper marbling and introduction to book arts.
The Art Legacy League Board of Directors is comprised of former Catich students: Herrera, George Ohley, vice chair; Jeff Young, treasurer; directors Linda Kelty, John Bald, Katie Kiley, Amy Nielsen, Donna Young, Steve Morford; and webmaster Nancy Trottier.
The group has hosted several lectures and seminars across the U.S. and Canada since its inception in January 2012.
Herrera noted that the group developed a traveling exhibit of Fr. Catich’s works, which just completed its inaugural showing at the Hallmark Cards gallery in Kansas City, Mo.
For more information on the Art Legacy League, its courses, faculty or to register visit www.artlegacyleague.org or email email@example.com.
Catfish Letter Arts School courses
Jan. 19, 9 a.m. to noon, meet and greet the seminar instructors/board members.
Jan. 26, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Jan. 27, 1-6 p.m., introduction to pen calligraphy.
Feb. 16, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Feb. 17, 1-6 p.m., making marbled paper.
March 9, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and March 10, 1-6 p.m., introduction to brush writing.
March 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., making a single signature manuscript book.
April 20, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and April 21, 1-6 p.m., advanced calligraphy techniques.
May 18, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and May 19, 1-6 p.m., advanced brush writing.
All courses will be held at the Bettendorf Community Center. Cost for each course is $75, plus a $15 materials fee. Students enrolled in high school, college or university programs may get a $10 discount with a copy of student ID when registering.
A private audience with the pope and a talk by the captain of a hijacked ship were highlights of the 23rd World Congress of the Apostleship of the Sea (AOS), said Father Bill Reynolds, pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Newton.
National secretary of the AOS and a cruise ship priest, he attended the congress from Nov. 19-23 in Vatican City. Four-hundred people from 70 nations, including 32 U.S. delegates, attended the event, he said.
“There was a wonderful diversity of speakers with a variety of expertise,” Fr. Reynolds said. They included Giuseppe Lubrano Lavadera, who was captain of an oil tanker. Somali pirates held him and his sailors captive for 10 months in 2011.
“Captors tried to break him down, but faith kept him together,” the priest said. “It helped him continue to be of service to his employer and the mariners aboard his ship. He spoke from the depths of his heart about how important faith was to him.”
When Lavadera, the mariners, and the ship were freed, he radioed for a nearby ship to send a priest for Mass. “Mariners of every faith came to the Mass, so relieved they were to be freed and again able to worship and give thanks to God,” Fr. Reynolds said.
To the Editor:
The horrific killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., have left me numb and filled with grief. The young lives that were filled with promise and hope were snuffed out by an evil and deranged person.
Everyone is looking for a quick fix to this never-ending violence, from banning guns to greater security, but quick fixes will do nothing to solve the underlying causes of violence and evil. The underlying problem is our culture and the ever-increasing secularization of society. A culture that does not protect and promote human life from womb to tomb is a culture that leads to ever-increasing violence and evil. A culture that does not protect and promote traditional marriage leaves families and children vulnerable and insecure. A culture that values things over people and ideology over charity is a sick and dying culture that will not last.
Instead of focusing on the fiscal cliff in Washington, D.C., we should be focusing on our country’s moral decline. Instead of always looking outside ourselves for someone to blame, we should be looking within. Until we open our hearts to a loving and forgiving God, our children and our society will continue to be threatened. Mike Gannon Coralville
Each year at Christmas time, and especially as we approach the feast of the Holy Family, I find myself drawn to the figure of St. Joseph. He is a silent, somewhat hidden and (for that reason) often forgotten figure in the narrative of Jesus’ conception, birth and early life. We have no recorded words of Joseph in Scripture, and yet, he played a crucial role in the life of Jesus and, therefore, in our salvation. In his trust in the Lord and in his quiet faith put into action he is, I think, a particularly excellent model for those discerning God’s calling in their lives.
Consider first the very “ordinariness” of St. Joseph. I’m not saying that he wasn’t exceptional. He was certainly a “righteous man” (Mt 2:19) and was obviously given great grace to carry out the mission entrusted to him by God, but he was not, as Mary was, immaculately conceived. That is, he was not preserved from the stain of original sin from the first moment of his life. He had what is called in theology “concupiscence,” that tendency toward sin we experience in our fallen humanity. Even after our redemption (our being “bought back”) through the death and resurrection of Jesus and our participation in those saving events through baptism, we continue to experience the residual, lingering effects of original sin. And so, presumably, St. Joseph struggled with the same temptations with which we all struggle.
Consider next that despite his “ordinariness,” despite the same inclination toward sin that we all face, Joseph trusted deeply in the Lord. Think of it, here is a man betrothed to a young woman, but “before they lived together” (Mt 2:18), who learns that his bride-to-be is with child. He knows that the child is not his and so makes plans to quietly walk away from the whole situation. Some scholars have suggested that it was not that Joseph suspected Mary to have been unfaithful, but that he knew something special was going on here and felt unworthy to be a part of it.
In either case, he had a lot thrown at him all at once and his natural inclination was to escape. “Such was his intention,” we are told, when he was visited by an angel in a dream and instructed not to be afraid to take Mary into his home (Mt 2:20). As I have said, we have no words from Joseph in response to the angel — nothing like Mary’s fiat in Luke’s Gospel, “May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38) — and yet we know of Joseph’s great trust by the statement, “When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded” (Mt 2:24).
Finally, consider that Joseph’s trust doesn’t stop at his first obedience to the angel’s command, but translates into further action. He is by Mary’s side through her pregnancy, the journey to Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus, the presentation in the temple, the flight into Egypt, the return to and settling in Nazareth. He is present throughout Jesus’ childhood, his early adolescence when he was “lost” in Jerusalem, and perhaps into his young adult life. Quiet perhaps, but unmistakably present, Joseph is a beautiful example of faith in action and is someone worthy of our attention and devotion.
God is still calling ordinary people like St. Joseph to trust in him and to put their faith into action. In these days of Christmas please pray for and encourage members of your own families, parishes and communities to consider a calling to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life or some other particular service within the Church. May we turn to St. Joseph and follow his example in simply doing what the Lord commands. (Fr. Hennen is vocations director for the Davenport Diocese. Contact him at (563) 888-4255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.)