Sunday, February 20, 2005

the exquisite A Humument by tom philips... via bacon bargain!
posted at 8:05 PM

and so... another most excellent of my carmelites has gone to God... a light for us... rest in peace, al ...

Chicago Tribune | REV. ALOYSIUS SIERACKI, 75

Army stint led to life as a priest

By Manya A. Brachear
Tribune staff reporter

February 20, 2005

Rev. Aloysius Sieracki was a skilled scientist, gifted mathematician, prolific poet and avid Cubs fan.

But it was his calling to the priesthood while serving in the U.S. Army that defined his life.

For more than 45 years, Father Sieracki found a way to apply his analytical, literary and spiritual gifts to his vocation as a Carmelite priest.

"He really felt he had been touched by God," said his brother Edward. "It was very obvious he was very happy doing what he was doing."

Father Sieracki, 75, of Darien, died of complications from pneumonia Thursday, Feb. 17, in Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood.

Born and raised as Alfred Sieracki on Chicago's South Side, Father Sieracki graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in 1947. He received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering in 1951 from Illinois Institute of Technology.

Soon after graduating from college, he was drafted into the Army to develop chemical weapons during the Korean War.

During his military service, Father Sieracki read Thomas Merton's "The Seven Storey Mountain," an account of his path to becoming a Trappist. Father Sieracki was overcome by the calling to become a priest, which he often described as being "zapped by the Lord."

Because Latin was still a requirement for the priesthood, he signed up for home study courses offered by the Knights of Columbus while still in the Army. After two years of military service, he joined the Carmelites in 1953. He was ordained a priest in 1959.

He returned to his high school for his first assignment. While teaching chemistry and calculus at Mt. Carmel, he also received a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame.

In 1966, he became a mathematics professor at Marquette University. When the college asked him to pursue a PhD in 1973, he opted instead to become a parish priest in Phoenix, where he stayed until 1980.
While there, he helped launch a parish recycling program, collecting cans during his daily walks and donating the proceeds to the poor.
He once told his sister, Barbara Smykowski, that his epitaph could read: "He collected cans."

"He was so multitalented, yet he was so humble. That's what I loved him for," she said.

He continued the can collection when he returned to Darien in 1981 to work with the Lay Carmelites, a secular order in which faithful followers live out the spirit of a religious order in their daily lives.

During a coronary bypass in 1982, a blood transfusion infected him with hepatitis C. On Dec. 31, 1999, he underwent a liver transplant. He called that day his "new birthday," said Rev. Roger Bonneau, administrator of the Carmelite Carefree Village retirement community, where Father Sieracki spent his last five years.

"He had a deep appreciation for each and every day, and for all the little things that happened," Bonneau said. "Life took on a whole new perspective for him."

That appreciation was reflected on the pages of his daily journal, a collection of thank-you notes to God. It was evident in the poems that Father Sieracki often mailed to his siblings, which were compiled in two published books of poetry.

Even during his retirement, he continued saying mass at St. Alphonsus parish in Lemont and led busloads of parishioners on pilgrimages.
Other survivors include four brothers, Norbert, Thomas, Peter and Joseph.

Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the National Shrine of St. Therese, 8501 Bailey Rd., Darien. Mass will be said at 11 a.m. Monday in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 8404 Cass Ave., Darien.

Copyright © 2005, Chicago Tribune

posted at 3:57 PM

winter morning blacktop...

posted at 10:01 AM


Saturday, February 19, 2005

suzanne's got a blogger blog... mind midden heap... and a cool naugural pome that starts with me... magine that...
posted at 8:42 PM

i'm gonna link to this guy because counting #%&@s him all up...
posted at 8:23 PM

in my ears right now... low the great destroyer... when a quiet band gets loud... it seems the loud becomes the point... and finding the quiet in the loud becomes the new game... and not so tough in this case... since the loud was always there in the quiet... before
posted at 4:32 PM

Urban Legends Reference Pages: Photo Gallery (Creature Feature)... i.e. real fish... phony tsunami story
posted at 4:25 PM

"They don't know where the music comes from," he wrote, adding, "I wouldn't even think about playing music if I was born in these times... I'd probably turn to something like mathematics. That would interest me. Architecture would interest me. Something like that."
posted at 4:02 PM

Bad Subjects: Rescuing Jesus from Jesusland ...
Contrary to what Angier believes, the Resurrection is not about damning the laws of thermodynamics. It's about the victory of love over hatred and fear and the other powers of darkness. True Christian faith does not demand that Christians accept a Christ whose birth and death broke the laws of biology and physics. It does demand that Christians accept a Christ whose life broke the laws of intolerance and hatred, and who called on us to love.
posted at 10:21 AM


Friday, February 18, 2005

and Eeksy-Peeksy wins the metamorphosism limerick contest.... always wished i could write a good limerick (oxymoron?) ... they almost always get me... laughing... as malcolm's do...
posted at 7:12 PM


Thursday, February 17, 2005

Pope Rejects Condoms As a Counter to AIDS (
posted at 8:51 PM

Deep Sea Creatures - Found At Seaside After TSUNAMI ... via equanimity
posted at 8:01 PM

Tressants - Invisible Cities - Real Estate Investment - Spain
posted at 4:39 PM

next year so soon already... i'm in a fit of figuring next year's AP titles right now... it's due tomorrow... why so soon i do not know... i do not know why so soon... but there are always... reasons... for these... things... so...

do i drop grendel... do i drop madame bovary after so many years? i think so... does a bovary equal chopin's awakening plus hardy's casterbridge... but what about other hardys... do i swap the long-running things they carried for in the lake of the woods... do i bring back pynchon's crying of lot 49... i've never read o'connor's wise blood but think i want to and will... shift shaw's nice but lightweight arms and the man for shaw's... what?... heartbreak house?... major barbara?... and what about a different berry book... jayber crow... or maybe the memory of old jack... bring back beloved? is it time to step away from lear and the tempest?

but it's so early we still haven't done many of this year's new titles... i don't know how they'll work for next year...endgame... invisible cities... the iceman cometh... (should it be long day's journey next year?) who's afraid of virginia woolf? i am george... i am...
posted at 3:33 PM

The New York Times > The Gay Child Left Behind...
Perhaps Mr. and Mrs. Cheney could find the time to call Mr. and Mrs. Keyes and explain how parents who actually value their families react when they learn one of their children is gay.
posted at 8:07 AM


Wednesday, February 16, 2005

living all day... seeing so little... there should be a better way
posted at 9:35 PM

The Poetry Foundation Sponsors Chicago Series of Staged Verse Readings...
The Poetry Foundation, publisher of POETRY magazine, is pleased to announce the premiere of Poetry on Stage, a new series of dramatic readings of verse plays. The first production in the series, T.S. Eliot's Murder in the Cathedral, will be presented in April on five succeeding nights at five Chicago-area churches. All productions start at 7:30 P.M.
posted at 7:28 PM

Paula's House of Toast quoting Merton... to good effect...

The Church is a big sacramental machine. ... The whole thing is sickening. The mechanical, cause-and-effect, official machinery of Catholicism. Dreadfully dead, putrid. And yet people are committed to this insane validism, this unchristian obsession. ... And how can you tell them anything else ?

i've never read merton's journals from which this comes... funny how close it comes to so many other good catholics... thinking...
posted at 2:57 PM

that gross picture of a half-demolished cake over at finish your phrase is an authentic representation of the actual cake that appeared at the end of dinner last night... seems i had quickly mentioned to one of my brothers yesterday morning... the kind of mindless morning small talk we do... that i had this fyp anniversary... so... a cake... with a big candle in the shape of #1... for the second anniversary... o... well... it was good... much of the remainder is still in the fridge... come on over and have some...
posted at 8:14 AM


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Report Warns Great Barrier Reef Could Die in 20 Years
posted at 4:07 PM

have i mentioned lately how much fun it is to stop in at Million Poems? well... it is...
Over a certain age? The audience doesn't want
These movies but we're going to keep making them.

posted at 3:59 PM

this day two years ago... on a whim... i started finish your phrase...just to see what all this blog talk was about... and it has continued... on a whim... to keep me entertained and out of serious trouble... and so it wobbles on into the third year... starting now... with continual gratitude for readers known and unknown who have been kind... and... even encouraging
posted at 9:41 AM

Climate change exposes progress as a myth
posted at 9:31 AM


Monday, February 14, 2005

village voice > books > Gizzi's Lyrical Sublime: A Word Is Worth a Thousand Pictures by Jordan Davis
posted at 4:55 PM

B.S. Johnson (1933-1973)
posted at 1:48 PM

The Gates ... via a blog is a happening
posted at 11:01 AM

so i was playing this game... at fyp... to mark the end of the second full year of doing it over there... i took twelve words at random from the book of a great poet.. and used them... one every five minutes... to begin a pome... i just wondered if i could do it... and i did... with certain uncertain outcome... but it was a good way to pass a lazy hour of a morning without school
posted at 10:07 AM


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