HOME PAGE: February 15, 2017

Celebrating 8 Years Online

Website will update again on February 22, 2017

Did You Hear?

About…Gracie the new “Bark Ranger” at Glacier National Park?

Border collies, which are quick, agile and intelligent, have been bred to round up animals. But Gracie is an exception to that rule: She’s been specially trained to keep animals away. This 2-year-old “bark ranger” is the latest ― and without question, the cutest ― tool in Glacier National Park’s fight to limit dangerous human-wildlife interactions, which have become a growing problem in many of America’s national parks. Gracie has been hard at work herding sheep and goats away from Logan Pass and other high-traffic areas in an effort to keep safe both the animals and the visitors who come to see them.


Good News


The Devoted Barn is an animal rescue and rehabilitation facility in Newport, Michigan. We take in animals of all kinds from cruelty, neglect, and large scale hoarding cases. We help animals that are unowned and that need urgent medical attention. We also have a large feral dog program. These animals come to The Devoted Barn to heal both physically and emotionally. They learn to trust and love again, or for the first time, with the help of at risk youth and special needs adults who come to work at the barn. In addition to helping the animals, our mission to teach compassion & empathy to others through working with our animals.


In the News

Amazing Bear Rescue

In this daring rescue story, Adam Warwick, a biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), saves a nearly 400-pound black bear from drowning.

The bear had wandered far away from his home in the Osceola National Forest, and was seen roaming around a residential neighborhood in search of food. Wildlife officials shot him with a tranquilizer dart in an attempt to safely return him to the wild, but unfortunately the bear bolted into the Gulf of Mexico before the drugs took effect.

At that point, the brave biologist jumped into the water to save the bear from drowning. Watch what happens next!


Picture of the Week

The Golden Lion Tamarin (Golden Marmoset)

is a small New World monkey of the family Callitrichidae. Native to the Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil, the golden lion tamarin is an endangered species with an estimated wild population of about 3,200 individuals spread between four places along southeastern Brazil, and a captive population maintained at about 490 individuals among 150 zoos. It is listed as an Endangered Species and in an attempt to curb the golden lion tamarin’s precipitous decline, several conservation programs have been undertaken. The intent is to strengthen the wild population and maintain a secure captive population in zoos worldwide. The survival rate of re-introduced animals has been encouraging, but destruction of unprotected habitat continues.

Ask Susi

Q: My parish priest told me that “we (meaning the Catholic Church) do not believe that animals go to heaven, because they have no souls.” But, my heart and faith in Jesus tells me otherwise. Is what he said true?

A: This is perhaps the most epic question I am asked, in numerous and varying contexts. Countless books and articles have been given over to the question of animals in heaven and there is the long and short of it, depending on where you really want to go. So, I will answer the initial question, and follow it with an abridged explanation for the positive.


Susi’s Weekly Column

Finding peace in the hard decisions

~by Susi Pittman

The tough decisions don’t have a road map and they can leave you feeling like peace is a stranger.


Catholic Journeyman

Redefining Riches

~by Louis Templeman

In a moment your life could be in jeopardy of a life altering or ending crisis…and in that moment, where will your heart find its treasure?


Meandering Along the River’s Edge

The Animals On My Bookcase

~by Virginia Rhys Anson, OFS

It is amazing what stories may lie in statues on a bookcase. Join Ginny in a whimsical journey to stories untold, until now.


Weekly Commentary

The Chair of St. Peter and the Apollo Moon Hoax - by K.V. Turley

We live in the age of conspiracies. What, if anything, do they tell us about the world we live in today? And, what if, behind all these theories, there is indeed one monumental conspiracy?


Catholic Writers

Anne Catherine Emmerich

Anne Catherine Emmerich was born to poor parents at Westphalia, Germany in 1774. When she was twenty-eight years old she became an Augustinian nun at Dulmen, and apparently began to experience ecstasies as a result of spiritual favors. She received the Stigmata in 1813, confined to her bed, and reportedly convinced a vicar-general, Overberg, and three physicians of her sanctity. She later reported that she had seen visions of Christ and the souls in purgatory as a child, as well as a circular core with three sections representing the Trinity. She is the author of The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus ChristThe Life of the Blessed Virgin MaryLife of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations, and The Bitter Passion and the Life of Mary.

Anne Emmerich died on February 9, 1824 and was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2004.

Recommended Read

The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary

~by Anne Catherine Emmerich

Incredibly revealing and edifying background of Our Lady, her parents and ancestors, St. Joseph, plus other people who figured into the coming of Christ. Many facts described about the Nativity and early life of Our Lord, as well as the final days of the Blessed Mother–all from the visions of this great mystic.


Quote of the Week

Courage is grace under pressure.

~Ernest Hemingway~

Discovering Catholic Saints

Saint Timothy & Saint Titus

Geology & Archaeology

The Enormous Scale of the Erosion Problem at Oroville Dam Site

As the fairly desperate attempt continue to shore up the spillways at the Oroville Dam site, and to lower the water level ahead of the next rainstorm, better images are emerging of the scale of the problems on both spillways.  If we start with the main spillway, which suffered the original erosion events last week, it is hard to appreciate the serious nature of the problems. The most serious problem appears to be a gully…The danger is of course that the these gullies will suffer headward erosion until they undermine the spillway lip. whereupon collapse may occur.  One challenge is that the quality of the rock does not appear to be high, which accounts for the rapid erosion in both cases.


Global Weather

England has more tornadoes per square mile than any other country

It may be known as a green and pleasant land but England is also a hotspot for tornadoes, a study found. There are more twisters per square mile in England than in any other country. And they are most common between Reading and London, with the Thames Valley our very own Tornado Alley. ‘When you think of how huge the US is, there is only a small region which is hit by tornadoes.’



Meteorologists question climate change science

They observe changes in the atmosphere like astronomers study the stars, analyzing everything from air pressure to water vapor and poring over computer models to arrive at a forecast.

But for all their scrutiny of weather data, many meteorologists part ways with their colleagues — climate scientists who study longer atmospheric trends — in one crucial respect: whether human activity is causing climate change.

Meteorologists are more skeptical than climate scientists, and that division was underscored by the recent departure of Mish Michaels from WGBH News.



Plastic threats to wildlife

In the Ocala National Forest of Florida, a black bear cub digs through trash, only to have its head become encased entirely in a plastic jar. It takes the Florida Game and Fish Commission 10 days to finally track down and rescue the cub. A California brown pelican carries around a plastic bag twisted low around its neck. On a protected reserve in Brazil a boa constrictor is found with a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic ring slipped over its body, forming a tight noose. A stork in Europe has its entire upper body sheathed inside a large plastic bag. Herons, ducks, opossums, and gulls are entrapped by six-pack rings. These are just a few of the disturbing images that demonstrate the harm that can befall our wildlife from plastic waste.



How Wolves Change Rivers

In 1995, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, along with Canadian biologists, captured 14 wolves in Canada and placed them in Yellowstone National Park, where they had been extinct since 1926. Over the next few years, the number of wolves rose, but that was the least of the changes that took place in Yellowstone.

The effects were more striking than anyone could have expected. The entire ecosystem of the national park transformed and it went so far that even the rivers changed. How could this have happened?

God’s Green Earth

Mystical Forest

Farm News

Maryland farm turning manure into energy

Bob Murphy’s Double Trouble Farms may be the most cutting-edge poultry operation on the Eastern Shore right now. But the significance of the farm in Rhodesdale is not the poultry itself. It’s the technology used to repurpose chicken manure. The Maryland Department of Agriculture and Irish agri-tech company Biomass Heating Solutions Limited, or BHSL, have committed nearly $3 million toward manure-to-energy technology that they hope will significantly reduce the impact of Murphy’s chickens — and perhaps one day all Eastern Shore poultry — on the Chesapeake Bay.


Steward Alerts

USCCB: Urge Congress to Enact the Conscience Protection Act of 2017!

Now is the time to contact Congress and advocate for the protection of life and freedom of conscience. The Conscience Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 644) is much-needed, common-sense legislation will clarify federal law and ensure that those who provide health care and health coverage can continue to do so without being forced by government to help destroy innocent unborn children. Please take a moment  to let your representatives in Congress know that we expect them to protect our most cherished liberties.


Steward Activities

Hoe Better To Prepare For Lent (begins March 1st)

Can you help me better understand how I should approach the Lenten season? I always seem to find myself in the season without any preparation, making a knee jerk commitment that I rarely follow through with. Anyway, I am a bit ahead of the game this year but would be grateful if you could help me improve my participation in this important time.


A Song Before The Lord

Attende Domine


Growing the Lenten Rose

Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen quite a few pictures on social media of one of the first flowers to show up for us in temperate climates: the Lenten rose. The Lenten rose is part of the Hellebore genus. The true Lenten rose is Hellebore orientalis or a hybrid thereof. The hybridization of this genus has given us a wider variety of flower colors, such as my plant’s beautiful plum shade. There is something so magnetic about these flowers. Perhaps it is because it is some of the first color we see in the landscape after a winter of brown and gray.

Hellebores have a long history with humans. Clearly our ancestors were also enchanted by them and their fairy-like beauty because they are the subject of both superstition and Greek tragedy. These flowers tend to be very cold hearty, the Lenten rose appearing around Easter and the Christmas rose appearing around December.


Wellness & Nutrition

10 Signs your dog is suffering from seasonal allergies

It’s that time of year when environmental allergies are at their peak – is your dog suffering? Here are 10 signs that you dog may be allergic to all that spring time beauty. If your dog has any of these signs, take him to the vet to get him some relief.



The Thirty Meter Telescope

If you are going to spend more than a billion dollars building one of the world’s biggest telescopes, you’ll want to put it in a place with the best possible view of the stars. But in the case of the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), an instrument that promises unprecedented images of everything from the most distant galaxies to nearby exoplanets, builders may have to settle for second best. The choice spot is atop Mauna Kea, a 4207-meter-high peak in Hawaii. The peak is rated as the best observing site in the Northern Hemisphere, but for Native Hawaiians it is sacred land, and many residents oppose the project.




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