Odds and Ends

January 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

During a recent domestic crisis which my regular readers may remember, I had occasion to look directly at all my worldly possessions. It’s hard, when looking at all your “stuff,” ” as Annie Leonard puts it, not to wonder: why the hell do I own all this?

There are, of course, various answers to this question, depending on which stuff you’re scrutinizing. During my recent (and happily ended) domestic crisis, I had occasion to think, in particular, about the huge stack of bookmarks in the basket on my desk. My first thought was to pitch three-quarters of them, but as I sorted through them, I came across a large number that I just can’t seem to separate from. Nor do I ever use them: they mean too much to me to risk sending them to the library by mistake with my latest read.

I suppose I could put them in an album. Or maybe, if I tell you about them, I’ll get them out of my system, or at least, off my desk. Here goes:

2.5×8.5 inch cream-colored card with a picture of the woman at the well (John 4), commemorating the ordination of Mary Anne Whitfield Rammerman to the Catholic priesthood, Spiritus Christi Church, Rochester, NY, November 17, 2001.

2.25×8.5 inch orange and green on white card with a picture of Jesus on a meditation cushion, and Luke 4:18-19 in Vietnamese, commemorating the ordination  of Hanh D. Pham S.J., my student at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, to the Catholic priesthood, June 7, 2008, St. Francis Xavier Church, St. Louis, Missouri.

(I attended neither of these events, though I did attend my student’s ordination to the diaconate.)

2×8 inch, plasticized white card announcing the publication of Francis Yates and the Hermetic Tradition: The First Biography of a Pioneering Woman Historian (1899-1981), by Marjorie G. Jones, whom I met at the awarding of the Mary Magdalene Award to Sister Teresa Kane RSM by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Women’s Ordination Conference in Philadelphia in spring, 2012.

2.5×4.25 inch memorial card, printed in green, for Lydwine Van Kerstbergen, Dutch co-founder of the Grail in the United States, 1905-1995. “And a Mother Arose in Israel.” (Judges 5:7).

4×6 inch, black ink on grey paper, in Spanish, of St.Teresa of Avila’s famous saying: “Let nothing disturb you, let nothing affright you; those who seek God will never go wanting…only God is enough (Solo Dios basta).” From the Gross Munster Church in Zurich, whose founders during the Radical Reformation would not have been entertained.

3×5.5 inch multicolor, mostly blues, picture of Edith Stein, “ebrea, filisofa, carmelitana, martire” (Jew, philosopher, carmelite, martyr), 1891-1942.

3 1/8×6 3/4 inch folded card, red and white flowers with Latin words in black on beige, from a Flemish Book of Hours (1500), a birthday note from one of the sisters of Notre Dame who taught me in high school and who has never missed my birthday since then. No date.

2.25×6 inch tealish green on cream card from Tropiques, a bookstore at 63 rue Raymond Losserand,  14th arrondissement, Paris. Owners Valerie Alvim and Sophie Barets.

Well, there are about 75 more of these, but you get the idea. I’m off now to Philly for the weekend. Talk to you again soon.


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  1. Ah, yes — I have a box like that, Marian! Commemoratives, beautiful small pictures from cards, a ribboned heart that a student from a then-soviet socialist republic, notes from people now dead, card from my brother’s ordination to the diaconate, my final vows and 25th jubilee cards…etc.,etc.,etc…


  2. Marian, I would wholly respect the collection, it is a physical representation of the years and efforts of many toadvance the metaphysical and your pursuit of meaning and truth. I should advance my aged collection of long sleeve tee shirts emboldened with all sorts of print from Danny’s high school wrestling career to the shop-rag status long before your bookmarkers find their way to the landfill. Pat Hill


    • Thanks, Pat. Maybe I can put them in a file. But off my desk, definitely! xox.

      Sent from my iPad


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