My World of Religion, Politics, Entertainment and Social Issues

If you are visiting my blog, expecting to see 'Toward a Progressive Catholic Church,' I have changed my title to reflect my wide assortment of interests. Having retired from my secular job, I hope to devote the rest of my life to my hobbies, ministries and perhaps a part-time job that makes good use of my communications skills. This blog will be designed to address my multi-faceted interests.

My Photo
Name:
Location: Rochester, New York, United States

I have an M.A. in Theology and an M.Div (Master of Divinity) from St. Bernard's School of Theology and Ministry. I am currently a media consultant and promoter of classical music. I am also certified as an officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries for baptisms, weddings and funerals and minister independently of the Rochester Diocese. My life has encompassed many interesting paths: broadcasting, free-lance writing, video-production, music, ministry and a secular job in government. In addition to this blog, I have a YouTube site at www.youtube.com/priestray and I have a Facebook page.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Terrific Rochester Radio Reunion



Dear Blog Visitors:

Last night proved to be very nostalgic for me, in that I attended the Rochester Radio Reunion. It gave me an opportunity to chat with persons I knew from the 1970s, when I was known as 'The Wizard of Pun' on radio station WAXC.

Rochester radio has a very long history, so I was deeply moved by the attendance at last night's memorable event. I want to thank all who worked very hard at organizing the reunion. By all accounts, it was a huge success.

I was touched by the fact that many radio personalities I listened to back in the 1950s are alive and well, and were in attendance at the reunion. The audience was inclusive of announcers from the 1950s to the present era. Videos were made by those in various parts of the country who could not attend, whereby we had an opportunity to see their greetings on a big screen. In addition, a wonderful slide show was presented to honor radio personalities who have died.

Don Alhart, emcee for the event, did a terrific job keeping all the elements of the event together.

I have included a few photos I took last night. In order: 1.) Mike Kiley and me; 2.) Bob Scott and me; 3.) Ferdinand Jay Smith and me; 4.) Marc Cronin and me; 5.) Larry White; 6.) Rich Funke; 7.) Don Alhart; 8.) Elaine Smith (wife of Ferdinand Jay Smith), Me, Ferdinand Jay Smith, Brenda Grosswirth (my wife).

Peace to all,
Ray







Thursday, September 08, 2011

A Video to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of 9/11



Dear Blog Visitors:

During the past few days, I have tried to capture images with my camera that assist in the reflection of the tragedy that occurred ten years ago.

In the video above, I have offered a reflection that coincides with the images you will see.

I want to thank the Rochester Museum and Science Center for allowing me to take photographs at the 9/11 exhibit they are currently featuring. I used some images I captured at the exhibit, in addition to photos I took at a flag display at Ontario Beach Park, as well as pictures that recall what we saw on our TV screens in 2001.

Let us continue to pray for peace in our world.

God bless all of you,
Ray

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

343 Flags for 343 Fallen Firefighters





Dear Blog Visitors:

I got up extra early today, in the hopes of spending some quiet time at Ontario Beach Park in Rochester, New York. What I didn't expect was having the entire park to myself, which is exactly what happened.

I have found that although the experience of being close to God can indeed occur in the midst of a faith community, I often find my prayer life is enhanced when I am alone in a nature setting. While I may pray with a community to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I don't think this morning's experience can be replicated, in terms of feeling the presence of God in a quiet place.

The primary purpose of my going to Ontario Beach Park this morning was to see the displayed 343 flags, in honor of the 343 firefighters who perished in the twin towers ten years ago. It was a very powerful experience for me to be alone amongst the flags and the surrounding water of Lake Ontario and a dramatic gray sky.

I have posted a few photos from this morning's spiritual experience.

Peace to all,
Ray

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of 9/11




Dear Blog Visitors:

Like many persons around the world, I will be engaged in much reflection on September 11, ten years following events we will never forget.

At a theological level, I continue to believe that God chose to create us with free will. This free will comes with a price; we can choose good or evil during the course of our daily lives.

A few individuals made an evil choice on September 11, 2001 - a decision that left death and destruction in its path. However, despite the huge loss of life, I like to feel that forces of good ultimately triumphed. Losses would have been far greater, had it not been for the courageous first-responders who risked their own lives so that others might live.

As I thought back to images that remain fresh in my mind, I tried to recreate my activities of September 11 & 12, 2001 via three photos. Like many around the world, I was glued to my TV set during the first anxious moments of 9/11,as depicted in photo #1. In the second photo, I recall watching the late Peter Jennings, as he related the facts as they became available. (Mr. Jennings was later praised by many for maintaining a sense of calm, as details of unfolding events remained uncertain.) In the third photo, I am reading the local headlines of September 12, 2001, trying to piece together any new information that was available.

I am hoping that the Democratic and Republican parties will put politics on hold during the commemoration of 9/11. This solemn day should instead be a day of reflection and prayer. Although friction and divisions continue to dot the landscapes of our world, I will nevertheless continue to pray for the day when all human beings learn how to live in harmony.

Peace to all,
Ray