Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cathy's Motu Meme

What I was doing 10 years ago:
Now we're talking ancient history. Let's see, that's 1998. Pre-Millenium bug. Pre-blogging. I must have been hanging around the BBS's (bulletin board systems), the Catholic Answers Forum where I met Veritatis Splendor, Mary Gibson, soon to become Sister Mary something-or-other, the Minneapolis Issues Forum where I got evicted for accusing someone of being employed by the St Paul Chamber of Commerce. That was considered "hate speech" in those days. Probably still is.

5 Snacks I enjoy:
Well, if you don't find it in my icebox (dating myself here) or cupboards, that means it must be on my fave list. I can't afford (weight-wise) to purchase things that come in packages. Because once that package gets broken open, it's soon "down the hatch." So things like cookies, nacho chips, ice cream (vanilla is fine, butter brickle is much better), Snickers and cashews are rarely seen in the Marshall household.

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
I think this came from Pat Madrid in about 2003. It probably needs a bit of adjustment.

This morning, I posted a news item about an Orange County, California, parish that received a $10 million contribution from an anonymous benefactor. And that got me to thinking: How would I spend the $10 million clams if I were the pastor?

Here's my own wish list, in no particular order of importance. I'd like to know what you think of this list and how you'd spend the money differently, if you were the pastor.

What a grand thing it would be if the parish used the $10 million to . . .

1) Open a large, well-equipped soup kitchen located in the inner city areas of Santa Ana or Anaheim (cost $500,000);

2) Open a free medical and dental clinic for the local community that would cater especially to illegal alien and migrant farmworkers, the homeless, and low-income families. Organize local physicians, dentists, and nurses from the community, Catholic and non-Catholic, to donate their time (say, one day a month) to staff and operate the facility (cost: $2,000,000);

3) Establish two low-power 24-hour local Catholic radio stations, broadcasting from the parish itself and possibly retransmitting the great programming at WEWN shortwave. One would broadcast in Spanish, the other in English. Add Vietnamese programming, too, if you can find some dynamic and orthodox Vietnamese priests and lay people who have the skills for radio. This kind of station would have a small footprint, say a 10-mile "bubble" around the parish and it would be an excellent, low-cost evangelization outreach to the local community (cost: $500,000);

4) Buy or build a spacious and comfortable building as a home for indigent or low-income unmarried pregnant women. Provide free room, board and medical care, the sacraments (for Catholic women, of course) catechism instruction, home-ec classes. This would be a proven brick-and-mortar pro-life solution for local women who are tempted by the blandishments of the vile abortion industry. (cost: $1,000,000)

5) Buy or build a modest convent for the Missionaries of Charity sisters (Mother Teresa's order) and for the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Alhambra; invite them to send sisters; also buy or build a modest monastery for the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal; invite them to send priests and brothers to work among the poor and evangelize (cost: $1,000,00).

6) Open a large, parish-run MEGA Catholic bookstore. Make it BIG, well-stocked, reasonably priced, and loaded with excellent and orthodox Catholic books, tapes, videos, statuary, rosaries, candles, etc. (cost: $500,000);

7) Open a large, warehouse-style parish-run food and clothing bank for the poor and disadvantaged (cost: $1,000,000).

8) Buy or build a center that will house a school for Catholic lay-missionaries and apologists. Aim for graduating a well-trained cadre of 50 Catholic lay-missionaries and apologists each year who will go door-to-door in small groups and spread the Good News and bring people home to the Church and the sacraments (cost: $1,000,000).

9) Adorn the interior of the parish with beautiful statues, votive candles, stained-glass windows, and traditional fixtures of all kinds. Do everything possible to enhance the sense of the sacred inside the church itself. Erect a large crucifix outside the parish buildings, close to the road. The bigger the better -- 30' high would be awesome (cost: $500,000);

10) Provide each family in the parish with a free "Catholic Family Kit," including 5 rosaries, one crucifix, one 12" statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Catholic Bible, a copy of the Catechism, a prayerbook, a bottle of holy water, three apologetics books three apologetics tape sets on the basics of the Faith, and, of course, a one-year subscription to Envoy Magazine (cost: $100,000);

11) Build a large shrine to our Blessed Lady on the parish grounds. Make it big and beautiful. Encourage all the faithful to make a pilgrimage there at least once a year as a family (cost: $200,000);

12) Put $700,000 in the bank for a rainy day and so that the food bank, medical clinic, and home for unwed mothers can be maintained and replenished with supplies annually.

13) Send $100,000 to the diocese as a gift.

14) Send $400,000 to the Holy Father as a gift for his Peter's Pence collection and for the missions.

15) Give the remaining $500,000 to the poor, dividing it among area Catholic and Protestant soup kitchens and homeless shelters.

Five jobs that I have had:
My first job, at about age 8, was as an assistant at the pony rides establishment about two blocks from my home in Duluth, on Kenwood Avenue, down in a ravine. A pal and I got hired for a day to work with her ponies. I was a bit afraid of them so I spent most of the day shovelling s--- from the open air stable. The elderly lady (she was probably thirty) fired me, but not before paying me the munificent sum of one silver dollar. I don't think my pal who was a year older worked very many more days. She was a demanding taskmistress. Soon thereafter, she moved her operation out to the Duluth Zoo in West Duluth.

My second job was as a caddy at Northland Country Club in Duluth at about age 12. I didn't get to file for unemployment or declare my "one dollar" income from my previous job. My first day I did get out, without having had a lesson on how to be a caddy, and struggled through a round with Mrs. R.P. Brown who gave me a "fair" on my caddy rating card and a quarter tip (total $1.50 for four or five hours work).

Fortunately, I stuck with it and ultimately became the caddy master ( job no. 3) and received an Evans Scholarship for four years (room and tuition) at the UofMN.

My fourth job was as a busboy in Coffman Memorial Union at the UofMN as a freshman in the cafeteria. Two hours a day at lunch time to work in the "bussing station", removing dirty trays from the racks and putting them on the dumbwaiters to send them down to the dishwashers working beneath us. My supervisor was Garrison Keillor, who taught me everything he knew about bussing. Of course, radio was his gig, even back then, when he was a volunteer with WMMR, the UofMN dorm radio station. I wished that he had asked me to come volunteer with him, but I was too awestruck, even back then, to ask that of him. Maybe I could have been a "star", too?

My fifth job(s) was as a lunch/dinner busboy at various sororities at the UofMN for my two meals a day and maybe $15 a month stipend. Not a bad deal. I still salivate over the memory of the cherry pies that "Johnnie" a cook at the Pi Beta Phi house made. Sadly, Johnnie turned out to be a kleptomaniac and they canned her. I quit and went to Gamma Phi Beta at no increase in salary. What I really learned was what women looked like at Saturday brunch before they put their makeup on. A very rude awakening, I tell you.

Three of my bad habits:
Well, I suppose I could cop out and say that "that's between me and my confessor." But the number is far greater than three. But let's try some thing that I don't, but maybe should, confess. How 'bout (1) living in an incredibly messy apartment with books, magazines and papers strewn all over the place? (2) Not making my bed more than two or three times a year; and (3) gesturing at drivers whose standards and habits don't meet my expectations. OK, that last one I have been known to confess innumerable times.

Five places I have lived:
I suppose I could say, for 10 weeks, Fort Lost-in-the-Woods, Missouri; Monterey, CA, for about 12 months, making 78 bucks a month, so I really couldn't take advantage of it; Ayer (Ft. Devens, MA), about 40 miles west of Boston, for about five months, making 120 bucks a month, but I still didn't seem to have much money; Mietraching (Bad Aibling Kaserne) in Upper Bavaria, 50 klicks (kilometers) southeast of Munich, for about 30 months, making and drinking up beaucoup dollars at an exchange rate of 4 Marks to one Dollar. Now that was nirvana. And I guess the final place would have to be Minneapolis, where I do get regularly across the river and visit St Paul, after showing my passport.

I think everybody I know has posted, so volunteers gratefully appreciated. But I am going to ask my brother in California to make his contribution and I will post it also.


Terry Nelson said...

You revealed more than I did.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Ter, hon, everyone reveals more than you do! :-)

Ray, this is a great list. You obviously gave it a lot of thought-especially how to spend your loot! Was GK as much of a jerk than as he is now? Tell...tell..ok, next time we have coffee....

Unknown said...

Cathy: Thank you for the nice words. But my "Powerball budget" is totally Pat Madrid's work and I think everybody should have a copy of that (just give me 2% for the idea).

GK was extremely nerdy, with a high squeaky voice, I seem to recall. He was pretty good at bussing lunch trays, though. I doubt that too many Gopher cheerleaders were found hanging around the WMMR studios. But a year or so later, what to my wonder did I see that he became a "star" of the campus literary magazine, the "Ivory Tower", none of whose issues I was able to ever completely read, even though it was free. I suspect that a bunch of lady English majors were seen regularly hanging around the Ivory Tower offices, though, hoping for a glimpse of GK.

But I don't believe that Playboy has ever published photos of an English major.

Terry, Terry, Terry! Oh he of the three blogs. If you would just concentrate your efforts upon only one blog, you too would be able to reveal beaucoup juicy tidbits about your secret life like I am in the habit of doing, every eight months or so.

I'd probably reveal even more, but I have a brother who happens to monitor my releases and I have to be careful.

swissmiss said...

GK has certainly forgotten his humble beginnings.

You seem to know too much about Playboy :)

Loved your work stories. Pooper scooper is one I can't claim.

Anonymous said...

Great meme, Ray! I especially love your whole plan/scheme for what to do with your billion dollars! You have some good ideas for good works to God's glory...with a nice hunk for a rainy day/retirement left over!!

The rest of the comments are very interesting too. Your many odd jobs. Wow, Garrison Keilor as your supervisor. Was he as witty and nice in "real life" as he is on radio?

I hope you DO get that billion dollars one day! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh, gosh, I didn't read the posts above before I replied...I see that Cathy says GK is a jerk now? I guess I haven't heard that--don't read the celebrity gossip. (Meow) LOL

Unknown said...


I think GK has calmed down a bit and must be feeling his age.

Never having read Playboy, I had to go to a good Catholic library to find a scholarly review of it (one with no pictures) for my evidence. That was hard to find, by the way. Not the evidence, but the library! So I tried first at Terry's house. But the doors were locked and the windows were barred.

So I ended up going through Adoro's library for my research.

Unknown said...


No, back in those ancient times, GK didn't appeal as a possible drinking pal.

Interestingly, actually quite interestingly, for the past few months he has been writing a regular column on the Sunday OpEd page of the StarTribune, the local "Red Star", as some refer to it.

And his columns contain a fair number of references to mortality and the afterlife and, are you sitting down, "going to church."

Whether it is fatherhood (or grandfatherhood), or "wear and tear" on some parts of his body, I don't know, but he seems to be reverting a bit back to his roots.

I recollect that he was raised in some very small, quite conservative faith where dancing, socializing outside the faith, telling jokes, writing books or singing anything other than hymns written before 1750 or so was strictly verboten.

Maybe he is becoming a "Recovering Dissident Mennonite" or something!

I bought a Powerball ticket the other day. Maybe my time has come!

Sanctus Belle said...

I stopped doing memes awhile back, but I like this one and will make an exception! Thanks Ray!