Papa Z's Views and Comments

Location: Wisconsin, United States

I am a convert to the Catholic Church after serving in ordained ministry for more than nine years in another denomination. I hold a bachelor's degree in history, a master's degree in historical theology, and another in systematic theology, and am currently working (very slowly) on my doctorate. I work in Christian Education and Formation and teach at the University level. I am blessed with a wonderful wife and eight great kids! When I'm not studying, reading, or blogging, I enjoy eating and drinking! Like Bilbo Baggins, I have been specializing in food for many years, and my table has a high reputation!

Monday, September 21, 2009


Greetings to all my fellow hobbits!

Tomorrow is, as you know, the anniversary of the birthday of those most illustrious hobbits, Bilbo Baggins and his nephew Frodo Baggins! May you celebrate with food and drink with those you love, never forgetting to read the Account of the Eleventy First Birthday Party from the Red Book!

The Zampino hobbits of Delavan celebrated yesterday, as a dear friend has his birthday on the 22nd -- and his son and daughter-in-law could come yesterday.

We had:

Fresh bread with butter and cheese (really GOOD cheese!)

15 bean soup with ham

Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding


My eldest daughter made fruit tarts (apple, cherry and blueberry) for dessert.

And there was Boddington's Pub Ale!

It was a most splendid occasion!

Blessings to all -- and may the hair on your toes never fall out!

Papa Z

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Friday, September 11, 2009

SUBJECT: LIFE -- Lest We Forget . . .

Where were you, September 11th, 2001?

I was on an airplane, headed for the East Coast. I had been sent to Baltimore on a recruiting trip for the Marquette University Graduate School. The flight was routed from Milwaukee to Baltimore via Cincinnati, and it was while we were getting off the plane in Cincinnati that it was announced that there had been a hijacking in New York, and that we would be "temporarily delayed". Needless to say, I stayed in Cincinnati -- and there was no recruiting trip. I saw one of the Towers fall from a lounge in the Cincinnati airport.

I offer the following prayer. It was the prayer given by Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of his visit to Ground Zero last year.


Papa Z.

O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths

and traditions,

who gather today at this site,

the scene of incredible violence and pain.
We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here—
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and
Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.

We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives
with courage and hope.

We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in
Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.
God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,

we seek your light and guidance

as we confront such terrible events.

Grant that those whose lives were spared

may live so that the lives lost here

may not have been lost in vain.

Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.

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