Posts in Religion

Side Convo: Your Lessons on Reflection & Prayer

It strikes me that prayer & reflection are central to a life of high self-awareness. It’s a powerful element in our arsenal of good living. Be it the bad stress created by COVID-19, or stage 4 cancer, job issues, relationships, etc.  Or the good stress of something mildly to deeply enjoyable. I am very curious about your lessons on prayer and reflection. How often do you do it? Is it conversational for formal? Is it explicitly with your God or higher entity, or more general, a reflective discussion with yourself,… Read More

Hand of God – Guiding My Detroit Rolling Iron

I can look back and see explicit examples where nothing other than the hand of God ensured my well being.  Here’s one. I had just finished grad school and had capped off my college days with a late night at the Chicago Blues Festival with my good friend Gunter Frank, who was a med student on a visiting rotation from Heidelberg.  I absolutely needed to drive the 350 miles down to Southern Illinois in the morning, as the next day I had a flight out of St. Louis to Hong… Read More

Day Dream Proof Zones

Being Catholic, I regularly attend the Saturday or Sunday church service.  The mass has breathtaking consistency regardless where in the world you attend it.  However, the week to week regularity means that I for one, need to vigilantly be ‘in the moment’ so that I don’t wind up thinking of some other notion, conversation, news item or worry that I have. But at the church in Bellevue, WA where I attend now (St. Louise de Marillac) portions of the service are simply impossible to “miss”.  Here’s one of them: when… Read More

Seattle is Graced by Potta: Sweating the Details

Generally, if you want to make something look easy, work intensely and smartly on the planning and preparation. As Ben Franklin said, “Success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.” The work prior to the Potta retreat was no exception. I can only speak from the observations of an outsider but the many workstreams (music, location, equipment, food, childcare, publicity) required steady effort to tease out the details, practice on an extensive basis in some instances and this preparation greatly reduced the number of last minute fire drills that occurred. Central… Read More

Seattle is Graced by Potta: The Retreat Sessions

Here are just a few shots from the actual function – – unfortunately I would say they do not do enough to convey the power and energy experienced by those who attended. A New Day Starts – – Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2008 (click for larger image) Leading with Prayer and Song – – Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2008 (click for larger image) Holy Water, Petitions and Offerings – – Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2008 (click for larger image) Reflecting on a Passage; Leading in SongAbe Pachikara, Copyright 2008 (click for larger image)

Seattle is Graced by Potta

At last, Potta came to town! After numerous practices and painstaking planning by the Indian community at the St. Louise church in Bellevue and participation by Joe Thomas on behalf of the local Mayalee association, a weekend retreat was held facilitated by 4 inspiring members of the Divine Retreat Center in Potta, Kerala, India: Rev. Father Mathew Naickamparambil (who founded this remarkable institution); Rev. Fathers Antony Thekkanath and Martin Kalamparambil, who have just launched a mission in New Jersey; and Rev. Sister Therese Varakullam. For myself, who is unfamiliar with… Read More


So for the last 6 or so months I have been taking a shot at meditating each morning for around 20 minutes. After some exploration and reading, I have settled on repeating 3 passages, generally repeating the shortest one more than the longest one. To be clear, these are prayers, and for those who are truly atheistic in their outlook, this blog entry will probably be a waste of time. Two chants are homegrown and the last is a classic Catholic Prayer. The homegrown entries: I pray I am with… Read More

The Moveable Priest

Unfortunately in some respects, “church,” in my head, is something that occurs in a big, fixed, specialized, largely single-use structure that sits out on its own. This notion has been turned upside down (only) twice at this point, and by the same priest. Stephen Uncle, here all the way from Nairobi, ended the wedding weekend by presiding over a quiet reflective function at Asha’s house. 3 years ago, I attended a similar function that he presided over at a family reunion at Sunil’s house. In both instances, I wondered how… Read More