On this day in 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo.  I suppose there is a chance that one of the readers of this post knew this without being reminded, but that is as likely as winning the Power Ball or Mega Millions Lottery Jackpots.  This intentional act of violence helps explain two interesting principles the intellectual discipline of history teaches.

Actions can have and often do have unintended consequences. Clearly the assassin intended to kill the Archduke. However, he had no way of knowing that his action would lead to the deaths of as many as 20 million people.  It doesn’t matter that he never wanted or even thought something like this would result, history holds him responsible for leading to catastrophic numbers of dead, wounded, and suffering people.

Something else, looking back at history illustrates that history is always changing as more is discovered.  I don’t mean what I wrote about history on my Update for Day 92 — history depends on who writes it.  Nor am I referring to efforts to rewrite history so it serves a particular purpose. Like Stalin having people’s images removed from photographs or more recently statues being torn down and various things renamed, we are doomed to make the same mistakes when we forget them.

History is filled with fascinating coincidences.  It took nearly 100 years before British tourist Brian Presland pointed out to Museum officials in Vienna what the license plate of the car in which the assassination took place might mean.

FACT: license plate is AIII 118.

FANCY: it predicts the end of the war — the Armistice ending the war was signed on November 11, 1918.



Saint Francis de Sales School Board Zoomed last Thursday evening to talk about how our Principal, Staff, and Students have dealt with the aftermath of quarantine.  Mary Grace Peck has been rock steady in the midst of uncertainty.  The Staff were remarkable in responding to an ever-evolving situation.  Our students, like most children their ages, have been resilient.

There will be no Group First Communion this year.  Parents will contact Fr. Paul to schedule their child’s First Communion at an upcoming Mass.

Bishop Mark Brennan is scheduled to join us for the Sacrament of CONFIRMATION on Sunday, August 23 at the 11am Mass.

Masses are streamed for viewing live or later on Facebook.

Masses Sunday, Tues. & Thurs. and Saturday are open to public

Appropriate protocols are required for those attending.

Mass on Monday June 29 will be at 8:30 am.

Staff and some parishioners will be exploring how we might have Eucharistic Adoration on First Fridays as safely and respectfully as possible.


Please read this great article: click here to view.



Because in the school of the Spirit we learn wisdom through humility,

knowledge by forgetting, how to speak by silence, and how to live by dying.

—Johannes Tauler (c. 1300-1361)


One wishes to strive by learning and study

while another wants to be something great,

and another wants to do something great.

But my work is to forget, to lose everything

and to be nothing at all so that my God may rest in me.

— Gerhard Teersteegen (1697-1969)


POEM of the DAY:



When grief looms over like a cloud,

and your heart gets broken,

and your spirit’s down,

it all seems like happiness

is but a distant dream,

and it loses its meaning

where it cannot be seen.


And we are lost where it’s dark,

without a song in our hearts,

and we couldn’t believe

it would all pass away.

If we could only hold on to a rhyme,

which could make us remember the light,

then morning might not be so far away,



If we could imagine once more,

what joys are in store

with the rising of another day;

if we could only hear again

that gentle voice in the wind

reminding us that dawn is already near –

won’t we break out into songs

and cheer each other on and say



Won’t we be able to bear

the darkness we are in,

knowing it couldn’t help but end and



And though the dawn is yet to come,

and the night is yet to end,

though our pain still lingers,

and our wounds are yet to heal,

we rejoice with our hopes,

as though they’ve already come,

certain that our prayers were heard and


— Jocelyn Soriano  in 366 Days of Compassion: One Year Devotional.  Click here to view/buy.



We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.

— George Bernard Shaw

We can learn from history, but we can also deceive ourselves when we selectively take evidence from the past to justify what we have already made up our minds to do.

— Margaret MacMillan

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

— George Santayana


PRAYER of the DAY:

Lord Jesus, may I be

united with the praise that flows from you

to all your saints;

united with the gratitude drawn from your heart,

that causes your saints to thank you;

united with your passion, good Jesus,

by which you took away our guilt;

united with the divine longing that you

had on earth for our salvation;

united with every prayer that welled

from your divine heart, good Jesus,

and flowed into the hearts of your saints.

–Saint Peter Canisius  (1521-1597)



Cue the music.  Today is the birthday of Rod Serling, creator and writer of the Twilight Zone.

For further reading about the Car and License Plate: view here.

Extra reading: Lincoln/Kennedy Assassinations Uncanny Coincidences: view here.



A guy named Joe finds himself in dire trouble. His business has gone bust and he’s in serious financial trouble. He’s so desperate he decides to ask God for help. He begins to pray…

“God, please help me. I’ve lost my business and if I don’t get some money, I’m going to lose my house as well. Please let me win the lotto.”

Lotto night comes and somebody else wins it.

Joe again prays…

“God, please let me win the lotto! I’ve lost my business, my house and I’m going to lose my car as well.”

Lotto night comes and Joe still has no luck.

Once again, he prays…

“My God, why have you forsaken me?? I’ve lost my business, my house, and my car. My wife and children are starving. I don’t often ask you for help and I have always been a good servant to you. PLEASE just let me win the lotto this one time so I can get my life back in order.”

Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light as the heavens open and Joe is confronted by the voice of God Himself: “Joe, meet Me halfway on this. Buy a ticket.”


Who are all these guys named Victor?

And why are we trusting them to write history?


What is the worst part of ancient history class?

The teachers tend to Babylon.


I’m reading a book on the history of glue.

I just can’t seem to put it down.


Yesterday, I watched a documentary on the history of the WD-40.

It was non friction.


I just started a short book on the history of luminance.

It’s a little light reading