What are we to do with the broken pieces of ourselves?

All to often, we try to ignore them,

never realizing that they will be with us

for the rest of our days on this earth.

We try to bury our shattered parts

because we see them as a sign of weakness,

as a painful reminder of our vulnerability.

But our broken pieces are a seat of wisdom

and insight and compassion within us.

They are holy, and sacred, and ought to be preserved.

What did Moses do with the broken tablets?

The ones he threw to the ground

when he saw the children of Israel

worshiping the golden calf?

What could he possibly have done with those shards of stone?

They were useless, unreadable.

They were in pieces.


Moses went back up the mountain

to carve out a new set of tablets

And to receive the words of the Ten Commandments once more.

He came down from the mountain

with this replacement set of unbroken,

freshly hewn tablets of stone,

And he presented them to the Children of Israel,

who built a holy ark, the Ark of the Covenant, to house them.

The Israelites carried the Ark with them

throughout all their journeys in the desert.

They brought it with them into the Promised Land,

And eventually placed it inside the holy Temple that King Solomon built.


But what became of the shattered pieces?

Legend has it that inside the Ark

stood the tablets of the Ten Commandments,

And right beside them there rested the broken tablets

which Moses had shattered on that fateful day.

Moses understood that the broken tablets could not just be discarded or ignored.

He saw that, even though they were shattered and illegible, they were holy

because they too came from God.

They were holy precisely because they were shattered.

They were an important reminder

of an awful experience of idolatry and betrayal

which he prayed would never be forgotten.


The teaching their brokenness imparted was just as powerful

as the teaching of the Ten Commandments themselves.

Sometimes we forget this simple truth:

The broken pieces of ourselves are often our greatest teachers.

It is from them that we learn our strength.

It is from them that we learn

compassion, wisdom and understanding,

devotion, faith, and insight.

It is from them that we learn the humility required to pray.

The vulnerability and helplessness we need to cry,

the openness we require to truly hear what another is saying,

the courage we need to risk reaching out for help.

It is from the shattered pieces of our hearts

that we learn how to change the things we can,

how to be with others in their pain,

and how to walk through the valley of darkness and

the shadow of death, confident and unafraid.

— Author Unknown


The Most Rev. Mark Brennan wishes to share with you the attached letter to the faithful of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. Please click here to read, or here to view his message.



Sister Janice Rospert, OSF wants everyone to know that she leaving on August 5 to spend up to a year in Mexico with Sister Lourdes.

Also, “as stated in previous emails, I will not contact my friends by email or text messages or any other form of electronics requesting money for personal needs or for purchasing costly gifts for family members or for friends.”  Neither Sister Janice, Deacon Harry, Deacon Jay, Principal Mary Grace Peck, any Saint Francis de Sales Parish or School employee, nor myself will ever email, message, text, etc. a request for you to spend any money.  DO NOT GET SCAMMED and RIPPED OFF.



Bishop Mark Brennan will be here to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation for and with our youth at a special 11:00 am Sunday Mass on August 23.  Only the candidates, their parents, and sponsors will be able to be inside the church. It will, however, be live-streamed on Facebook.  We will have an 8:30 am Mass on that Sunday August 23 to allow others to come to Mass on that Sunday.

There will be a Confirmation Practice on Saturday, August 22, at 11:00.

Live-streamed on Facebook – Paul Wharton Beckley, WV

Episode 3 — Whys and Why Nots  
Monday 7pm | August 3,  2020


Episode 1 — What is Prayer? 
Links: video & notes

Episode 2 — Types of Prayer  
Links: video & notes


SCRIPTURE PASSAGE of the DAY: Exodus Chapter 17

I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.

You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

You shall not bow down to them or worship them…

You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.

Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work…

Honor your father and your mother…

You shall not murder.

You shall not commit adultery.

You shall not steal.

You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house;  or anything that belongs to your neighbor.


PRAYER of the DAY:

Help us, Spirit of Life.

We are tired, weak, worn.

Unsure of how to pray in these upside-down times,

when the needs so far outstrip the seemingly paltry collection

of words we have with which to articulate them.


What we think we know gets upended daily –

often from one moment to the next –

each conversation and headline contradicting the last,

each new piece of information increasing our angst exponentially.


When we can’t see anything good,

when nothing is working,

when we feel conquered, separated, troubled,

alone and in peril, starved for connection,

naked and vulnerable,

remind us, Holy One,

that nothing separates us from your love.


Always for us – your heart ever tuned to the cries of ours –

you gather our tears, our sighs, our groaning, our laments

and hold them close, tending, honoring, and blessing each one.


In confidence and hope, trusting in your great mercy,

we offer our hearts and lives back to you, Holy One,

in worship and in praise.

— Kathy Swaar



This is day 141 of what I named this strange, unprecedented time as the Coronavirus Captivity.  The number 141 reads the same forwards and backwards. According to the Grammerly Blog, “Palindromes are words or phrases that read the same backward and forward, letter for letter, number for number, or word for word. Some palindromes seem philosophical — Do geese see God? Others tell a story — A man, a plan, a canal: Panama. Still others are silly and rather nonsensical.”


Never odd or even

Was it a cat I saw?

No lemon, no melon

Madam, in Eden, I’m Adam.

Are we not drawn onward, we few, drawn onward to new era?




Do you carrot all for me?

My heart beets for you,

With your turnip nose

And your radish face,

You are a peach.

If we cantaloupe,

Lettuce marry:

Weed make a swell pear.