Mary Pope-Handy 408 204-7673

When dreams die: a religious perspective

GraveyardMost of us experience the loss of dreams gone unrealized at some point, if not at many times in our lives.  Sometimes it’s a college application that got a rejection, a career that didn’t pan out, or a relationship that didn’t work.  Perhaps it’s ending up single or childless when you wanted to be married with kids.  Or maybe it was having an unexpected death or illness rob you of what you thought you would be doing or experiencing.

Significant loss, whether it’s a relationship, work, health, financial stability, or anything else, can tend to rock us to the core.  We know it can happen.  No one is immune from terminal illness, car accidents, layoffs, divorce, infertility or a host of other unhappy occurrences. Sometimes life isn’t fair.

And yet, we see a huge range of responses to these situations, these times when dreams die.  That is what I would like to focus on today. (more…)

St Joseph of Cupertino, Patron of Test Takers & Students

Anyone living in Silicon Valley is aware that schools in the city of Cupertino are top scoring in the state. Students there perform exceedingly well on the state’s all-important API tests and have a very high success rate with getting into good colleges & universities.

But how many know that the city’s patron saint, St. Joseph of Cupertino, is also the patron saint of students and test takers?

There are a number of articles online about his life, in which we see that he was a slow learner, had trouble focusing and struggled for that reason in many areas of his life. He was successful early on neither in school nor in attempts to find work or even acceptance with a religious order, the Franciscans.  To read about him is to feel sorry for him in those early years.  Frustrated and discouraged, he had a bad temper as a youngster.  On top of everything else, his father died while his mother was expecting Joseph, so he was raised by a single mother – tough for both of them!

He grew in humility (doing penance), though, and this appears to have been how God best reached him, at least initially. In time, Joseph did become a Franciscan friar, grew in holiness and became deeply in awe of and in love with God. In prayer he sometimes would levitate – yes, raise off the ground – so he is also the patron saint of pilots and those who fly.  (more…)