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Showing posts from 2022

Well... that was a school year

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The school year is finished. It was one I shall not forget for a long time, try as I may. Within the first two weeks of the school year masks were re -mandated, I was placed on a 10-day close-contact quarantine, and a province-wide vax mandate was announced. I thought I was done. By October school divisions joined in the fun of the province vax mandate. My own division announced that unvaccinated teachers were to pay for weekly testing, or be, ahem, removed from their positions. Stay safe everybody. The day they announced this was the same day my wife made another announcement. That is, she told me she was pregnant. That was, uh, a little overwhelming. Other tidbits followed this, such as Trudeau stating he wanted to deny EI payments to unvaccinated people, or that my bishop said he would not lift one finger to help unvaccinated Catholics - the same day he had a letter begging for money for his annual appeal. In December I took the plunge and took a one-month unpaid sabbatical from wor

The Evolution of Synods

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First, as brought to my attention on Facebook by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski (h/t Fr. Z ): " The Vatican has released a document on "the spirituality of synodality." (NOT making this up.) Two important sentiments emerge: “It is not enough to have a synod. We must be a synod.” “The point of entry must always be ‘situatedness’.” And this image was included in the document. Ponder its self-conscious profundity. It is, as it were, the master key to... "the beyond of the Spirit." * * * Give me a second to sort out where we're at with synods right now: 1st Step - To demonstrate our synodality, let's have a synod. 2nd Step - Now we need a synod on synodality. 3rd Step - Each diocese must have a synod on the synod on synodality. Current (4th) Step - We are a synod. Future Steps   ? -                      We need a synod on the synod on the synod on the synod on synodality           All are welcome to be synods           Trads are not synods           Synods are

The Cost of Making the NHL

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So, you've failed your childhood dream of making the National Hockey League? Now what?  There is only one thing to do: Live out your dream through your child! WARNING: Living out your dream through your child can be expensive. Here is the cost of one year of hockey for a 10-year-old so that you he can, some day in the future, have a miniscule "shot" at the NHL... * * * To begin, your child will need to play on the AA travelling team. Local hockey teams are for bums. Got that? Bums. Scouts don't have time for bum players from inferior bum leagues. So sign up your child at the higher price. Well, first pay $60 to try out for the team, and then sign up. Actual registration, insurance, and jersey rentals will take an extra $800-1000 - if you're lucky and have a good fundraiser system (be prepared to work a few bingos). No big deal. Now you're ready to go! Have a fun year! But wait, there's more. The AA team, for some unknown reason, requires green equipment

Wendell Berry and Youth Fiction

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Back in the fall my wife made a passing comment to me. "I got this book from the library. Hannah Coulter. I think you might like it." Little did I know. This innocent remark has packed quite the punch. I was introduced to the world of Wendell Berry , and subsequently into Wendell Berry's fictional world of Port Williams. I haven't looked book. If you are unfamiliar with Wendell Berry's works, he is perhaps best known for his essays on preserving true farming, community, rural living, and all things common sense. However, he is also an accomplished novelist. So much so that you could swear his fictional Port Williams, and all its residents, are real.  Little did I know: Part 2. In the fall, as I was reading Wendell Berry, I wrote my first book. Disconnected: The Broken Path . It is a novel for ages 10 and up, and imagines a day when the internet crashes, and people are forced to live (or survive, I should say) in the real world.  Looking back, I see just how much

Those Nostalgic Hard Times

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  Last year we went on an epic family vacation . At least it was epic to us, seeing as we don't get out much. We hit up the Rocky Mountains and spent a glorious week and a half camping.  I love the mountains. I frequently dream about the mountains. When I'm not at the mountains I want to be at the mountains. But I also could never live at the mountains. It sounds like some tragic Shakespearean love story. However, you may as well bury me in an abandoned mine a mile below ground if I were to live by the mountains, cause that's how my head would feel without an open prairie sky to look at. Nevertheless, the mountains are the best place to visit. They called us over last year, and we gladly obliged.  It was hard. Very hard. Borderline too hard. At the time our four children were ages 1-9. The daily temperature hit well above 30 degrees C (which is a nightmare for Saskatchewanians). There were long drives, troubles with food (never expect me to remember to pack frozen meat at 4

The Greatest Evil to Befall a Soul, Except Sin, Is...

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I once went to a look-out spot which presented a stunning view of the Saskatchewan River. However, before I could get to the actual look-out spot, I had to stroll pass a fenced-in storage area. At that moment, there happened to be a deer within the fenced in area. Amused, I stood and watched. The deer looked up and saw me, and then utterly freaked out. In desperation to escape, he started ramming himself against the chain-link fence. With great violence he smashed his body towards the metal, harder and harder, all to no avail. Not wanting the animal to kill itself (which it surely would have), I quickly went out of sight. What happened afterwards? I imagine the deer calmed down, remembered where it was, and sheepishly walked out of the fenced in area by using the massive opening just a few feet away. * * * The deer story provides an example of what, according to St. Francis de Sales, is the greatest evil to befall a soul (besides sin). He is speaking of disquietude . Disquietude is as

"You're Not a Mother Yet!"

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  Some eleven years ago my wife Becca and I entered a church on a fine Sunday morning. It was Mother's Day, and the local K of C were passing out carnations to all the moms. It was sort of a big moment for us. You see, Becca was obviously pregnant. There was no hiding the fact. It was her first Mother's Day as a mother. We approached the man passing out flowers in the back foyer. I asked for a carnation for Becca. The man looked at Becca, at me, and then back at Becca, before shouting, "You're not a mother yet!" No carnation for Becca. Whatever. This man was a nut, and certainly didn't represent the church we were attending. The blame is on him.  I can imagine this man as the Gospel is read by a priest:  A pregnant Elizabeth comments to the pregnant Mary,   "Why am I so honoured, that the  mother  of my Lord should come to me?" The man shouts out from the pew: "She's not a mother YET!" Never mind.  We are approaching another Mother'

Free Printables for Disconnected: The Broken Path

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  “ This story came as a wonderful surprise—I was expecting a children's story (which I got), but the truths it touches on brought me to tears several times. The ending was special and beautiful.” - From a review of Disconnected: The Broken Path To purchase Disconnected: Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/1778052509 USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1778052509

A Song. Just Because.

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Lake Jesper Hasnaoui

Disconnected Adults - Maybe It Begins with Us?

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I write this "safely" from the welcome home of my own personal blog. No expectations to fulfill here. No wait times for publishing. No need to use every word perfectly and without a hint of waste. No worries of vitriol or going viral; of enduring fame, infamy, and everything in between. Just writing. Writing what's on my mind. Writing words... for the sake of writing words. And the word that's on my mind today as I write is disconnected . No, I don't exactly mean my book. I refer to what it truly means to be dis connected , and then  connected. Disconnected. The great doubled-meaning word. To disconnect from screens is to connect with reality. To connect to screens is to disconnect from reality. It's perfectly simple. It's perfectly impossible. You know, I've quickly found out what I hate the very most about being an author (not that I consider myself an "author"). It's the self-promotion. More specifically, it's the self-promotion on

Please Pass On: Free Novel Study for My Book

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I have a small favour to ask...  If you have any teacher friends, please pass on the following: I have created a novel study for my book, Disconnected: The Broken Path . The novel study is for grades 5-7. In it I have grammar work, comprehension questions, author insider-information on the book, a health action plan, enrichment activities, crosswords, word scrambles, word searches, and much more! The best part is... it's FREE. Simply go to TeachersPayTeachers to download the novel study. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Disconnected-The-Broken-Path-Authors-Own-Novel-Study-7998771?st=9e55143e201f1d795a106a02cd0ffeeb

Stu as in Stupid?

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  There are at least two reasons why I'm not the right person to slam the new movie, Father Stu . The first being that I don't really like movies. Not many, anyway. I haven't stepped foot inside a movie theatre in nearly twelve years. I believe that was to see Toy Story 3 . Nor do I have any of those Netflix Prime Plus Disney Stack Amazon subscriptions, or whatever they're called. I'd rather watch a football game, or an episode of Alone .  The second reason I ought not to slam Father Stu is because, well, I have never watched it. Nor will I. Why do I say this? You need to check out Austin Ruse's critique of the movie over at Crisis Magazine . The review was... shocking. A few brief snippets: "I cannot express how much I hated the new movie  Father Stu , at least up to a point . Up to that point, I really hated it. I emailed friends how much I hated it. I railed at my wife and children how much I hated it. I shouted down the hallway how much I hated it. Dow

Word of Mouth

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  My initial two-week book launch is completed. Thank you all for your tremendous support. It means the world to me. However, things are far from over… Here’s a little hint of the back-end of selling a book from an indie perspective. You write the book (and get it professionally edited/formatted). Done. Then you release the book with a launch team and try to attain as many Amazon reviews as possible. Done. But then for most authors, you hire ads such as Amazon, BookBub, TheFussyLibrarian, etc. in order to sell as many e-Books as possible. In a sense, they play the market to see which ads work, and which ones tank. I am over-simplifying the process, but you see what I mean. Again, it’s all about the e-Book. But for me this final step is far different. With a youth novel (again, grown-ups will love it as well), it’s mostly about organic growth with a good ole physical copy of a book. Parents need to trust the authors of books for their kids. So it goes as such: A person reads the

Why I'm Leaving the TLM [UPDATED]

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  UPDATE: Well, today someone tried to grab my hand while praying the Our Father. This person didn't sanitize three times first. I was horrified, and felt unsafe! Needless to say, I will be running back to the TLM. At least there is no hand-holding there.  See you next April Fool's Day... * * * Months in the making for sure. Particularly since Pope Francis' motu proprio which took a fatal shot at the traditional Latin Mass. Agree or disagree. Whatever. What's done is done. The fact is that since last July I've been to just one traditional Latin Mass. It disappeared on me. God clearly has been calling my family to a different style of worship. Otherwise he would provide the TLM! There are consequences to this. By that I mean, if one is called to a different style of worship, then it is important to embrace it. How else can one find peace? And so, we are back with the folk music, felt banners, and emphasis on active participation. Only this time everything is differen

Any Place but Amazon...

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I just released my book, and already I have people asking me if it's available somewhere other than Amazon. Look, I get it. I really do. But I'm not sure how a new author breaks through without first using the medium by which nearly 70% of all books are sold. But again, I get it. Oh do I ever. Let me explain... So my book almost missed my launch date. You see, after I uploaded it, Amazon waited a day, then told me that they would not publish it. My heart jumped out of my chest when I read that. Why? What grave crime had I committed? Let me show you: That's right. See that "J" on Daniel J. Millette? It's too low.  Actually it isn't. The cover was created using Amazon specified software. Then the proof copies came back completely fine. No matter. You don't argue with Amazon. And so, I had a desperate scramble to get a hold of my cover designer (in the Netherlands), and get it revised. I then uploaded the book. After two near sleepless nights, my book fin

My Book, Disconnected, is Now Available

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  Disconnected: The Broken Path , is now available on Amazon! This novel is for the 10-14-year-old, and deals with overcoming internet addiction, while learning to live, survive, and even thrive, in the real world. Synopsis: The internet is gone! And now everyone is forced to live in a world that is disconnected. Twelve-year-old Ben Montana had a different life on the internet. His “real” life was found online. He could say and do things there that didn’t matter in person. It was great, and wonderful, and perfectly…miserable. When the internet crashes, and severe hardships arise, thrilling events and trials force Ben into an adventure of real-world survival. In the end, Ben must confront what it truly means to be connected, and what it means to live. Disconnected: The Broken Path  is a stimulating adventure sure to entertain. Full of humor and poignant life-lessons, it is the perfect book for young adults and beyond. In a world absorbed by the internet,  Disconnected: The Broken Path