Friday, May 30, 2014


Last week I took two of our Shaw children to a parish on the mainland north of us so they could be confirmed. Our charismatic Seattle Archbishop was on hand for the ceremony, even though it was a small group of 25.  If I could sum him up it would be “joyous energy radiating Christ".

ARCHBISHOP JAMES PETER SARTAIN was born June 6, 1952 in Memphis, Tennessee, the youngest of five children, as well as the only boy.  He is the first priest of the Diocese of Memphis to become a bishop.   He selected as his episcopal motto: "Of You My Heart Has Spoken" (Ps. 27:8).

The Archbishop studied chemistry for one year before transferring to St. Meinrad (Benedictine) College in Indiana, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1974. He then earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology at the Angelicum in Rome.

He was ordained to the priesthood on July 15, 1978, after which he returned to his studies in Rome. He earned a Licentiate of Sacred Theology with specialization in sacramental theology from the Pontifical University of St. Anselmo in 1979. This is the active cradle of Benedictine study.

In 2000, he was appointed the sixth Bishop of Little Rock, Arkansas, by (St.) Pope John Paul II.

Due to the increasing Hispanic population in Arkansas, Archbishop Sartain took a course in Spanish in San Antonio, Texas, in 2001, and established Hispanic ministries throughout the state. He also ordained Arkansas's first Mexican-born priest. He worked to increase vocations. The diocese had ten seminarians and no ordinations in 2000, but fifteen seminarians and two ordinations in 2005

In 2006, he was appointed as bishop of the Diocese of Joliet. In 2010, he was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle.

Like Our new Holy Father his message often focuses on the general need for humanity to fully manifest God's love by living for what is good, beyond themselves. His words to the youth had them riveted in their seats. His final message was: 
this is not graduation, but a jumping off place for the rest of your lies!

St. Joseph's, Ferndale, WA Confirmation 2014

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Earlier this month we did a Blog on Sister Mary Jean Dorcy  and mentioned her "disciple" Dan Paulos who carried on her work and has gone beyond her giftedness in his art. His great devotion to the Blessed Mother is evident in his work, so I thought it a good way to end this month devoted to her.

DANIEL THOMAS PAULOS is a master. He was introduced to the cut paper or silhouette art form in grade school, and later studied the secrets of the art of papercutting under the famed Sister Mary Jean. "It took him less than two years to accomplish what it took me thirty to do," she once said.

He was born in 1949 in Iowa to a large Greek-Italian family. As a young boy in Catholic school, he
became intrigued by the artistic cuttings of Sr. Mary Jean Dorcy. At her prodding, he learned the art of serigraphy (a print made by the silk-screen process) and began producing hand-pulled serigraphs of her favorite silhouettes, as well as his own.  Papercutting in religious art goes back to the sixteenth century, but has been almost a lost art in our more modern centuries.

Mary the Servant

The persistence of Sister Mary Jean drove Dan to restrict his paper-cuttings to spiritual imagery, concentrating mostly on the healing power of motherhood. “I think the role of the Catholic artist may be, in a quiet way, to convert a person, not so much to Catholicism, but to love of God and his mother,” he has said.  Dan works mainly with images of the Blessed Virgin, Christ, and the Holy Family, though in recent years we see more saints. His artistic rendering of Mary expresses not only delicacy and joy, but focuses also on Our Lady's strength of presence and her spiritual power.

Our Lady of Auschwitz
Dan also  gives us new images of old favorites such as "Our Lady of Perpetual Help," "Lourdes," or "Our Lady of Guadalupe." He gives a stirringly personal touch to the "Our Lady of Auschwitz" and the "Apache Madonna." (two of my favorites)

Apache Madonna

Dan, who lives in Albuquerque, N.M., says he is married to his career. “I work from when I get up until I go to bed. God has been good to me, and has given me very good projects on which to work.” 

About 90 percent of Dan’s original cuttings have been gifts to museums, churches and friends in many places throughout the world. His originals are hung in museums, not only in United States and Canada, but Europe, South America, and Japan.

Through his art Dan speaks of the strength of the Mary as our mother and protector, the  compassionate woman of the Magnificat. His "Paper Madonnas" tickle our consciences, prompting us "to go out and see what we can do to help raze bigotry, selfishness and fear." And this is how Dan Paulos understands his mission in life: "to create for the glory of God.”  He is noted for his generous heart. One artist said: I know he will tirelessly devote himself to helping another artist, without, envy, selfishness, or expecting a return on his time and effort.

Bl. Mother Teresa
St. Bernadette

His book, "Behold The Women,"  describes the  contribution made by Catholic nuns to our world. It is filled with moving testimonials, wonderful pictures and sincere recollections by many notable people. All proceeds benefit the work of St. Bernadette Institute of Sacred Art.

More of his lovely art can be seen at:TRINITY.COM

Dan Paulos

Friday, May 23, 2014


Shaw Island Llama/Alpaca Club

After 15 years I have finally "resigned" from 4-H on Shaw.  I worked with the children and llamas (alpacas included) for 10 years and birders for 7 years.  This year most of the children are moving off island after school ends, so I said it is time!

The Llama Club was a wonderful experience, as I learned mostly from the kids themselves as they interacted with their animals.  When we started there was very little in terms of info on how to go about this. We started with two boys (cousins) doing only showmanship where the child is judged on how he well he handles the llama. The  animal itself is not judged, though must be well groomed.

The following year we had two more islands join us, which made the competition more fun. In 10 years we had 8 national judges who loved working with the kids.  They could not tell one club from another as there was so much positive interaction. The older kids would help the younger ones and there was a lot of fun between clubs- I am told unheard of on the mainland. One year we won the coveted Black & White Ribbon, given to the best barn or exhibit  at the fair.  It is a state award and not always given. The judge was amazed at how well the kids performed but especially how they interacted.
The Black & White Award

It was not an easy thing to get 10 kids and 10 animals on the inter-island ferry, but for one year, it always went smoothly, thanks to caring parents and ferry crew.  The bad year was when 2 llamas and 4 alpacas were left behind with a father driving the trailer. He was clueless regarding handling so it was a few bad hours but we got it all sorted out with help at the fair end. Carl was able to unload the animals but then slept in the truck, catching the early morning ferry next day. There were articles & letters in the news the next day, we had apologies from Olympia, etc. etc. all due to bad loading by ferry crew.

John teaching his llama to kush
Amy haltering her alpaca
After a few years the kids decided they would like to try an obstacle course, which meant a lot more training, but the kids loved it!  They put their llamas over jumps, through hoops, into wading pools, always trying to simulate a course found in nature if the animals were being used for packing.

As a way of practice before the fair, the kids walked their llamas in the annual Shaw 4th of July parade, always a bit hit!

Ian on Show Day

Samuel Showing

Becca unloading her llama

The Shaw Birding Club (which I have written about in past Blogs) was a lot of fun. We met most Saturdays, scouring the Island for birds.  The projects through the years were varied: what do birds eat, where are they found, when do they arrive or leave, etc. etc.  Then came the “famous” CROW project, which gave them a single species to focus on, and last year they built their blind to study the Steller’s jays.    

Birding at Sea

Best of Show

One girl who has birded with me the longest, is doing her graduation project on the Birds of Shaw Island and is excited about the family’s move, as she is already scouting new birds.

Always nice to pass on the baton- or in this case bird seed? 

2013 Jay Project

Saturday, May 17, 2014


  was born in Anacortes, Wa. (as the Eagle flies just a few miles from our Island) in 1914. She was the youngest of nine children. She attributes her gifts to: "the imagination came from my father and his wonderful heritage of Irish fantasy, and the technical skill from my mother, who had incredibly skillful hands".

She graduated from Anacortes High School in 1931and spent one year at the University of Washington, after which she entered the Dominican novitiate at Everett (the motherhouse has since been moved to Edmonds), Washington, where she made profession in January 1934. She then returned to college at the Jesuits' Gonzaga University in Spokane receiving a BA. Three years later she  was awarded a Master of Fine Arts from California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland.

Add caption

She once wrote: The only truly brilliant thing I have ever done was to enter the Dominican Order, that vast storehouse of sanctity, learning and charity which allows even a very small depositer to take out great fortunes of spiritual and intellectual assistance".

"During my novitiate years, my Novice-Mistress made up her mind that there was no reason at all why I should not cut out silhouettes". From a single sheet of paper, Sister Mary Jean started cutting continuous flowing silhouettes. By the 1940s, she was recognized as one of the leading American paper cutters. Sister Mary Jean gained a deserved reputation as both a published author and artist.

Our Lady of Seattle

"...perhaps Our Lady- who is my general manager- understands that I am not the rugged sort who can get along entirely on my own, sufficient unto myself and unconcerned what the rest of the world thinks. It makes me very happy to receive letters from Mexico and Iceland and India from people who have read my books, and to know that my silhouettes are hanging on the walls of a convent near the South Pole and in a rectory in Denmark and in Bankok and Ireland. Last year I met a young Dominican student from Hong-Kong who says he learned to read English from one of my books, and there is a young couple in the midwest who each year make up the family Christmas card with one of my silhouettes as background and their lovely children in front. A mission chapel in Louisiana has two of my pictures on the walls, beautifully enlarged and painted by the parishioners; and every Christmas there are the wonderful letters from people all over the world, more than outweighing the inevitable scars and struggles of a tough profession.

Ladder to Heaven

There still remains the identifying question as to whether I am a silhouettist who also writes books, or an author who also illustrates. It will be simplest if I just say that I do not know, and have no strong feeling either way".

Perhaps her enduring legacy was to train artist Dan Paulos, who has carried on the tradition of paper cutting and has himself become an internationally known artist. (more on his lovely work later).

Sister Dorcy’s final book, “Spring Comes to the Hill Country,” was collaboration with Paulos. One of her cuttings is housed in the Smithsonian Institute.  A close friend of our has many of her original paper cuts. We have "hinted" that we know some nuns who would like one or two!

Spring Comes...

Sister Mary Jean Dorcy died May 5, 1988 after a long struggle with acute arthritis and lung ailments. She had been bedridden for the last 10 years.

Thursday, May 15, 2014


Pope Paul VI with Mother Benedict

On May 10 it was announced that Pope Francis  will declare POPE PAUL VI blessed at a beatification ceremony in the Vatican on October 19, 2014. The Holy Father issued a decree acknowledging a miracle attributed to the intercession of his predecessor, clearing the way for his beatification. Pope Paul VI was born Giovanni Battista Montini on Sept. 26, 1897 in Concesio, Italy, and died on August 6, 1978. His pontificate from 1963 to 1978, was between the two great Popes, John XXIII and John Paul II, whom Pope Francis declared saints on April 27 in the Vatican.

The attributed miracle involves an unborn child in the 1990s in California, who was found to have a serious health problem that posed a high risk of brain damage. The child’s bladder was damaged as well.  Abortion was offered as an option, but the mother refused, instead taking advice from a nun who was a friend of the family. The mother prayed for Paul VI’s intercession using a fragment of the pope’s vestments that the nun had given her.
Ten weeks later, the results of the medical tests showed a substantial improvement in the child’s health, and he was born by Caesarean section in the 39th week of pregnancy. He is now a healthy adolescent and considered to be completely healed.

Our American foundation has always had a direct connection to Pope Paul as he was most instrumental in our Foundress making her way to American soil.

Having obtained the permission of the Papal Nnuncio of Paris, Cardinal Angelo Roncalli, the future Pope St. John XXIII,  Mother Benedict Duss traveled to Rome to meet with Cardinal Giovanni Montini, who later became Pope Paul VI. She finally met with Pope Pius XII, who gave her permission to begin the founding of a contemplative order in the U.S. In 1946, Mother Benedict and Mother Mary Aline Trilles de Warren arrived in New York with just $20 in their pockets.

Although Mother Benedict met with many obstacles, she also received support from many in the Church, especially Pope Paul VI. Through a friendship of many years, Pope Paul VI offered wisdom and practical advice, suggesting from the beginning that if the new monastery was to attract the dedication of American women, the nuns must each be encouraged to have a professional basis in their religious life.

Pope Paul VI also asked Mother Benedict to maintain the Latin chants and that the abbey maintain the tradition of hospitality to all people. 

Pope Paul is most remembered for Humanae Vitae (Human Life) an encyclical written in 1968. Subtitled On the Regulation of Birth, it re-affirms the orthodox teaching of the Catholic Church regarding married love, responsible parenthood, and the continued rejection of most forms of birth control.

I myself met Pope Paul VI in a semi private audience in the late 60s when I was living in Europe. Pater Doktor Spellucci was the Holy Father’s secretary for German affairs and made sure I was able to attend special Masses and audiences when I was in the Vatican.  I was able to touch the hand of the saintly pope as well as get many photos, an event vivid in my mind after all these years. 

With a friendship that began here on earth, I am sure Lady Abbess Benedict is rejoicing with him! 


Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Holy Family Living at Nazareth
I chose the artist to portray the mysteries of Our Blessed Mother for this month, dedicated to her, because of his love for her. Artist SIDNEY MATIAS was born in 1969 in the city of Mauá, São Paulo in Brazil.  He has duel citizenship – Brazilian & Italian. He is a  painter, sculptor and writer and has been a member of the lay Marianist community in Campinas, Brazil since 1999. He practices his dedication by exploring Mary as an educator, protector, and role model. He  begins his work by meditating on a Scripture passage for inspiration. Each piece shows how the love we have for our faith can find expression. In his Holy Family, Mary seems to joyfully bewildered by the exploits of her Son.


A strong sense of Brazilian culture infuses Matias’s work and contributes to his style, demonstrated by his vivid color choices and use of intricate shapes. Matias’s art has been used on Christmas cards, chapels, murals, mosaics and illustrations. He said he feels “like a missionary, an evangelist using my art to try to inspire people to live like Mary.”

In most of his works, Mary seems to be keeping a secret, which she will only share with those who love her Son.

First Miracle

Apocalyptic Woman

Saturday, May 10, 2014


GOOD SHEPHERD SUNDAY is the Fourth Sunday of Easter in the Catholic liturgical calendar. The name derives from the Gospel readings on this day which are taken from the 10th chapter of John. In this reading Christ is described as the Good Shepherd who, by dying on the Cross, lays down His life for his sheep.

In recent times the feast day has also become known as VOCATIONS SUNDAY, a day on which prayers are said for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. This year the theme ‘Vocations: Witness to the Truth’.

In his message for Vocations Sunday Pope Francis says:  “A vocation is a fruit that ripens in a well cultivated field of mutual love that becomes mutual service, in the context of an authentic ecclesial life. No vocation is born of itself or lives for itself. A vocation flows from the heart of God and blossoms in the good soil of faithful people, in the experience of fraternal love. Did not Jesus say: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn. 13:35)?”

In this year’s message, The Holy Father calls for heroes who will go into the great harvest where many people are harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. ‘And the harvest will be plentiful’.

This year the feast also falls on MOTHER'S DAY.

The images I present here are all by the Palestinian Christian artist, ZAKI BABOUN,  who was born in Bethlehem (where he still lives)  in 1962. I could not find much else about him, but know he is very active in organizations which promote peace. Bethlehem  is a town well-known for shepherds who came from there and obviously a subject dear to his heart. And a town we often associate with peace.  I love this artist's vivid colors, which to me convey joy, and there is a serenity to his art which speaks of peace and gentle care.  Gifts we all could use.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Melody after her First Communion

We were blessed to have a First Holy Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday, an
event which always touches our hearts and souls.  These photos by our Intern, Tari, say it all!

Saturday, May 3, 2014


Recently, we had a small group of children and adults visit one of our bogs.  The leader later wrote to tell us what they found.  “Chorus frogs, amphipods, snails, dragonfly and damselfly nymphs. Your wetland is most certainly a "home pond" for long-toed salamanders...there may be only one or two other home ponds for these delicate amphibians in San Juan Co." (Russel Barsh- Lopez Island)

(A Rare Moss)
We have known for years that we had some “rare” species on our lands, but it is always good to have the experts tell us what they are and where they are to be found. In 2006 Jean Y. Kekes of Charlton, NY found a rare (for North America) species of at the water edge of our land. It is a rare arctic-boreal, maritime moss, most often found in Europe, notably in Great Britain.  It was only the second U.S. occurrence of Bryum marratii (Marrat's bryum moss or Baltic bryum).

I did a little research on some of the finds in the bog.

Long-toed  Salamander

The distribution of the LONG-TOED SALAMANDER  is primarily in the Pacific Northwest. It lives in a variety of habitats, including temperate rainforests, coniferous forests, montane riparian zones, sagebrush plains, red fir forests, semiarid sagebrush, cheatgrass plains, and alpine meadows along the rocky shores of mountain lakes. It lives in slow-moving streams, ponds, and lakes during its aquatic breeding phase. The long-toed salamander hibernates during the cold winter months, surviving on energy reserves stored in the skin and tail.

Although the long-toed salamander is classified as a species of Least Concern by the IUCN, many forms of land development threaten and negatively affect the salamander's habitat.

When threatened, the long-toed salamander will wave its tail and secrete an adhesive white milky substance that is noxious and likely poisonous.

Two life-history features of amphibians are often cited as a reason why amphibians are good indicators of environmental health or 'canaries in the coal mine'. Like all amphibians, the long-toed salamander has both an aquatic and terrestrial life transition and semipermeable skin. Since they serve different ecological functions in the water than they do in land, the loss of one amphibian species is equivalent to the loss of two ecological species.The second notion is that amphibians, such as long-toed salamanders, are more susceptible to the absorption of pollutants because they naturally absorb water and oxygen through their skin. The validity of this special sensitivity to environmental pollutants, however, has been called into question. The problem is more complex, because not all amphibians are equally susceptible to environmental damage because there is such a diverse array of life histories among species.

Red-legged frog

Also found is the RED-LEGGED FROG a species of amphibian, whose range is the coastal region stretching from southwest British Columbia to southern Mendocino County in Northern California, and is protected in British Columbia, Oregon and California. As a member of the genus Rana, this species is considered a true frog, with characteristic smooth skin and a narrow waist. This frog requires still waters for breeding, and is rarely found at any great distance from its breeding ponds or marshes.