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Reverend Fr. Alphons Oesch S.J.

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   Reverend Fr. Alphons Oesch S.J., a force of nature You sowed in us the seeds of knowledge with tender loving care, nurtured in us a strong sense of purpose and belief, and patiently lifted us up when we stumbled, watching  with immense joy and satisfaction as we  burst onto the stage of life Authors note: This is a homage to Fr. Alphons Oesch S.J., who was my Higher German and English teacher at St Vincent's High School (1975-78). In talking to a number of his ex-students it came quite clear that this tireless mentor stirred his students to great heights, by his impeccable leadership, boundless enthusiasm and legendary work ethic in the classroom and on the sports field, setting them on a life long journey of excellence. A. M. D. G. (Ad Majorem Dei Glorium, For the greater glory of God)    You meet a lot of different people in life. While the memories of most fade with time, there are a handful that occupy a special place in your heart. It's hard to say why. Was it their int

Gratitude a life-changing attitude

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 Gratitude a life-changing attitude Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never ever have enough ~ Oprah Winfrey As 2021 winds down, there is no shortage of reasons to be despondent .. but it doesn't have to be that way. It all starts will a mindset that looks for the blessings not difficulties in life ... it's an attitude called gratitude!  Nature walks Bounties of the garden Gratitude that we are all together, safe and sound. Enjoying family time like gardening, movie nights, board games and cookouts exploring cuisines from around the world .  Plenty to be thankful for ... Lords of Water Deep, Star Wars Rebellion and Obsession South Asian laksa, Portuguese bacalao and  Japanese ramen Gratitude is when a memory is stored in the heart and not in the mind. ~ Lionel Hampton In the words of the wonderfully gifted self-help guru and maven Melody Beattie ... Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.  It tu

Christmas Tree Lane - an 80 year old tradition in Palo Alto

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 Christmas Tree Lane - an 80 year old tradition in Palo Alto Willow-woven deer For the last 20 days of each December, the 1700 and 1800 blocks of Fulton Street between Embarcadero and Seale in Palo Alto, California transforms magically into Christmas Tree Lane .  For younger residents like Ellie Rodden, a high school student from Menlo Park, the event can provide lasting memories. “I came here a lot when I was little,” she said. “I like these traditions because I think that they remind me a lot of my childhood, so they’re very nostalgic.” [1] This tradition has been more than 80 years in the making which thousands enjoy each year. Lights are turned on at 5pm and remain on till 11pm each night, come rain or shine. History The row of houses on Fulton Street off Embarcadero Road was the last street in Palo Alto in 1940 when four residents gathered around a bridge table at the home of one Judge Edward E. Hardy to discuss the upcoming holiday season. The men placed pipes in the ground at eq

Fr. Cyril Desbruslais S.J. : A man for all seasons

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  Rev. Fr. Cyril Desbruslais S.J. : A man for all seasons If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are a leader. ~ John Quincy Adams Preface This is a homage to Fr. Cyril Desbruslais S.J.,  on the 50th year anniversary of his youth ministry, and his 81st birthday.   I first interacted with Cyril in 1978 and he remains to this day my friend, brother, mentor and spiritual director. Like many who grew up in the Cantonment area of Poona in the 1970s (and since then right up to this very day), I had the distinct privilege of encountering this tireless youth leader whose ability to identify and connect with youth remains unsurpassed - and I am undoubtedly better for it.  From him, I got the inherent capacity to think  critically with a healthy dose of curiosity and skepticism while keeping an open mind to contrary ideas. As also a willingness to debate respectfully including the ability to disagree without being disagreeable. And above all,