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July 7, 1999

So..........

I haven't been doing a very good job of making entries here lately due mostly to the fact that I have been spending most of my spare time trying to finish up a Novena book that will be released in Spring of 2000. Well I finished a draft of the book, close to 300 pages in manuscript form, the other day. So, before I begin the horrific task of rereading and rewriting vast portions of it I figured I would add an entry here.

The book is made up of Novenas that are used at Catholic Shrines around the country. Each section begins with a history of the particular devotion, then the novena prayers, then a short description of the shrine along with their address and internet address if they have one.

When I took on the project I figured I knew enough about everything, so that it would be breeze to write, but in reality it took a lot of research. I've tried to keep the more colorful aspects of the saints lives present in the accounts to make it an enjoyable read.

One example of what I mean by colorful would be the life of Saint Simon Stock. He is first of all called "Stock" because at the age of 12 he left home for the forest to be a hermit taking up residence in a hollowed out trunk. Later in his life when he had come out of the woods and been elected superior of the Carmelites he found himself in a precarious position one day. Sitting down for a meal,the person serving the meal brought a plate of cooked fish and set it before Simon. Simon who was a strict vegetarian was not pleased. He ordered the fish thrown back into the river. The man carried the plate of cooked fish and threw the contents into the river at which point the fish swam away.

A similar effort will be needed here as I take a very dead text and try to bring some life to it!

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