Donald R. McClarey

One Solitary Life

“There is no greater drama in human record than the sight of a few Christians scorned or oppressed by a succession of emperors, bearing all trials by a fierce tenacity, multiplying quietly, building order while their enemies generated chaos, fighting

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Donald R. McClarey

Norad Tracking Santa

When I was a kid, perhaps because I was the son of an Air Force veteran, I always thrilled to the tracking of Santa by Norad (North American Air Defense).  I am happy to see that Norad is still doing

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Donald R. McClarey

Nativitalk!

A Christmas present from those wonderfully twisted folks at The Lutheran Satire.

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Donald R. McClarey

Christmas 1944: Lest We Forget

In 1944, seventy-four years ago, at Christmas, the American and German armies were fighting it out in the Battle of the Bulge, the last major German offensive of the War. Patton’s Third Army fought its way through to relieve the Americans

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Donald R. McClarey

Thirty seven Years Ago: Reagan Christmas Address

On December 23, 1981, President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation.  The video above is an excerpt from that speech.  The portion of the address dealing with the attempt by the then Polish Communist regime to crush Solidarity, the Polish labor

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Donald R. McClarey

Bishop Sheen on the True Meaning of Christmas

  First broadcast in 1956, Bishop Sheen puts his own unique spin on the eternal mystery of Christmas, God becoming Man, Creator becoming Created.  It is interesting how philosophical and complicated Sheen’s presentation is.  Recall that his show was broadcast on commercial

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Donald R. McClarey

The Lemon Drop Kid

Sidney Melbourne (Bob Hope): Santy Claus don’€™t drink. Gloomy Willie (William Frawley): Oh, no? Well, how come he’€™s always falling down chimneys? Screenplay,  Lemon Drop Kid (1951)     Damon Runyon and Bob Hope make a terrific combination in The

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Donald R. McClarey

Christmas 1918 With the Fighting 69th

Christmas Mass on the Rhine! In 1916, our midnight mass was under the open sky along the Rio Grande; in 1917, in the old medieval church at Grand in the Vosges; now, thank Heaven, in this year of grace, 1918,

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Donald R. McClarey

Christmas 1776: Washington Refuses to be Beaten

      Each year, as Christmas is approaching, I think of a Christmas long ago in 1776.  The year in which we declared our independence from Great Britain was a year of military disaster for the United States.  Washington

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Donald R. McClarey

Star Trek Christmas

MCCOY: Captain, I see on your report Flavius was killed. I am sorry. I liked that huge sun worshiper. SPOCK: I wish we could have examined that belief of his more closely. It seems illogical for a sun worshiper to

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Donald R. McClarey

Santa Roosevelt

Death had to take him in his sleep, for if he was awake there’d have been a fight. Thomas R. Marshall, Vice President of the United States, on hearing of the death of Theodore Roosevelt   One of his worst

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Donald R. McClarey

The Bishop’s Wife

Dudley: All right. Let me think. This happened many, many years ago. Debby: That’s not the way to begin. Stories start “Once upon a time”. Dudley: Yes, that’s true. Once upon a time there was a little boy and he

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Donald R. McClarey

Bishop Sheen on the True Meaning of Christmas

First broadcast in 1956, Bishop Sheen puts his own unique spin on the eternal mystery of Christmas, God becoming Man, Creator becoming Created.  It is interesting how philosophical and complicated Sheen’s presentation is.  Recall that his show was broadcast on commercial TV

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Donald R. McClarey

Wreathes Across America

When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrows we gave our today. Inscription on the memorial to the dead of the 2nd British Division, Kohima, India

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Quotes Suitable for Framing: Virgil

Assume thy greatness, for the time draws nigh, Dear child of gods, great progeny of Jove! See how it totters- the world’s orbed might, Earth, and wide ocean, and the vault profound, All, see, enraptured of the coming time! Ah!

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Donald R. McClarey

Festivals of Light

Now Judas celebrated the festival of the restoration of the sacrifices of the temple for eight days, and omitted no sort of pleasures thereon; but he feasted them upon very rich and splendid sacrifices; and he honored God, and delighted

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Donald R. McClarey

Saint Luke and Linus Explain it All

As an explanation of why we celebrate Christmas each year, the above video is superb and concise. The words of Linus are of course taken from the Gospel of Saint Luke: And there were in the same country shepherds abiding

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Donald R. McClarey

Keep Christ in Christmas

So said Pope Francis:   “In our times, especially in Europe, we’re seeing a ‘distortion’ of Christmas,” the pope said in his final General Audience of 2017. “In the name of a false respect for non-Christians, which often hides a

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Donald R. McClarey

Christmas at Arlington

I  choked up when I saw the above.  Go here to learn more about Wreaths Across America. Go tell the Spartans, passerby: That here, by Spartan law, we lie. Simonides, Epitaph for the Spartan dead at Thermopylae

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Donald R. McClarey

Star Wars Holiday Special

    Some things simply cannot be unseen no matter how strongly you wish that were possible.  From November 17, 1978.  For the masochists among our readers, the entire Holiday Special is available on You Tube.  It is amazing that

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Donald R. McClarey

The Plot to Overthrow Christmas

  How wonderfully daffy the golden age of Radio tended to be.  A broadcast on December 19, 1944 of the show This Is My Best:  Norman Corwin’s comedic poem The Plot to Overthrow Christmas, a hilarious look at a plot by Hell

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Bob Kurland, Ph.D.

The Wexford Carol

At the Wednesday night rehearsal of our parish instrumental group (trumpet, two clarinets, guitar, two flutes, tympani–and me on a bowed psaltery) the director played a recording of a carol we will play in the prelude before the 7:30 pm

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Donald R. McClarey

O Holy Night

“I am an historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”

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Donald R. McClarey

Festivals of Light

  Now Judas celebrated the festival of the restoration of the sacrifices of the temple for eight days, and omitted no sort of pleasures thereon; but he feasted them upon very rich and splendid sacrifices; and he honored God, and

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Donald R. McClarey

Linus and Saint Luke Explain It All

          As an explanation of why we celebrate Christmas each year, the below video is superb and concise.   The words of Linus are of course taken from the Gospel of Saint Luke: And there were

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Donald R. McClarey

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

  Something for an Advent weekend.   Hark the Herald Angels Sing.  Written by Charles Wesley in 1739, the hymn we enjoy today developed and changed over a century with input from many hands.  No hymn I think better exemplifies the

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