Jump Starting a Blog

Earlier, I shared with everyone the difficulty I was having being an active blogger.  At the time, I laid part of the blame on the fact that I only had my IPhone to create posts.  I was really hoping to get a new laptop, and thought that once I got one, I would really be burning up the keys.

Well, I got this sweet little Dell Inspiron laptop, and guess what?  Total silence.  All I can say is that my reasons include writer’s block, and plain laziness.  So what to do?  As the old say goes; “Try, try again!”  One approach is seeking incentives to write.     So I am joining a Blog Party at “Susie Landau’s Wild Ride.”  Putting your blog out there to a possible wider audience, does encourage one to create content, quality content for them to see




Weekend Coffee Share – 09/10/2017

deacon coffee mugOver a cup of coffee, I would share with you my sadness over the natural disasters that have afflicted this part of our world.  Three hurricanes tearing apart the Caribbean, Mexico, Texas and Florida.  Mexico then was hit by an earthquake, that caused further destruction and death.

It is sad that it takes disasters like this to bring this country together for a common cause of bringing relief to fellow citizens in desperate need.  Yet, it is also heartwarming to see that concern for oIRMA Hurricanethers, and the efforts being made to get aid to the suffering.   My prayers go out for those who have died; for the mourning loved ones left behind; and for those who survived and are trying to rebuild their lives.

Over a cup of coffee, I would share with you that this posting being on a new computer I have been able to acquire a new computer.  Both the desktop that I have had for almost a decade, and a used laptop I inherited, can no longer accept the anti-virus and system updates.  So when I have been able to post, it has been with my IPhone; and I have learned that I do not have the thumbs for typing, that younger folks have.  So we came into a little extra money, that enabled me to get this My New Computerlittle Dell laptop.  So now I have no excuse not to be a more frequent blogger.

As I fill up the cups with more joe, I would share with you that yesterday, Saturday, I attended another monthly meeting of my Secular Franciscan fraternity, located at St. Anthony Shrine, in Boston.  I may have written that it is becoming important for me to get back to my Franciscan roots; and one way is to being a part of the fraternity again.  This particular meeting was important, since we were having our chapter of elections.  Every three years, the professed St Anthony Shrinemembers gather to elect a minister and council, who will help guide us on our Franciscan journey.  It can be a long process, but it does draws us all closer as a fraternity.  My prayers go out for those who were elected, that the Holy Spirit will give them wisdom, an increase in patience and charity, for the next three years.

New Fraternity Council

Well, the cups are empty, and I started this post way too late.  So, I promise to be more timely, and more frequent.  And I will definitely see you next week over a cup of coffee.  Peace and all good!

Enthusiasm for Blogging – Where did it go?

I have recently looked at the WordPress Insight page for this blog.  It shows the number of times I have posted this past year.  Looking at it has been very depressing.  There have been months with very few posts, some months where I did not post at all!

I began blogging some years ago, first using Blogspot, then moving over to WordPress.  My wish, my hope, was to be able to share my views on the world of the Catholic Church, locally, nationally and internationally.  I wanted to share what was happening in my own spiritual life, and spiritual insights about the greater world. And I set the goal of trying to post at least a few times a week.  And for the most part I was able to keep to that schedule.  Even, when I was laid off, I tried to keep on posting.

Now, I am employed again, but the commute to my new job is two hours to; and two hours back.  I am usually not home until 8:30 PM, if I am lucky.  And sitting at the computer sometimes is the last thing I want to do.  And now, I have the WordPress app on my smartphone, and I have actually posted using it.  But is uses a lot of data!  And my plan does not have that much.

Of course, the main reason I have not blogged much this year, is that I no longer have the same enthusiasm for it.  It is rare for me to be inspired to sit in front of this cranky laptop, that has a cursor with a mind of it’s own; and produce something that people would be interested in reading.  And I still like reading others people’s blogposts, for the insights they offer, or just the joy of reading good writing.

Maybe I will rediscover that old enthusiasm again, some day.  What I need to do is to open to those moments, when a spark of inspiration ignites within me, and gets to to sit down and write.


This post illustrates how stumped I am!  The WP Daily Prompt for yesterday, Sunday, was “Stump;” today is Monday!  I fully intended to write something; God knows there was enough ideas, with it being 9/11 yesterday; the Sunday Scripture readings; the news!  But the thought of struggling with a cranky laptop, or an ancient desktop (we are still using XP!), dampens my enthusiasm.  Right now, I am typing this on an IPhone (Thank God, not a GalaxySE; do not want to lose fingers!), and my thumbs are not trained for this.  Well, right now, back to the real world of work; and hope to do better tonight.  Maybe.

Reflecting Again on Why I Write.



Why do I write?  That is a very interesting question today, especially since I have been finding it to sit in front of a keyboard, or to pick up a pen.  It was not too long ago, that I would be posting on my blog every other day, if not every day.  I have a serious case of writer’s block, which is why I am trying out Writing 101.

Why do I want to write?  Because sometimes I feel have something to share with the rest of the world.  As a Christian Catholic, a Secular Franciscan, and a Deacon, I feel the need to share my experiences of my encounters with God through Scripture, the Eucharist, prayer, and life.  I want to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with a world that more skeptical, that is a little darker, more violent, and where the poor and powerless have no voice.  I want share the Good News with those who are struggling with the challenges of everyday life; by sharing my own struggles with living the faith daily.

I want to write about, and express my belief that the Catholic Church, this community of believers, is still relevant for our society today.  While not turning a blind eye to its sins and failings, to express the joys, comfort, and inspirations I have experienced for myself.  And I want to share my opinions with a voice that accepts others, whether they agree with me or not.

When I write, I hope I am becoming, like St. Francis of Assisi, a Herald of the Great King, Jesus Christ!

One of My Favorite Catholic Bloggers Interviewed

For quite some time now, I have enjoyed reading posts from Mercy Sister Camille D’Arienzo, who writes for the National Catholic Reporter website, NCRonline.org.  She does interviews with various CathDeacon Greg Kendraolics, delving into their faith and spiritual lives.  Today, I discovered that she had interviewed one of my favorite Catholic bloggers, Deacon Greg Kandra.   He is a Permanent Deacon, ordained for the Diocese of Brooklyn, NY.  In 2007, he created “The Deacon’s Bench.”  It currently exists on the Patheos.com website, which has blogs from many faith perspectives.  In the interview, Deacon Kandra shares some of his history, especially his faith life.  And how he began blogging and what being a blogger has meant for him.

I have enjoyed reading his postings, ever since I entered formation for the Diaconate.  He has his finger on the pulse of the Catholic world, the Catholic blogosphere, and the Catholic Diaconate.  I have his posted homilies and commentaries both thought provoking and inspiring.  I really believe that reading his blog placed the seed in my head about maybe blogging myself.  I would recommend “The Deacon’s Bench” to anyone, but especially to my fellow deacons.

Howdy!!…….One More Time!

My modified profileHowdy, my name is Jonathan Francis Jones. I am a 62 year old man, who is happily married, a Roman Catholic, a Secular Franciscan, and an ordained Permanent Deacon.  Oh, and as of January, 2015, I have been unemployed.  This is my second go-round with Blogging 101; but to all of you newbies, allow me to reintroduce myself.

Ever since I was a kid in elementary school, I felt that God was calling me to some sort of service.  After high school, I entered the Catholic seminary for the Archdiocese of Boston, and spent eight years in studies.  I felt the need to take a leave of absence for a year to sort some things out.  I spent the year with an ecumenical organization called: “A Christian Ministry in the National Parks.”  It recruits theology students, and other college students, to go out into the country’s national parks, lead Sunday worship services, Bible studies and other activities.  I spent the summer in Yellowstone National Park, leading Sunday services at Old Faithful Inn; and washing dishes the rest of the time.  The Fall and Winter of that year, I was in Texas, at Big Bend National Park, right on the Rio Grande River.  My “earn my keep” job was being a night watchman; after which, on Sunday morning, I lead 2 worship services.  It was in the midst of all this natural beauty that I began to sense the Holy Spirit drawing me to testing a calling to be a Franciscan friar.  I spent at year and half in formation, when I came to discern that maybe I was meant to go down a different road.

So I found myself working in the Mutual Fund industry, servicing customers, but I was still felt being called to be a follower of St. Francis of Assisi.  Fortunately, the Franciscan movement has a lay branch, the Secular Franciscan Order.   I became a professed member in 1988, coincidently, the same year I married my beautiful, wonderful wife, Peg.  I remained active in the Church, as a member of my parish choir, and as a reader during the Sunday Mass.  I continued my life of prayer and service, still feeling called to go deeper.  I, along with my wife, entered the formation program for the Permanent Diaconate.  In September, 2012, I, along with my fellow classmates, were ordained as Deacons.  Peg, with the other wives, gave me the vestments I was to wear.  I have been assigned to several parishes in Beverly, Massachusetts, serving the people there I whatever way I can.

While, still in the Diaconal formation program, I felt called to blog; yes, called!  As I surfed the Web, I came across blogs that I really enjoyed, some that infuriated me, and others that confused me to no end.  One day, during 2009, in a downtown Boston bookstore, I found a book: “The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging.”  I bought it, read it cover to cover.  I felt God calling me to share my faith experience with others, to try my hand at being an electronic evangelizer.  At the same time, I wanted to share my own observations of what is happening in my community, my Church, and my world.  So in 2009, I started my first blog, on Google’s Blogger, I would later move to WordPress.

I am hoping that through my random scribbles, I can inform, get people thinking, and in some small way, share the Good News of Jesus Christ.