About this blogger:
Ronda Chervin received a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Fordham University and an MA in Religious Studies from Notre Dame Apostolic Institute. A widow, mother, and grandmother, she currently teaches philosophy at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Write to her at chervinronda@gmail.com.
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“In spite of what it is currently called, the music of these songs is not modem: this musical style is not new, but has been played in the most profane places and surroundings (cabarets, music halls, often for more or less lascivious dances with foreign names). The people are led on to rock or swing. They all feel an urge to dance about. That sort of “body language” is certainly alien to our Western culture, unfavorable to contemplation and its origins are rather suspect. Most of the time our congregations, which already find it hard not to confuse the crochets and the quavers in a 6/8 bar, do not respect the rhythm; then one no longer feels like dancing, but with the rhythm gone to pieces, the habitual poorness of the melodic line becomes all the more noticeable.”
— Unnamed choirmaster (Northern France) circa 1986

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A Visit to a Convalescent Home
published 19 May 2011 by Dr. Ronda Chervin

Today I gave a talk based on my forthcoming co-authored book: What the Saints Say About Heaven. The talk was to the elderly in a Catholic convalescent home here in Connecticut. I did it with Fr. Martin Jones who celebrates Mass at this place once a week. The Home is in a lovely woodsy area with beautiful views and lovely decor.

Before lunch I noticed that in the rec room the elderly were watching what seemed like a sappy old musical. It turned out to be a old Lawrence Welk re-run.

I was muttering in my mind that if I were running the place I would have EWTN on instead. Since the old folks watching the show were neatly attired, most of the women with perms, I felt the usual alienation since, as a Dedicated Widow, I dress in denim jumpers with hair I cut from long to shoulder length with an old scissor. I remembered an old cartoon I saw in the 60’s. It showed a party full of far-out looking hippies with one conventional couple dressed in suit and tie and pretty party dress. One bedraggled hippie is asking “where did they come from?” The other responds, “Oh, we got them from Rent a Square.”

Later, however, watching the elderly being wheeled into the Mass by the kindly volunteer attendants, the Lord chided me. “Do you see that in old age, these Catholics get to become like lambs, whereas you, also very old, are still either a lion or a viper?”

“Well this lovely place is very expensive,” I thought. “People, like me, who love simplicity of life and give their money to the poor, of course, could never come here.” I asked the pastoral counselor who invited me what it cost to live there. “Oh,” she said, “well it costs a lot, but we’re Catholic. Anyone who can’t afford more than Medicare or Medicaid, we take in anyhow.”

So much for sarcastic judgments from the Rondaview! Thank God for confession!

Dr. Ronda Chervin has many free e-books and audios on her website rondachervin.com. If you go to her website and read or listen and then want to correspond with her she will be available. Her schedule does not permit, however, responding to comments on the Blog, though she enjoys reading them. Dr. Ronda’s newest project is spiritualityrunningtogod.com.