August 19, 2011

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Celebrating the blessings and importance of home

Shirley Vogler MeisterAfter a previous column about the blessings of home and family was published recently, I received more positive comments than for any other column that I have written through my years as a Criterion columnist.

Shortly after that column appeared in print, I found a January 1995 book on a shelf that focused on the importance of homes.

Where the Heart Is—A Celebration of Home is dedicated to all those who make their own homes sanctuaries of peace and safety, work to make their communities better places to live, and help to conserve and protect this planet for all the creatures who call it home.

And if wishes were houses, may everyone on this Earth have a decent, clean, safe place to live.

I re-read many of the essays and poems written by a variety of authors—with all the essays reflecting the writers’ love of home and family.

I have not “Googled” the Wildcat Canyon Press to see if the book is still in print.

A long poem by a former Indiana resident, Laura Gilpin, is published in the book. She grew up in Indianapolis. Her father, Robert “Mac” Gilpin, taught philosophy at Butler University and her mother taught Spanish at Park Tudor School.

Unfortunately, Laura, who was a writer and registered nurse, died in 2007 at her then Fairhope, Ala., home at the age of 56 because of a brain tumor.

Gilpin won the Walt Whitman Award for The Hocus-Pocus of the Universe in addition to other literary honors.

Her poem titled “Root, Leaf and Flower,” published in the book, is a jewel.

We need to make sure that our homes are safe and happy havens for our families, extended families and friends. It also behooves us to be sensitive and helpful to those who have lost their homes because of the current economy.

Consider donating time or money to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. A spokesperson from this Catholic charity recently reminded parishioners at Christ the King Church in Indianapolis about the great need for volunteers, practical donations and monetary contributions during these troubled times.

Let us also keep those in need in our prayers. Remember to ask yourself each day, “What would Jesus do?”

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)

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