Universalis, your very own breviary in pixels...

Monday, 27 February 2012

One of the Greats is Gone

Himself just called to tell me there was an email on an account we share, dear, dear Fr. Larry Heiman has died.

Studying paleography and chironomy with him one summer was one of the great spiritual experiences of my life, and more precious for being so totally unexpected, (the whole atmosphere at the Chant Institute was so utterly different without his presence....)

I had vaguely hoped to visit Carthagena again before the Big Move, and informally "interview" him - the story of what happened and how what happened happened in the '60s haunts me. And so few are left who remember.

He was a saint, I believe, and I am in possession of several second class relics.
Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Beautiful People, indeed....

What can I say, I'm feeling particularly Irish as St Pat's approaches this year.... (I'm almost as thirsty for a session as I am for a sung Mass)

(And what's with this spelling? Seisiúns ?)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

You've Got Two of Them, and You Only Need One

Why not give your spare to someone who could really use it?

Really interesting story, of "paying it forward," as my brother put it. (I'm told protocol is such that I could get obtain a slot in such a chain for a loved one, were it necessary.)

In February 2011, the desk clerk at Mr. Ruzzamenti’s yoga studio told him she had recently donated a kidney to an ailing friend she had bumped into at Target. Mr. Ruzzamenti, 44, had never even donated blood, but the story so captivated him that two days later he called Riverside Community Hospital to ask how he might do the same thing.

Halfway across the country, in Joliet, Ill., Donald C. Terry Jr. needed a kidney in the worst way. ...With nobody in his family willing or able to give him a kidney, his doctors warned that it might take five years to crawl up the waiting list for an organ from a deceased donor.

“It was like being sentenced to prison,” Mr. Terry recalled, “like I had done something wrong in my life and this was the outcome.”

As a dawn chill broke over Chicago on Dec. 20, Mr. Terry received a plump pink kidney in a transplant at Loyola University Medical Center. He did not get it from Mr. Ruzzamenti, at least not directly, but the two men will forever share a connection: they were the first and last patients in the longest chain of kidney transplants ever constructed, linking 30 people who were willing to give up an organ with 30 who might have died without one.

What made the domino chain of 60 operations possible was the willingness of a Good Samaritan, Mr. Ruzzamenti, to give the initial kidney, expecting nothing in return. Its momentum was then fueled by a mix of selflessness and self-interest among donors who gave a kidney to a stranger after learning they could not donate to a loved one because of incompatible blood types or antibodies. Their loved ones, in turn, were offered compatible kidneys as part of the exchange.