Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Sunday tour of St. Vincent de Paul's place

My head still spins in places where there's a lot of visual stimulation, so it's been six months since my last Thursday volunteering stint in the Clothing Room. But last week, I decided to bite the bullet and take my dizzy self back to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul's Distribution Centre for the day. My mom has kept me up to date on my favourite homeless friends and some friend volunteers, but enough was enough, already. I wanted to see them all for myself, so Thursday I decided to give it a go. 

It was good to be back... and returning after being away for six months only underlined what an amazing place it is. Run entirely by volunteers, it helps a lot of our less fortunate brothers and sisters by supplying them with the basics -- clothing, bedding, housewares, and even food. I took my camera along with me so I could give you a tour of the place.

If you've ever noticed the little chapel on the corner near St. Joseph's High School 
on 109th Street and wondered if it's in use, I can assure you that it is.

This sign goes out, Monday to Friday, welcoming people 
to the Clothing Room, where they can get 
donated clothing for free.

In the chapel's foyer is the Clothing Room.

Seasonal jackets and boots to the right, fairly well stocked at the moment.

There are just two aisles like this one, so you can imagine 
how crowded it can get when lots of people show up at the same time
(our record is 42 clients plus some spouses and a child or five in two hours).
This is the ladies and children's section. 
I didn't get a good picture of the "men's department."

The baby items are right beside the registration desk. 
We ask our clients to register so we can be sure that they don't 
come more than once a month... but I like the registration process 
simply because it allows me to call people by name. 
Homeless visitors get special consideration and 
can come more frequently if they need to,
as most of them don't abuse the privilege.

To the left of the desk we have purses, shoes, books and school supplies. 
That's a box of shirts I unpacked, which came from 
behind the bookshelves, where you'll find...

our sorting room. The black garbage bags piled to the ceiling are this 
week's donations from a couple of clothing drives.
We work our way through them, hanging 
the items our clients need, and sharing the ones they don't 
with the Marian Centre and other agencies that can make use of them.

The clothing room is under the choir loft in the chapel. 
The rest of the Distribution Centre is in the nave.
Here's what you see from the choir loft!

The choir loft itself is crammed with all sorts of different things.

I see we've been busy collecting fans for apartment dwelling
clients in the hot summer months. And below is our toy department.

The rest of the Distribution Centre stores household needs like...

beds and bedding,


furniture (not much available at the moment),

and small appliances that are carefully tested by volunteers. 
Everything that comes into the place is checked over and deemed 
worthy before being packed up and delivered to clients who have been
visited by a pair of volunteers in order to determine what is needed.
Below are some orders waiting to go out.

And here's the food bank for those times when even hampers from the
official City Food Bank don't stretch quite far enough...

SSVP is an amazing organization. Returning to the Distribution Centre made me so happy. It's a place of which I'm very proud... can you tell? We volunteers make lots of jokes about getting paid double for what we do some days, but honestly, I think we get more than our money's worth in the clients we meet and the joy we receive from them. And the planet benefits too, because we're saving good stuff from the landfill, and giving it to people who need it. Everyone wins. So if you're looking for a great cause to give some of your time, talent and treasure, consider volunteering and donating to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. And keep in mind that it's not just a Catholic thing... everyone who cares about our less fortunate brothers and sisters is welcome anytime. If there's no SSVP near you, there are probably other agencies/groups that would be glad of your assistance!

The folks who volunteer at SSVP take the words of Isaiah seriously:

If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
if you offer food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom will be like the noonday.
The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water
whose waters never fail.
Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many nations,
you shall be called the repairer of broken walls,
the restorer of streets to live in.

Till the day was done, I was pretty dizzy, but I was very glad to be back. SSVP is in my soul permanently now, and a wee exchange I had with a homeless fellow reminded me why I like being there so much, even in my dizziness. I asked Walter how he was doing when he came in, and he said, "I woke up with a heartbeat, so I'm pretty good."

Me too! We have so much for which to be grateful!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Making a splash in Japan

Here I go, bragging again. Can't really help myself... Edmonton's Waste Management Branch is so fantastic, many places in the world are sitting up and taking notice. Not only do we have state of the art facilities when it comes to reducing, reusing, recycling and recovering valuable resources in our waste stream (some of which you'll see in the video below), but we also have a wonderful Reuse Centre, where people and groups can get recycled craft supplies and good reusable items for a small fee. Besides all this, there's a multitude of Master Composter/Recycler (MC/R) volunteers to help educate Edmontonians about the best ways to carry out those 4 Rs so that our city's residential waste has been reduced by over 85%. We've done a fair bit to help lighten the load on our planet, but there's always more to be done. This weekend, a new crop of MC/Rs will graduate, and I'm looking forward to spending some time with them on Saturday, hearing some of their final project presentations. Their enthusiasm for their new role always gets me fired up to initiate a few projects myself. At the moment I'm planning a Wine, Cheese and Composting Party in my backyard for the end of May for neighbours, friends, and anyone else who might be interested. Leave me a message if you want details.

The video below was posted to the MC/R Facebook page, and it reminded me that I haven't promoted Edmonton's Reuse Centre very much. So... here's a short video from Japan's "Good to Know" TV program that touts some of the great things the Edmonton Waste Management Branch has developed to make those 4 Rs work here. I've seen many videos about Edmonton's fine recycling programs, but never one in Japanese! If you want to learn more -- in English -- look here.

Enjoy! Have a good weekend, and congratulations to the MC/R Class of 2012!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Simple Suggestion #119 ... Make your own cleaners

In my basement, I have a shelf of which I'm not proud. On it are all sorts of cleaning products that are full of chemicals that are not good for me... or my environment. I mean, look at Mr. Clean, on the left near Pledge and Pinesol. Just the neon yellow colour of that stuff looks nuclear-toxic!

Actually, some of the stuff there was inherited from the previous owners of this house (do they even make Pledge any more?) and a lot of it, I've never touched. Time to take it to the Ecostation for disposal. Especially since the David Suzuki Foundation (see sidebar links) is having a "Spring Breakup" campaign designed to make consumers aware of the toxins in our cleaning products. The "Queen of Green," Lindsay Coulter, is offering recipes for making more natural alternative cleaners that don't contain yucky-sounding things like alkylphenol ethoxylates, the ethanolomine family (mono, di and tri), quaternary ammonium compounds, sodium laureth/lauryl sulfates, and triclosan, the great hormone disrupter.

What's really great is that the ingredients in these homemade cleaning recipes can be as simple as olive oil, white vinegar, lemon juice, water, and baking soda. The most complicated items are liquid castile soap, soap granules, sodium borate (borax) and essential oils (only if you like your cleaning products to carry a fragrance).

If you want to check out Lindsay's recipes for yourself, here's a link:

I led a Simplicity Workshop last week, and one of the comments that came up was that living simply can be a lot of extra work if you're going to do it well. But those who choose to live simply know that by making our own cleaning products out of natural things, we're sparing our planet and our homes and bodies a lot of complex chemical consumption conniptions (sorry, I couldn't resist all that alliteration). Mixing up a batch of any of these products and storing them on my shelf instead of what's there right now will feel better for my planet, my family, and me. How about you?

Happy healthier cleaning!

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

50 years later...

Once upon a time, a teacher from Cape Breton met a farmer from Alberta. 

She was pretty cute, and he was rather handsome... and they danced a lot. The dancing led to a wedding, and five children and thirteen grandchildren later, they're still together. In fact, today marks 50 years since their wedding day. We celebrated their anniversary on Saturday with lots of cake and cupcakes, a little music, and yes, even some dancing. We love them very much, and wish them many more years together. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Beautiful music for a Sunday

On Thursday morning, I happened to be at home when CBC radio played an amazing program about the 1992 siege of Sarajevo, and how the artistic community of that city continued performances in the midst of sniper fire and shelling to raise peoples' spirits. One musician told how an orchestra was giving a concert in a cathedral when it was hit by mortar fire, and the explosion blew their musical scores all over the place. They picked up the sheet music and continued the concert because they believed that the spirituality of the arts was the only thing that would keep them alive through the siege.

Albinioni's Adagio in G minor was mentioned as a very important piece of music for the people of Sarajevo because of its melancholy -- and its power. Hearing it, along with the sounds of gunfire and explosion, imagining citizens of Sarajevo, eyes closed, enjoying this music in defiance of the enemy and death, nearly brought me to tears. It's a gorgeous piece. See and hear for yourself.

Friday, April 20, 2012


My friend Christine says there is no such thing as a co-incidence -- rather, there are many "God-incidents" each day. And today two things fell into my inbox that seem to fit that category, begging me to share them. Maybe you know someone who needs to hear this today, too. So below, you'll find a beautiful video by Max Schlick, spoken by Neil deGrasse Tyson, an astrophysicist (I love universe stuff! -- it reminds me of the One who built a home for us), and some beautiful words from Jean Vanier, my favourite humanitarian and the founder of L'Arche (I think of him as my CEO, and a great one he is!) Have a good weekend!

You are not all alone. You are part of this beautiful universe where each element has its place; each one is important. This world has existed for millions of years. The sun rises every morning and sets every evening. The stars shine brilliantly far above the clouds and the storms. They are so beautiful, and so marvelously arranged! You are a part of this immense and marvelous universe!
--Jean Vanier, Seeing Beyond Depression,  p. 47.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book review: The Passionate Troubadour

Here I go again, on about Saint Francis, but if you've been reading here much, you know that I have a deep fondness for him. He's the patron saint of simplicity, ecology and animals, which partly explains that fondness. He also has a certain appeal for those of us who believe and want to live Christ's teachings in spite of the many distractions we find in our churches.

The Passionate Troubadour: A Medieval Novel about Francis of Assisi: Hays, Edward M.I may sound like a heretic with that last statement, but if so, I'm in very good company -- that of St. Francis. Edward Hays' The Passionate Troubadour:A Medieval Novel about Francis of Assisi (Ave Maria Press 2004, ISBN 0939516-69-1) is the story of a very human saint who faced some of the same sorts of struggles we do today, and who simply strove to love God through them all. While Hays' writing has been described as "wild, poetic and imaginative", I found that once I got past his whimsical style, his version of the life of Francis was wonderful. It's true that the author took a few liberties and created a few characters that are not found in traditional historical accounts of the life of St. Francis, but as a writer myself, I don't fault Hays for giving Francis a wise hermit spiritual director named Padre Antonio, or a Muslim friend named Ali. For those like Francis who want to faithfully travel a deeply spiritual path, it's always good to have a guide for the journey, and for Francis to overcome his era's hatred of Muslims, a soul-deep friendship with a Sufi fits the story really well. Hays does a wonderful job of capturing how an ordinary human being could become one of the most beloved saints of all time. It's a long book (638 pages) but I didn't want it to end.

I read The Passionate Troubadour during the last weeks of Lent and Holy Week, and found it to be a moving meditation on what it means to follow Jesus without the usual "trappings." Francesco Bernardone started out as an ordinary kid, the son of a wealthy cloth merchant. He was expected to follow in his father's footsteps, except... as time went on, his father's obsession with wealth and prestige began to ring hollow. Being a dutiful son, Francesco went off to fight in a skirmish with neighbouring city-state Perugia, and spent a year in captivity in a Perugian dungeon, where he had a lot of time to think about life. He came home a different person, dramatically renounced his inheritance, and became one of the minores, or small ones, in his society. Living with only basic necessities, working for his food, and preaching about God's love rather than fixating on hell and damnation, Francesco moved thousands of others to join the Friars Minor and associated communities by the time of his death in 1226.

Hays does a marvelous job of capturing the medieval mindset within his story -- for example, back in Francesco's day, the world was flat and the Pope was more like an emperor. The author sheds a lot of light on the13th century understanding of sin and salvation and the superstitious practices around both, making for a very interesting read. But what really touched me was Francesco's desire to do God's will in the simplest way... and how often he was stymied by people who made everything more complicated. Love God, love and serve others, and love yourself. Consider the lilies. And if you believe in a God who loves us all into heaven, how can you go around in gloom, even if things are wonky in this world? In this book, Francesco is a joyous, fun-loving man even in his struggles, with a heart for the poor and small. His passion for God and simplicity created and continues to create new life for many people... including me.

If you've been following my moodlings at all, you'll know that I've been struggling mightily with recent changes in my church... and many happenings that seem to indicate that Catholicism is moving backwards rather than forwards, over-complicating the simple basics of Christ's teachings. To my mind, recent fancier prayer wordings that put distance between us and God and seem to emphasize our sinfulness are not as critical as understanding and acting upon the fact that every being on the planet is beloved by God and should be treated as such. Emphasis on maintaining the structure of the Church seems to have overtaken the importance of making our relationship with God a real, living thing that cares for our planet, and seeks out the poor and makes them the heart of our hearts -- and because of that off- kilter emphasis, I'm afraid my love for the Church has taken a serious beating.

In my reading of The Passionate Troubadour, I came to see that Francesco also struggled with the Church and its many imperfections. He lived through a Lateran Council's changes and challenges, and still managed to remain within the Church as a faithful follower of Jesus. He didn't let church politics destroy his sense of community or sour his relationship with God. With God's grace, he was able to let go of his frustrations, acknowledge the imperfections in himself and others, and keep his relationship with God in focus right to the end.

That's what I aim to do, too... though it is anything but easy. My pride makes it impossible to swallow the injustices I perceive within Catholicism, and I admittedly shoot my mouth off frequently. So often I am tempted to simply walk away from a church that ignores women, makes priesthood more important than humanhood, and lives in its head rather than with the poor in the heart of Christ. But Francesco didn't quit. He continued to follow Christ's teachings in a radical way, speaking his mind to sympathizers within the Church, and eventually his example brought about some healthy change. Had he walked away, he would have vanished from the face of the earth without anyone knowing the difference, and our world -- and the Church -- would be much the worse for it.

Francis of Assisi is one of a very few people who took Christ's message to heart and lived it deeply in the midst of a society -- and a church -- that often didn't get it. I expect Edward Hays wrote a novel about him to encourage us all to do the same -- to follow Francesco by preaching the Good News of God's love with our lives. If you can get your hands on a copy of The Passionate Troubadour (an inter-library loan worked for me), I'd highly recommend it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Simple Suggestion #118... Ditch your antiperspirant

"What?! You want me to ditch my antiperspirant? You've got to be kidding!! I don't want to smell like a locker room!"

Whoa, whoa, whoa. It's just a suggestion... and -- probably a wise one. Why? Because the stuff we put in our armpits so that we can smell... well, unsmelly, can have some pretty questionable ingredients, health-wise. I mean, rubbing something called aluminum zirconium tetrachlorohydrex glycine into your sweat glands day after day seems a bit iffy when you do a little research into the toxins contained in its ingredients. Especially when there are other, simpler solutions to body odor.

Here's mine: a potassium alum rock. It doesn't prevent sweating by plugging armpit pores with chemical goo. Instead, the salts in the rock kill the bacteria that thrive in human perspiration and create that locker room odor. Your skin keeps its ability to sweat and cool your body, but without the sweaty smell. Alum is easy to use -- just wet the crystal with water and apply it to the underarm daily. You won't be smelling like a rose -- you won't smell like anything, actually. After using mine for several years, I don't like applying tacky, gooey, perfumey stuff any more. Alum crystal doesn't tend to cause allergic reactions, and has yet to be linked to any serious health issues.

So if you want to avoid the "Dirty Dozen" chemicals found in personal care products including many antiperspirants, alum rocks can be purchased at most health food stores, and they last a long time. They don't create yellow stains on white t-shirts, and they're a simple way to eradicate a common problem -- with a lot fewer potential health risks.

So now, will you consider ditching your antiperspirant? Just a suggestion...

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A music teacher's labour of love

On Friday, our daughters learned that this Sunday afternoon, today, their school band and its alumni have been invited to give a concert at the Cross Cancer Institute. A band alumnus from 2010 (J. was in grade 12 when our eldest was in grade 10) has cancer and will be having surgery tomorrow... and we all pray for the best. He's at the Cross, and this afternoon's concert is a special performance for him and his family... including some songs from his years in band. One of our girls has been scrambling to learn flute parts for a couple of songs only rehearsed once on Friday. The band teacher will be on hand at school to give out music and instruments to all who need them, and they'll converge on the Cross at 1 p.m.

Our band teacher is a wonderful woman... and this event only underlines for me how many of our teachers are unsung heroes, no matter their teaching abilities, just because of the bonds of love between them and their students.

4:00 p.m. Just back from a very moving concert. The high school band and its alumni were amazing -- giving an excellent and much appreciated performance. The school's motto is "We are family," and today, we truly were. It was probably the best form of support and strength J.'s schoolmates could offer him toward tomorrow's surgery.

God bless Madame B. and her wonderful band students, past and present. And God bless and keep J. safe through his surgery tomorrow. Feel free to add your own prayers!

Friday, April 13, 2012

A visit to the green room -- one month later

It's been almost a month since my spring planting started, so I thought I'd take you on a little tour of our back forty (square feet)... here's what you see from outside our green room. Grow lights, and some growing things...

64 tomato plants and two jalapeno peppers, to be exact.

The leeks are coming along...

but our lettuce experiment isn't much of a success. 
It's so leggy, I'm doubting we'll ever get a real salad...
So this morning I planted some in our outdoor cold frame, too.

Below is a little Moscow Heirloom tomato plant, seed saved since 1949. 
Yummy orange tomatoes in three months.

The tall ones below are Li'l Rubes, named for a dear neighbour 
who gave me the seed. Lovely little round red tomatoes, 
twice the size of cherry tomatoes.

And below is an Orange Russian. Seed saved from the late 1800s.

I love our green room. You can find me out there every morning, talking to and watering
 the plants, brushing them with my hands to make their stalks strong.
I'm delighted with how God makes things grow. Aren't you?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

I share chocolate with you

At my desk in our big classroom office at L'Arche yesterday, I looked up to see Thomas enter the room, clutching something to his chest like he didn't want anyone to see it. In his hands was a small box of chocolate almonds, the kind packaged for fundraisers, and Thomas was clearly waiting for me to notice.

"Hi, Thomas," I said. "What are you eating?"

"Chocolate. I'm not sharing," he announced.

"Oh, Thomas," I replied, "I thought we were friends. Don't I share my cookies with you sometimes?"

No reply. Thomas was ignoring me, busy eating his almonds. When he looked at me again, I said, "Don't friends share? I just want one."

He poured a few more into his mouth, and I couldn't help but grin. He was enjoying this.

"I love chocolate," I said, "especially from my friends."

No reply.

"I really love chocolate, and it's really nice when people share."

He went to the windows and looked out as though he was thinking really hard. Then he looked at me, poured one almond out of his box, and gave it to me. I thanked him, saying, "Now I know that we're really friends, Thomas, because you shared with me too."

"I share chocolate with you," Thomas said, a huge chocolate-toothed smile on his face.

"Thank you," I said, "it's delicious." As he headed for the door I said loudly, "I love chocolate, and I love Thomas."

He kept going like he didn't hear me, but he returned several times that morning, wearing a big grin, saying, "I share chocolate with you."

"Yes, you're my friend," I replied, thinking, I know, Thomas. I love you too.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A lovely Easter Monday

Before I get to Easter Monday, I want to show you Holy Thursday last week, just for contrast's sake! The city woke to a thick, soft, wet blanket of snow that had stuck itself to everything like marshmallow. It was amazing to behold!

Our pear tree was gorgeous -- without blossoms this time!

My clotheslines amazed me. When I knocked the snow down, it was like an explosion!

We haven't had hoarfrost in a while, but this was close, beauty-wise.

At first he birds couldn't find the bird feeder in our lilac bush.
They also had a hard time finding places to perch!

The local seminarians had fun in the traffic circle closest to our house,
building a snow bishop.

That was last week. This week, there's not a lot of snow left except in shady places. People are out on their bikes again, and though the air is still a bit chilly, there's a definite spring feeling with the warmth of the sun. So today we decided to walk to Muttart Conservatory and check things out in the spring sunshine. We weren't disappointed.

It was bear and bunny day for all the little people visiting the conservatory... above, the Teddybears' Picnic, and below, Mr. and Mrs. Easter Bunny, I presume.

Spring beauty was everywhere, in a hundred photos by our youngest.

As her older sister said, "I almost forgot what flowering plants look like."
It's been a long winter, but spring is on its way! Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

He is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Don't you love Easter songs with exclamation marks??
"Love's triumphant day of vict'ry heaven opens wide.
On the tree of hope and glory death itself has died!"
                                -- Dan Schutte, Join in the Dance 
I feel like adding a few extra exclamation marks myself. A joyous resurrection to Patsy!

Happy Easter!

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Holy Week technology fast

This morning I decided that if I want this Holy Week to be a good one, I need to step away from moodling for a while. So there won't be anymore posts here until we've celebrated the Resurrection at Easter. If you're looking for something to inspire you during this Holy Week besides the liturgies offered in a church near you, the best I can offer is my Easter Short Story. There are also plenty of good prayer sites, like Pray As You Go, or Loyola Press' Daily Three-Minute Retreat, or Creighton University's Daily Reflection. I'd be very interested to hear of other websites for "praying/reflecting with your computer," as it seems to be one of my main ways to pray these days, and it's not something I've fully explored.

But this week, I'm going to fall back on my People's Companion to the Breviary (an actual prayer book) and avoid the pitfalls of too much time at my laptop. Less time at the computer can translate into more time for God. I'll catch you on Easter Monday, perhaps. Happy Holy Week!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

For a good Good Friday 2012

This Sunday, I'm thinking about Friday. Last year, I recommended as much silence as possible for Good Friday. It's still a good plan to have a quiet day (we have a no computers/TV rule), but this year, I'd like to invite you to participate in my favourite Good Friday reflections.

Invitation #1: At 10 a.m., you're invited to gather with a good-sized crowd, rain or shine, outside of Hope Mission (9908-106 Avenue) to participate in the 32nd Annual Outdoor Way of the Cross. It's an ecumenical prayer event commemorating the suffering and death of Jesus, that offers time to notice how the gospel values of Jesus are important to individual and social life today (I'm plagiarizing from the advertizing and throwing in my own comments as well, but I suspect this is a case where the organizers won't mind being plagiarized). People of all faith traditions are warmly welcome. The walk begins and ends at the same location, and participants are advised to dress for the weather (I'll add a few exclamation marks to that last statement)!!! It's not a strenuous walk, as our L'Arche Edmonton community, including those in wheelchairs, participate every year -- the picture above shows one of my L'Arche friends closest to the camera. This year, we're particularly excited because we get to present Station 5, which focuses on Homelessness. I'm looking forward to participating in the music group, too.

The full walk takes about two hours, and there is fellowship with refreshments after the final station. Donations of non-perishable food and toiletry items are welcomed. As much as I appreciate church services on Good Friday, I appreciate this even more, because there's something really powerful about walking in the inner city in solidarity with the brothers and sisters there, reflecting on what we are called to  as Christians, and re-enacting Christ's walk to Calvary. Many of our inner-city brothers and sisters join us as we reflect on Christ's words in the 25th chapter of Matthew's Gospel, bringing his words to life:
" Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you? Or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?"
And the King will answer them, "Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it to me." 
Invitation #2: You're invited to Good Friday Taizé Prayer Around the Cross, at 7:30 p.m. at Providence Renewal Centre (3005-119 Street). It's a beautiful hour of meditative scripture-based song that centers on a simple wooden cross.

If you're in the neighbourhood, please come to either or both of these events. The reason I love them so much is because they gather Christians from every denomination together to remember what is common to us all... Jesus, who set us free by leading us to new life! Laudate omnes gentes, laudate Dominum! Sing praises, all you peoples, sing praises to the Lord!

If you're nowhere near Edmonton, I'd love to hear about your own meaningful ways to mark Good Friday wherever you are.

Have a blessed Holy Week.