Daily Update: Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Andrew Dung-Lac

Today is the Optional Memorial of Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc, Priest and Martyr (died 1839) and Companions, Martyrs (died 1745 – 1862). And today is the birthday of my kids’ friend Mitch, one of the Assembled (1986).

Today’s Saint was born c. 1795 in Bac-Ninh, Vietnam as Trần An Dũng, into a family that was poor and pagan. When he was twelve the family had to move to Hà-Nôi (Hanoi) where his parents could find work. There he met a catechist and got food and shelter from him. He also got education in Christian faith for three years, and was baptized in Vinh-Tri with the Christian name Andrew. After learning Chinese and Latin he became a catechist, and thereafter taught catechists in the country. He was chosen to study theology, and was ordained a priest in 1823. As a parish priest in Ke-Dâm he was tireless in his preaching; he often fasted and lived a simple and moral life, he was a good example for the people, and many people were baptized. In 1835 he was imprisoned under emperor Minh-Mang’s persecutions, but his freedom was purchased by donations from members of the congregation he served. To avoid persecutions he changed his name to Lạc and moved to another prefecture to continue his work. But in 1839 he was again arrested, this time with Peter Thi, another Vietnamese priest whom he was visiting so that he might go to confession. Once again Andrew was liberated, along with Peter Thi, in exchange for money. Their freedom was brief; they were soon re-arrested and taken to Hanoi, where both suffered a dreadful torture before being beheaded. Saint Andrew Dũng-Lạc is representative of the 117 Vietnamese Saints who died under persecutions of Christians that lasted from 1745 to 1862 and cost about 130.000 lives. Among the 117 were 96 Vietnamese and 21 foreign missionaries. Of the Vietnamese group were 37 priests and 59 lay people, among whom were catechists and tertiaries. One of them was a woman, the mother of six children. Of the missionaries 11 were Spaniards, 6 bishops and 5 priests (all Dominicans), and 10 were French, 2 bishops and 8 priests from the Société des Missions Etrangères in Paris. 76 were beheaded, 21 suffocated, 6 burnt alive, 5 mutilated and 9 died in prison as a result of torture. They were all canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1988, and are the Patron Saints of Vietnam. And today is also the birthday of my kids’ friend Mitch, one of the Assembled (1986).

Last night our #22 ranked LSU Men’s Basketball team was beaten by Marquette by the score of 80 t0 81. Also, our LSU Women’s Basketball team lost their game with Tulane by the score of 63 to 57; our Lady Tigers will next play an away game with Purdue on Friday, November 27th.

I woke up this morning with a tightness in my chest that I diagnosed as gas; however, since I had to get up to go to work today, I did not do anything about it except ignore / accept it. I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, and on our way to work I did my Internet Devotional Reading. When we clocked in, Richard was the Relief Dealer for Mini Baccarat, Pai Gow, and a Blackjack table; I was on Three Card Poker all day. They were waxing the floor in the ADR 2 break room, and I did not feel like taking all of my Christmas Card stuff to the ADR 2 smoking break room. At about 9:00 am they opened the ADR 2 break room back up, and on my last two breaks I put the labels on my Christmas Card photos, then started addressing Christmas Cards. Richard told me when I was going on my 9:00 am break that Callie had sent him a text, and that she would come over with the baby to see us after 12:00 pm. I waited to go on my last (10:15 am) break to confirm that with Richard, and he got mad at me for wanting to confirm it.

On our way home we stopped at the McDonald’s drive through in Kinder for lunch, because I was worried that Callie would show up just as I was eating my lunch salad, since we had a couple of errands to do. Instead, we drove straight home, so I will do my erranding tomorrow. On our way home I continued reading the November 2nd, 2015 issue of my Jesuit America magazine. Once home I read the morning paper. Callie came over with the baby at about 1:30 pm, and stayed until about 2:30 pm, which was too late for me to take a nap. So what I am going to do is do my Daily Update for today early, watch Jeopardy! at 4:30 pm, then go to sleep for the duration. Our #22 LSU Men’s Basketball team will play an away game tonight with North Carolina State, and I will report the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Virgin and Martyr (died c. 305). I will set the alarm, do my laundry, and do the Weekly Computer Maintenance. I will then go to my jeweler to have him fix the clasp on my necklace, and go to Wal-Mart to get salad supplies and to get the stuff I have been wanting to get for several days now. And the Full Moon will arrive at 4:45 pm. Also, our New Orleans Pelicans will play an away game with the Phoenix Suns.

On this Tuesday Evening our Parting Quote comes to us from Cecil H. Underwood, American politician. Born in 1922 in Josephs Mills, West Virginia, he labored on farms during The Great Depression. After graduation from high school in 1939, he became an Army reservist during World War II before enrolling in Salem College, West Virginia. He graduated in 1943, where he had been elected president of the student body. After college, he instructed high school students as a biology teacher in St. Marys, West Virginia from 1943 to 1946. Between 1946 and 1950, he taught at Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio, and married his wife Hovah; he served as President of Salem College from 1950 to 1956. From 1944 through 1956 he won six terms in the West Virginia House of Delegates as a Republican. His 1956 election as Governor of West Virginia marked the first election of a Republican to the office since 1928; at the age of 33 he was the youngest person ever to be elected Governor of West Virginia. Underwood continued the desegregation of West Virginia schools without violent confrontation at all levels and was a supporter of civil rights legislation. He advocated an organized civil service and retirement pension system, and provided temporary employment relief for low-income families. Underwood was also instrumental in the creation of the West Virginia Mental Health Department, oversaw creation of the interstate highway in the state, and oversaw the last three executions in the state, all taking place in 1959. Because West Virginia’s state Constitution prohibited governors from serving consecutive terms at that time, Underwood ran for the United States Senate in 1960, but was defeated by incumbent Democrat Jennings Randolph. During the 1960s, he was named temporary chairman of the Republican National Convention and was once considered for the office of Vice President under Richard Nixon. Two weeks after losing the senate race in 1960, Underwood went to work for the Island Creek Coal Company and Monsanto Chemical Company as well as forming his own land development company. He was nominated again for governor in 1964 but was defeated again. He received a master’s degree from West Virginia University in 1965, and then lost the Republican primary for governor to Arch Moore in 1968. He was nominated again for governor in 1976, losing to Democrat Jay Rockefeller by 250,000, which would become his largest defeat. He continued his academic career by serving as President of Bethany College and instructor of political science at Marshall University. He also served as president of the National Association of State Councils on Vocational Education. Underwood was elected again to the office of Governor of West Virginia in 1996; at the age of 73, he was the oldest person ever to be elected Governor of West Virginia. During his governorship, he enabled the Governor’s Commission of Fair Taxation, which was a thorough review of the state’s tax structure. He also streamlined administrative costs from education and other government sectors. In 1999 Underwood was selected by the Governors of the Appalachian states to serve as West Virginia’s co-chairman for the Appalachian Regional Commission for 2000. He was the only sitting Republican governor defeated for re-election in 2000, narrowly losing to Democrat Bob Wise. His wife died in 2004; when he died, his body was donated to Marshall University’s Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine (died 2008): “I have learned that you cannot mandate economic growth. You cannot develop an economy simply by talking about it. You cannot practice the politics of envy and class warfare and encourage business investment. You cannot have jobs without employers. These are economic truths, and they bear repeating.”

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