Daily Update: Sunday, February 21st, 2016

Peter Damian

Today is the Second Sunday of Lent, and the Optional Memorial of Saint Peter Damien, Bishop and Doctor (died 1072 or 1073).

Born about 1007, the youngest child in a large but impoverished family of local nobility in Ravenna, Italy, today’s Saint was orphaned young and sent to live with a brother who mistreated him and forced him to work as a swine-herd. He was eventually sent to live with another brother, Damian, a priest in Ravenna; the young Peter was so grateful for his care that he took the name Damian as his surname. He was well educated and became a professor, known for his life of strict austerity. Around 1035 Peter gave up teaching to retire from the world and become a Benedictine monk. His health suffered, especially when he tried to replace sleep with prayer, and was forced to spend time in recovery; he used it to study Scripture, and when he was healthy he was assigned to teach his brother monks and then the public. He became prior of his house of monks in 1043, a post in which he served for the rest of his life. He expanded the monastery, greatly improved its library, and founded sister hermitages in San Severino, Gamugno, Acerata, Murciana, San Salvatore, Sitria, and Ocri. A friend of the future Pope Saint Gregory VII, he attended a synod in Rome in 1047, and encouraged Pope Gregory VI to support a revitalization of Church zeal and clerical discipline. He wrote a work titled  Liber Gomorrhianus, which described the vices of priests, mainly in their concern with worldly matters, with money, and the evil of simony. Created cardinal-bishop of Ostia in 1057, he fought simony and tried to restore primitive discipline among priests and religious who were becoming more and more worldly. He strongly opposed the anti-pope Benedict X. He served as legate to Milan for Pope Nicholas II in 1059 and supported Pope Alexander II. A prolific correspondent, he also wrote dozens of sermons, seven biographies, and poetry, including some of the best Latin of the time. He tried to retire to live as a simple monk, but was routinely recalled as a papal legate who was called upon to make peace between arguing monastic houses, clergymen, and government officials. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1828.

Last night our #5 ranked LSU Baseball team beat Cincinnati by the score of 4 t0 0 in the second game of their home series of three games. And our LSU Men’s Basketball team lost their game to Tennessee by the score of 65 to 81; our Tigers will next play an away game with Arkansas on February 23rd.

I did my Bathroom Devotional Reading and said my Internet Devotional Reading on our way to work.l When we clocked in Richard was on Mini Baccarat. I was on the second Pai Gow table, closed that table, became the Relief Dealer for the Sit-Down Blackjack table and another Blackjack table, closed one of those Blackjack tables, and became the dealer on a regular Blackjack table for the rest of the shift.

On our way home from work we stopped at Wal-Mart, where Richard got his QuickSteel® and got my interim salad supplies. When we got home I ate my lunch salad and read the Sunday papers, then I took a nap for the rest of the day. Richard used the QuickSteel® to repair the computer chair, and our #5 ranked LSU Baseball team beat Cincinnati in the third of the home series of three games by the score of 12 to 4; our Tigers will next play a single away game with Lamar on February 24th. Our LSU Women’s Basketball team beat Tennessee by the score of 57 to 56; our Lady Tigers will next play a home game with #22 ranked Florida on February 23rd. And our New Orleans Pelicans beat the Detroit Pistons by the score of 111 to 106; our Pelicans will next play an away game with the Washington Wizards on February 23rd. And I did not do my Daily Update.

Tomorrow is the Feast of the Chair of Peter, Apostle, and the anniversary of Washington’s Birthday in 1832. And Early Voting continues for the Louisiana Presidential Preference Primary and Municipal Primary Election on March 5th. I will try to do my Daily Update for February 21st before I leave for work. We will work our eight hours to start off the two-week pay period. Immediately after work we will have a mandatory Meeting with Max (the Table Games Director over all three shifts), with rumor stating that the method of counting absences and how long they count for will be changed. When we get home I will make my lunch salads for Monday and Tuesday, and eat my Tuesday salad while reading the paper. The Full Moon will arrive at 12:21 pm. And before I go to bed I will do my Daily Update.

Our Parting Quote this Sunday afternoon comes to us from Sunny Lowry, English swimmer. Born in 1911 as Ethel Lowry in Longsight, Manchester, she joined the Victoria Ladies Swimming Club of Victoria Baths, Longsight about 1920. At that time Victoria Baths only practiced unisex swimming sessions and Lowry could admire the achievements of the men swimmers but could not compete against them. She developed an aptitude for long-distance swimming and trained with her sister at Levenshulme Baths so that she could attempt distance swimming competitions on Lake Windermere. She also practiced distance swimming in the sea at her parent’s holiday home in Rhos-on-Sea in North Wales. On one occasion she swam from her home to Colwyn Bay and back again. Her father, noticing her increasing talent at distance swimming in the sea, suggested that she train for her ambition to swim the Channel. This she did, choosing Westgate on Sea near Margate in Kent as an appropriate venue. Her trainer in Kent was Jabez Woolffe who put her on a high protein diet (including eating 40 eggs a week in omelettes). She trained for three or four hours a day in the build up to her first attempt from England to France on August 19th, 1932. She got quite close to the French coast but eventually the strong east-west currents from France prevented her from finishing. Wolffe and Captain Courtez, the captain of the support tug Isobelle, called off the attempt. It still took them 45 minutes before they could find her to help her out of the water. Eventually lighting flashes allowed them to see her red swimming cap. On July 27th, 1933, Lowry attempted the swim again, only this time choosing to let the current help her instead of hindering her. Accordingly she changed direction and started from France; unfortunately once again she was unsuccessful. Making her third attempt on August 28th, 1933, Lowry, aged 22, successfully swam from Cap Gris Nez, France to St Margarets Bay, Dover, England. The swim took her 15 hours 41 minutes. Once again she was supported by Wolffe and Courtez. When she finally completed her challenge, she became the 7th woman and the 15th person to swim the Channel. Lowry had a reputation for strong-mindedness which was demonstrated by her eschewing the traditional heavy wool one-piece swimsuit in favor of a very daring light two-piece suit that she designed herself that bared an inch of flesh at her midriff. For this she was berated as being a “harlot”. This swimsuit is now on display at the Dover Museum “Swimming The Channel” exhibition. Lowry was one of only five British women to have ever successfully swum the Channel. In later life she taught swimming and life saving in Warrington, and along with her husband, Bill Anderson, set up the Pilot Life Saving Scheme following a tragedy on Windermere. From 2000 to 2007 she was president of the Channel Swimming Association and regularly traveled by bus from Warrington to the Dover regatta and the CSA’s annual dinner. In July 2003, at the age of 92, Lowry was inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Association’s Hall of Fame. At the age of 94, in the 2005 Honours list, she was awarded an MBE for services to swimming in the North-West (died 2008): “All through the night I swam, because my trainer thought that if we were getting near land in the morning that would give me the incentive to finish the swim. But he forgot that the coldest hour is the hour before dawn. That’s when you are your weakest.”

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