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Cathedral Connections during National Poetry Month

April 16, 2019


Poetic Day 16 of National Poetry Month:  April 16, 2019


Events in the news–especially emotionally moving ones of the magnitude of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral–can prompt us to view the happening from another perspective, a personal perspective which may lead to a poem.  As previously, after the “poem-of-the-day,” you will find five new writing prompts to explore.


Cathedral Connections


poem by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



Stalwart, vibrant, and majestic

for 856 years–

now Notre Dame Cathedral seems so close in the news,

but lies worn and wounded so far away.


I wonder if Louis Braille attended Mass there.

As he played the organ at other churches of Paris,

could he have played the organ at Notre Dame?


When braille magazines

fill my backpack,

they rest near a rosary–

always with me as my guide dog and I

walk the streets of Milwaukee.

Does this rosary keep me safe

or just produce prayers and memories?


The rosary was a gift from my nephew.

When he, as concert master,

toured Europe with his youth symphony,

he visited Notre Dame Cathedral

and purchased the rosary for me.


For just a few minutes,

as I write these poetic lines,

I take the small square box from my backpack,

open the container,

and hold the rosary from France.

The dainty, delicate beads of the “Our Father”

and the decades of “Hail, Mary”

lead around and back to the Sign of the Cross.


During this Holy Week,

during and after the fire,

the Sign of the Cross at Notre Dame

still stands.

Is this sign enough

to inspire faith

or, at least, goodwill?


I slowly circle the rosary beads

back into the plastic box

and carefully place the cross atop the prayerful beads.


From one Holy Week to the next,

and until Notre Dame is rebuilt,

this rosary will be with me

as Willow and I take our Wordwalks,

prayer walks, and other walks.


Should we all be mindful

of signs along the wishful road of life?


* * *




  1. Write a poem describing a church or cathedral (or other place of worship) which you have visited.
  2. Write a poem about a special event at your place of worship.
  3. Write a poem focusing on a homeless person who attends your place of worship.
  4. Write a poem about a souvenir gift which you have received or given.
  5. Write a poem which stems from an event about which you have heard or read in the local, national, or international news.


With blessings to all during this Holy Week,

Alice and Leader Dog Willow


April 16, 2019, Tuesday



From → Uncategorized

  1. Dear Alice,
    Thank you for sharing your reflections on the magnificent Notre Dame Cathedral. Having had the privilege of visiting Notre Dame in the early 70s and again in 2001, I was deeply saddened to see the flames pouring from this iconic place of worship. Like you, I also have a rosary from Notre Dame which I treasure.
    Love and prayers to you and Willow,

    • Mary–Thanks for adding your connections.  I recall that you were in Europe in the summer of 1973.

      Merci beaucoup–Alice and Willow

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