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Scenes from my first Christmas

Yes, this is my First Christmas.....as a Deacon of course. Fr. Andrew reminded me and the entire congregation of that, along with the story ...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Come to me.........

Come to me the song from the Weston Priory has been stuck in my head for some time now, during my prayers and at mass. It just tugs away at me, and inspires me at many moments. I want to share a very special day with all of you.

Sunday August 22nd was an extremely special day to have in my life. This was the day where all the Permanent Deacon Aspirants (Aspirants is such a strange name, my buddy calls me an Aspirin, hopefully both are helpful) were meeting for the first time at Deacon Greg's house. Mike Johnson my fellow Aspirant from Berlin and our wives were anxious and also uncertain what this day would bring.

Our plans called for leaving sometime after 11:30 to be in Sutton by 2, possible but tight. My wife Terry and I attended the 9 am Mass (this is our usual Mass). I thought it odd that there were three chairs up front that morning, must be a visiting Priest. As Mass began we see Bishop John and Fr. Jason Jalbert (a Berlin Boy) there. The whole congregation was surprised. Bishop John said that this was a surprise visit and that there were no problems in Berlin, that brought some laughter and probably relief from some. This would be my second visit this year, with the Bishop and each time I meet him I come away with more appreciation of him. The Mass obviously was special in many ways, the readings dealt with coming back to the Lord, and that song came back.... Come to Me. I just sang it that morning in my morning prayers, again we were singing it at Mass that day, it just lifts me up and inspires me. Bishop John touched on this in his homily about Jesus sharing our burdens and putting on the yoke to carry us and pull us forward. I could picture myself being bull headed at times in my life (no pun intended) and refusing Our Lord's help. I could also picture how much as a team, which Bishop John reminded us a yoke is for two, Jesus can help me pull forward and not give up. What a way to start the day, and my wife agreed.

Mike Johnson and Elise picked us up and we were off to visit with families we really spent very little time with. When we got to Plymouth we had agreed to stop at the McDonald's and eat dinner. At the restaurant I saw my Yellow Freight driver there and said hi. I say Yellow Freight driver because up until that day I didn't know his name. Mike asked me who I was talking to and I said he's my Yellow Freight driver and I really don't know his name but I was impressed that he knew mine. Right next to me in line was a very nice young lady who kindly told me that's my husband. I was amazed and told her that. She said her husband knows everyone by name. I told her I was impressed and she said he is a very special man. I then introduced myself to Kelley his wife and told her I was Mitch Couture from Sherwin-Williams in Berlin. She asked where I was going to that day. I told her that I was preparing to be a Deacon in the Catholic Church and we were heading south to meet all the other candidates. I was not hesitant to share my good news, I felt moved to share and it felt good. I wished her a great day also.

I sat down to eat with the Johnson's and my wife and the discussion about what happened was a very nice topic during dinner. Before leaving I wanted to go to the rest room and I saw Kelley and the Yellow Freight Driver with their children. I kept thinking that I need to take just a few minutes to talk and get to know this Yellow Freight Driver. I got out of the rest room and told him about meeting his very lovely wife and apologizing for not knowing his name, the Yellow Freight Driver is Tom. I told Tom he had a very special wife and I was impressed by him knowing me by name.I told Tom that Yellow Freight is very lucky to have an employee like him. His daughter Chelsea jumped up and said her name and her brother's name which was hard to understand (I will ask Tom about it next time). I told Chelsea that she was very lucky to have such a nice father, and she smiled. I was moved by the moment to spend time and greet people, I believe that this was a lesson learned by the Holy Spirit. I plan on this being a lesson I don't want to forget.

This Day is getting better by the moment, and .......................to be continued!!! Stay tuned!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Signs, Signs, Everywhere there are Signs!

Yes I know I am dating my self to being a sixties and seventies child. I remembered the title not the band, The Five Man Electrical Band I Googled it, by the way a 1971 hit song. I and my family aren't immune to the economic downturn, my wife has been unemployed since February. I admire her so much because she volunteers with the Senior Centers in Berlin and is discovering her passion and career calling. Unfortunately with the potential cut off of unemployment benefits I was questioning how we could afford traveling to Plymouth once a week to take classes, and also pay for the classes. Well, I sat down and prayed and begged the Lord for His help and a sign. I asked if you really want me to be a Deacon I need your help. My wife and I soon after went out for our usual walk with the dogs in town. During the walk a member of the Knights of Columbus yelled over to me, " Mitch got a minute!"  "Sure" I said. What's up!" Satch told me "The Knights have always sponsored Seminarians and want to help you and Mike, we will be sending you a check to cover the cost of gas for the upcoming year!" I thanked him and I was speechless, I told my wife that if that wasn't a sign I don't know what could be one.  My prayers were answered within 30 minutes, Unbelievable and true! I don't expect returns that quickly, but the message was clear there are signs everwhere and we just have to learn to be patient and trust in God's Providence. He will provide. That Sunday I was asked to replace someone as Lector for the 9 am Mass. Our new Pastor Fr. Mark Dollard gave me more great news, he said "Mitch, you and Mike won't have to worry about any expenses, the parishes have money aside for Seminarians which will cover whatever you need !" Wow! Another sign to learn to trust. I'm just amazed, and humbled by all of this. In my God's eye I am realizing how special I am to him, I hope I can share that feeling with others, and pray that we can all experience this in our own lives. Ask and You Shall Receive! This journey is becoming more and more amazing with each passing moment. To my Aspirant Brothers I pray for all of us each and every day! We are just ordinary men preparing to do Extraordinary things with the Grace of God.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Welcome to All!

This will continue to be a challenge and an adventure for a computer challenged person. Our God has such a great sense of humor to get someone like me to do this. I am humbled and excited to move forward. Without asking, the outpouring of support has been tremendous by Family, Friends, Parishioners, and everyone. Just picking up some food at the Berlin IGA  presents opportunities to share, reflect, and listen. I pray that I will always have the time, and patience to be open to whatever is presented before me. God Bless you all!