Featured Post

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 ...

Friday, September 30, 2011

Plymouth are you there????

We're three quarters of the way done our first course of the year and some very familiar words seem to ring out in our ears...."Plymouth are you there???" The northern contingent has been receiving the information via distance learning. When I was a member of the Berlin Board of Education I was a very strong voice to try to make this happen for our children here in Berlin. With dwindling funds it would offer us a chance to share a teacher and offer more to the people of the great white north (no snow yet or distance learning!)

I have to say when the process is on, and everything is running right we have enjoyed this experience. I'm old school and I still would rather have our own teacher, but there is something to be said that all of us are sharing the same material and learning as one. Unfortunately when the system is off, let us say that a great deal of frustration sets in. We are almost anticipating the worse at times when the audio portion of the presentation sounds like R2D2 from Star Wars. So while the bugs are being worked on, we have been trying to focus on growing as a group. When the system is down and during breaks we have been discussing points that were brought up in class and Mike and I continue the process on the ride home at night.

On behalf of all of us in Plymouth, we ask for your prayers that we get strong connections and continuous uninterrupted feeds so that we can all feel fully engaged in this process.

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Still feeling somewhat disconnected!

Well class went very well Tuesday night except for taking about 15 minutes to connect to the class in Manchester. This was our third class in the northern outpost of Plymouth, watching on the screen the power point presentation and listening to a voice at least half an hour away. I'm still trying to get used to this teleconferencing stuff. I see the benefits of having one instructor for all of us, but it's not the same. The best part was that for the first time we didn't get disconnected from the conference. Yeah!

The tough part was that when there is a discussion going on in Manchester it's really difficult to feel like you a part of what is going on. We really can't hear all the questions or the comments that are being made. The last discussion that was going on down there seemed to have some energy to it, unfortunately that energy is lost in the transmission to our group up at PSU.

The northern group is a tough bunch, and we will persevere through the issues, but honestly deep inside we long to be a closer part to our entire class. Fortunately this option is available, because if I had to drive to Manchester two nights a week I probably wouldn't be able to continue on this journey.

This class reminds me of a course that I took when I was in the Seminary. Ironically, I attended the same Seminary our incoming Bishop attended. I really love the insights and the information about that period of time being presented to us in this course.

Well, I'm posting all this information before tonight's class. I got out early to make some sandwiches for Mike and I. I found a recipe that I'm trying out on Mike. We will find out soon enough if Mike is able to continue to attend. Just kidding!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


With a new beginning shortly upon us, I'm very excited and looking forward to meeting Bishop Peter. I really believe that the Berlin community will welcome him with open arms and will really enjoy a Bishop who speaks French.

Adieu et Bonjour mes Amis!


Friday, September 16, 2011

Feeling disconnected!

Well the bell has rung and we as candidates are now back in school. The first course is the Synoptic Gospels. This class is a new adventure for me in many ways, attending classes twice as often, and most of all having a class on the big screen. Honestly I have had my reservations on this method of teaching. I'm keeping an open mind on this and will let you know more as the weeks move on, even though my preference is still to have the conventional way of learning.(a living human being in front of me and not on a screen.)

There is one thing that I can tell you that I'm having trouble with. We have had two sessions, and at both sessions we have been disconnected from each session at least six times. The worst has been at the final twenty minutes of the classes. I hope this will be able to be worked out quickly.

One thing that is awesome is my travel partner Mike. The travel time passes away quite quickly when you have someone to share your stories with. Mike eliminated one concern of mine. How will I ever do evening prayers. On Tuesday night he offered to read the prayers and I really enjoyed being his prayer partner. Last night was my turn and even though it is different, I really enjoy it.

So apart from being disconnected a few times, I'm excited at being back on the road and in the classroom.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Reflections on an emotional day!

Today marks an infamous anniversary and also a bittersweet day. You see, this day being a day to remember is one I can never forget. A year before 9-11 with family and friends I celebrated an early birthday in the Big Apple. It was my first and only visit to New York. I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and same day I will return. 9-11 is a day I share with the nation very closely as it also my birthday. I remember all too well when asked my date of birth and cringing when sharing that number. I don't get those same reactions anymore but I still get choked up about the day.

Today was my day to bring the Blessed Sacrament to the hospital. I proudly entered with my new Red Sox jersey my son bought for me. I think it helped ease some of the pain of the patients in the hospital. The visits I had will stand out with me. I have been going for several months now and the unexpected happens and it is usually very memorable. I reviewed all the readings for this day and forgiveness was at the top of the list. I know the knowledge of the readings was very helpful in my discussions with the patients.

Mass today was very special, for many reasons and yet what was the most memorable part was at the end of the Mass. Our parishioners seem to be in a rush to leave and today Fr. Mark asked all to remain in the Church until we all finished singing God Bless America. I was impressed that no one left early, in fact over 95 % stayed for the second verse.

After Mass I went to dinner with my Mom,Dad, and my brother and it was very nice to be together. My brother loves to tease me and told the waitress that I needed to eat cottage cheese because I was an old man. You got to love your brothers.

Tonight is bowling and this will cap off a wonderful and emotional day.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Saturday, September 10, 2011

A beautiful day and what to do???

"A double dose of Spending a day with my best friend!"

We are all getting closer to returning back to school next week. My son asked me today if I was excited, and without hesitation the answer is yes. I was really glad for the break, but it's time to get going again. So, it's Saturday and with a beautiful day on tap, we planned a full day of activities. We hiked up Mount Jasper again today, and with no humidity and very few clouds we were treated to spectacular views with a little effort.

Our next plan was to go kayaking. This was my first trip out this year and again we weren't disappointed at all. The lake was a little choppy, there was a nice cool breeze, and one of our highlights was spotting numerous turtles sunning themselves on the rocks and logs. I live in such a beautiful area with so much to do around us in just a short distance from home. While kayaking I spotted an area that looked really good for a hike, and my buddy said that the area was Roger's ledge. Looks great to me, you want to do this on our next trip? You bet!

Well how can you possibly top this day???? You guessed it, a campfire!

Today is truly a day to give blessings for the gifts of a beautiful day spent with my best friend!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


Monday, September 5, 2011

"You made my day!"

Yesterday was your typical Sunday for me. I got up early to pray in the Adoration Chapel and it was my Sunday to be Lector at the 9 am Mass. I should have practiced just a little more as I inverted some words while practicing and did the same during Mass. I got to listen to Fr. Kyle's sermon and I really enjoy the way he preaches. No notes, away from the ambo, and full of confidence. I already mentioned to my family and friends that if I am blessed enough to be ordained, not to expect me to be that good.

After Mass, I went to pick up parents to go to the 11 am Mass in Gorham. Fr. Mark was the celebrant in Gorham and I really enjoyed that Mass also. He as well speaks without notes, away from the ambo, and again with great confidence. The messages were different at each Mass, but very well delivered.  My folks and I went out for dinner and then I took them back home.

My best friend asked if I would join him visiting a friend of ours who was feeling a little down from surgery he had just received. He is a very active man and is dealing with being inactive until he fully heals. We stopped over and sat outside in his backyard and enjoyed a few beers, some chips, and time spent together.  We weren't there for very long and it soon became dark. It was really nice spending  time with him and when we left he said....
"You made my day!"

I was a little shocked by the statement, but mostly I felt really good to put such a smile on his face. All I could think of afterwards was this...."Lord when did we visit you??" and
"Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me!" Then I thought of the message Fr. Mark said.."Sometimes our faith isn't so complicated." Needless to say when I reviewed my day, this was at the top of the list!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


Saturday, September 3, 2011

On vacation and what to do!

My first full day of vacation and my best friend and I went on a hike up Mount Jasper in Berlin. The trail was recently  upgraded by the Jag students at Berlin High with the help of members of the AMC. I had been thinking about this for a while and the weather outlook was good and the hike isn't very long. So we left a little before 11 am and we were up in about 30 minutes. The views as you can see are even better than the picture above. This is truly a gem for the city that doesn't see much traffic.

Besides losing our breaths from the hike we just sat down and admired the real beauty that we have here. What more can I ask for, time spent with my best friend and my dog. These are some of my "treasures" that I am so thankful for.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!