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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 ...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Another revelation....this is my buddy!

Terry's job is one that leaves us with not as much time together as either one of us really likes. I only actually have two days a week that we can spend together. She is off on Thursdays (we go to school) Fridays, and Saturdays. So Friday night we went out to eat just the two of us, and then we went out shopping till about 10.

Saturday we planned a day together, again just the two of us to head down to North Conway. On the way over Terry said "Wow, just the two of us, we're really spending more time together, with a great big smile." 

We went to JC Penney's and shopped for a while, picked up some bargains, but mainly enjoyed our time together. We met many friends from Berlin, and then it happened..."Mitch, this is my buddy!" Terry met up with one of her Alzheimer's friend that she volunteers with. The woman was with her daughter who is a friend of ours. She was shocked that her mother recognized Terry! The woman's eyes really lit up when Terry smiled, and hugged her and repeated..."this is my buddy!" Terry is the most caring and patient woman I know, and her actions revealed something to me that I shared with her.

She is not really fond of her job, but she is making an impact with the children she is with. She really loves working with the elderly, and the results were very evident to me what she is capable of.

All I could think of is that I have to be open to whatever comes my way if ever I am blessed enough to be ordained. St. Paul reminds me often "I can do all things in Him who strengthens me!"

Time, it is such a wonderful gift!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Let us begin....

Last night marked the opening of our Church History class. There was a different feel for this class. Number one I believe that the technical issues are just about all  resolved, Amen! More importantly we began last night with a prayer, which is the way it should always begin. Something was definitely lacking in that last class and to start off with a prayer signaled a very nice change for me and I'm thinking just about everyone else.

Almost as important was the teacher's recognition of the work load we have with this class, and how he wants us to focus our attention on chapters in our books. Then he said something very profound, " I know you are all working out there..." The recognition of our three dimensional lives was really heart warming *(family, work, & ministry).

I really felt that the Spirit was speaking to us last night, sharing our burdens, understanding our challenges, and yet still encouraging us to move forward.

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Monday, October 24, 2011

Hurry Up!

Since I started this blog a little over a year ago, there have been numerous occasions that I mentioned that the community has been eagerly anticipating "the deacons".  I use this term that Fr. Kyle has been calling Mike and I. Well yesterday before Mass at 9 am I saw our Pastor Fr. Mark and I mentioned to him that "wow, didn't you just say the 7 am Mass and you are also saying the 9 am Mass?" His answer was " yes, and I have Baptisms after the 9 am Mass and I'm saying Mass at 2 at the state prison?"  He also added "I can't wait until you men can do the Baptisms!" Well unfortunately he'll have to be patient and wait for us a little bit longer.

Thinking about Fr. Mark's Sunday schedule I can understand his eagerness to get us started. After all, a 7 am Mass means you have to get the Church open by 6:15, which also means no sleeping in that day. He really had a very full day yesterday without adding the state prison ministry.

Fr. Dennis had shared that the call for a renewal of the Permanent Diaconate came about from a grass roots calling, and by the looks of things it certainly has filtered all the way up through the ranks. The need is staggering! If God is willing, when Mike and I get ordained we will easily fill 10 to 15 hours of work for the parish every week.

Yesterday really opened up my eyes to what is needed out there. Our Lord in his own way pointed out so much to me. I knew there was a need, but I also realize that even Mike and I won't be able to handle everything else that the faithful are looking for. So we will have to do like everyone else, plug away and maybe as models of faith our actions may inspire others to volunteer or better yet, say "Yes" when Our Lord calls!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


PS Our second class of year two begins tomorrow night, please pray for all 23 of us!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Further reflections on our last formation weekend!

Two words literally smacked me in the face with what Fr. Dennis said last weekend....
"Shut Up!" Yeah, shut up! I would have to agree wholeheartedly that at times I'm very busy talking to God that I'm not really listening.

Well armed with these great words, I made sure today that I didn't talk to much in my prayers before Mass. I asked the Lord to talk to me and I prayed that He would give me the patience to listen.

Needless to say that today's Mass was very enjoyable!

I had a few minutes to share with you and I will be attending Mass with my parents at the 11 am Mass. They are in their eighties and I treasure every moment with them.

Today take the time to listen!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

We gather together!

On Thursday evening our little group from "Plymouth are you there?" gathered together in Gorham NH. There was obviously no class, but Tom our site coordinator wanted us all to be together and he insisted on making it easier for Mike, myself and our spouses.

We really love being together in each other's company. I know Terry and I would have traveled to be with all of them, and without speaking for the others I'm sure the feeling is mutual.

We weren't together for very long, but honestly it's very special when we are together and none of us seem to be lacking for words to say.

Classes begin again next week, I've registered for the Step class with a few challenges and I'm keeping myself busy reading ahead for the up coming class. I'm wishing you all a very blessed week and I ask that you all pray for our youth this week, especially those who are in shelters or detention centers, and also for their care givers.

God Bless you all my family for being a very important part of my life and may God Bless all of you who are following my journey. I ask also for your continued prayers for myself and my brother candidates.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


PS NO! It isn't snowing yet up in Berlin!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It's Great to be here!

Those were the first words I spoke upon entering the retreat center on Saturday morning. I really couldn't contain myself, after all the last time we were all together was back in June at the Candidacy Mass. Honestly, I'm sure I wasn't the only one feeling that way. We are a community that is growing closer together with each gathering.

I have so much to unpack on what we went through this weekend, that I will be sharing more of my feelings a little later on this week.

I will share one phrase that captured my spirit and I still can't get this out of my head at all. "The Restless & Dissatisfied leader!" I could ponder on that one for quite some time and still work at it. When Fr. Dennis shared that I was definitely burning up inside of me. I am an emotional man, and this fired me up. I'm already sharing this with members of the Knights and I will be sharing some further ideas with them.

That's it for now, and I think I will be putting together a list of things that captured my spirit this past weekend.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


Friday, October 14, 2011

It's time to gather again!

The candidates are now in full mode of year two in our journey. We all have one class under our belts and tomorrow we will gather again as a family of believers. Terry and I are really looking forward to being in the presence of "our family". I was sharing with Mike and Tom at our last class, that at times it is difficult to understand that we have become so close to each other in such a short period of time. We have a Spirit that is special, we have the greatest gift as St. Paul puts it "LOVE!"

Today I wish to pray for and thank all those who support us in our journey. There are too many to name, but without any of their support,we definitely would be lacking the true colors our lives are becoming.

Today I challenge you all to smell the roses, enjoy the little things, and humbly accept any act of charity that comes your way!

 Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pray the Rosary!

It's Monday morning and even though I'm on vacation I like getting up early and doing Morning Prayers with my buddy Mike M. Well, Monday being a holiday the Church wasn't open very early and we had someone dropping off a key for us to unlock the Church for the morning Mass. Mike showed me what needs to be done and unfortunately he couldn't join me for Morning Prayers. He then asked me " are you going to do the Rosary today?" Honestly I haven't done the Rosary very much in many a year so I kinda ducked that question.

I went into the Adoration Chapel and recited my Morning Prayers, read the WAU, and the day's readings in the Bible. After a little meditation I continued reading the Examen and then there it was, a witnesses testimony...."the Examen really helps me with my prayers, especially the Rosary!" I didn't need three invitations to get it, so I knew that we had a group of parishioners who recite the Rosary before Mass and there I was joining them.

Well, I didn't forget how to recite the Rosary and yes it was a very special and comforting time for me. The Mass was a little more special, the day went very well and I guess it's what my Mother requested of me.

I don't think I'll need a special invitation to pray again, as tomorrow morning before Mass, Mike and I have already planned to join the community in reciting the Rosary!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!

PS: since we are off from school I'll be bowling tonight!!!!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Summit of sorts!

Well not really, but yesterday I was Lector and met our Pastor Fr. Mark and Fr. Kyle and they obviously heard that we have been having difficulties in our classes. I guess the word gets around real quick in Berlin. They asked "why are you traveling to Plymouth when you could be taking these classes here or somewhere closer?" My response was "well, I sometimes wonder myself, but we are a very small community in Plymouth and we really love being together?" They looked at me with silence and I knew that they understood why the traveling was challenging but there was a great benefit of being together.

Fr. Kyle asked what we were studying and I mentioned the Synoptic Gospels. He was asking me a few more questions and then he made a comment that really made my day, and probably longer than that. Fr. Kyle said "I'm looking forward to working with "the Deacons", we have lots of work to do here!" Very touching, you bet! Unfortunately I told him we have three more years to go and even though we would love to keep you here the odds aren't very good. Nevertheless, I'm so glad that this Diocese has a Priest of his caliber tending to the flock.

Looking back at this "mini summit" I take away a Pastor who is very concerned and personally involved in our journey and an Associate who has lots of fire in him.

The weather is gorgeous, and so is the beauty of God's Creation!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


Saturday, October 8, 2011

One down....

Thursday night again was a very great evening to be a part of this technological world. Unfortunately we only had two out of those eight evenings that were relatively event free.

The best part of the classes has to be the discussion time that we are having. I know we all feel that we are getting the most out of this course when we can gather and share. Tom even mentioned something that we did last year, that we aren't doing now. I guess we probably have been a little tied up in this new techno stuff and forgetting what brings us all together.

About a week ago prior to having our Tuesday night pizza party we gathered in a circle held hands, and Steve lead us in prayer. Yes, something very special has been missing before class and we all agreed that we would not forget to pray before class again.

So now that we have two whole weeks off from class time, what will you all be doing? I will be doing something I absolutely love to do! Bowl on Tuesday nights with my best friends and all my friends. Giving up my favorite past time for part of the year was probably the hardest thing I had to do. I need this as much as Mike needs to run, as Tom needs to exercise, etc. etc. When I'm there I can set aside anything that bothers me and I can focus clearly and relax.

Today Terry and I are keeping busy around the house as I am beginning my next vacation week. I have a few plans for home improvement projects that I will be sharing with my Dad and my brother.

I would love to share a quote with all of you that I read this week.....
"Cultivate happiness,
and scatter it around!"

Bonjour mes Amis,


Thursday, October 6, 2011

A little bit of Martha and a little bit of Mary!

Tonight will be the final class for the Synoptic Gospels course. We finally had a class with no interruptions, and I say thank you so much for your prayers. The connections was superb and we didn't cringe even once waiting for the problems to start. I am having second thoughts about this tele-conferencing stuff. I met with our school superintendent today and shared our good fortune and told her that I might support this for upper level students.

Today is a wonderful day, Berlin is back! Those were the words echoed by our Mayor as we are breaking ground for a new Biomass plant here in town. I haven't seen so much positive energy in this community for many, many years. I got a chance to meet up with several people that I know and we are all looking forward to a new spirit returning to Berlin.

Now you may ask what's up with the title of this blog. Well I was thinking about something that happened earlier in the week that made me think about these two ladies in Scripture. I can honestly identify with both of them, and yet I can honestly say that at times I could be too concerned about the details of getting things done and missing the most important parts. What is most important in my life is the people (my treasures), their lives, their feelings, and making sure I have a balanced relationship with them and the rest of my life. I know I missed an important opportunity to be present for someone in need, and fortunately I had the chance to share my thoughts and feelings with them a little later on that evening. I've got to work on this balance thing and realize that the Martha and Mary in me have to be worked on also.

Bonjour mes Amis,