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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 ...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Questions, and a real reason to give thanks!

I've had a little time to rest and reflect this week. I was able to go bowling again with my buddies and then one of them dared to ask the questions! What will you be doing as a Deacon and when? I started with the easy one, that I still had a little over 2 and half years to go. Then I told him what a Deacon can and can't do. I guess he thought as I have heard before of being looked at as a mini priest, and I told him that definitely wasn't the case. He seemed pretty satisfied with the answers, but I'm sure there were questions still lingering inside of him. Usually the main question is Why?  I expect this will come out eventually.

Wednesday morning when I left the Adoration chapel from morning prayers another friend of mine asked "what are you doing in there?" Well, that's a great question when you are leaving there at 6:30 am. I told her I do morning prayers in the chapel every weekday morning when I am able to. Again, she seemed satisfied with the answer, but not totally!

On Thanksgiving I served breakfast to my daughter, her friend, and my son. My daughter would be leaving soon to head back south and it was great to spend some time with her. Unfortunately Terry needed to work most of the time she was home. I relaxed that afternoon as Terry would be meeting me for Thanksgiving at my brother's house for supper. Again, just being with others was awesome. Terry then shared something that really tore me up inside. She works at a group home for troubled youths and it is a very stressful job. She received a phone call from a youth who could finally go home. That person thanked her for everything she did to help her get her life in order, so she could finally go home. In Terry's words...."You just gave me the best Thanksgiving and Christmas present I could have ever received! I'm proud of you and I don't want to see you again here! I hope to see you again, but not in this place!"

Here comes the really tough part, where she explained that not all the youths had visitors at Thanksgiving. I was really torn up over this. I won't judge or critique why, but I will pray for them and their families and be forever thankful for the gifts that I have received.

Wishing you all the Peace of Christ!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Monday, November 21, 2011

What's next?

Now that our second class is almost over, we still have a five page paper to turn in, I'm looking forward to some normalcy again. I haven't posted anything for a few days and really it's been a time to slow down and relax again. Saturday, I did a little yard work while Terry worked  in the house and that evening we had a campfire in our backyard. It's been since early September since we had a fire at any body's house and this one just felt right.

Sunday I went to Church with my folks again, and spent the rest of the afternoon waiting for the computer repairman to show up and bring back our computer. That was the other reason I was slow at posting something.  I took a few minutes to start reading our book for the next formation weekend, Preaching without notes!  Looks good so far. We have two priests who are awesome at this and honestly they are pretty difficult to beat. They each have their own style and I guess what makes it special is that I believe it all comes from their hearts. What I know so far about my brother candidates is that every one's heart is really in this journey. 

I will soon start putting my final paper together, but what I'm really anxious about is the Bishop's installation on the Eighth of December. I scheduled myself with the day off in anticipation of receiving an invitation, and I also told Terry to try to make sure she has the day off also. I can't wait to be with all my brothers and sisters down there as one!

Finally in the true spirit of things getting back to normal, I will be returning to my Tuesday night bowling league. The guys have done an awesome job keeping our team in third place thus far. Tomorrow night we play the number one team, and honestly win or lose I just happy to be back with the boys.

So I wish you all the best as Ordinary times is all but over! So bring on the Extraordinary times!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ca aussi, ca va passer!

Don't you just love it when God talks to you!  I'm sure at times He wonders why did it take so long for you to hear me? Well that's my story this week. My last two blogs were about messages from God that came to me through people I know.

Today, I will share with you my next message. On Sunday I took my Mom and Dad to Church and we talked about my current class. I was as honest to my Mother as I was with Fr. Kyle. This method of learning has been very much less than ideal. I know everyone is doing their best to teach us in the Plymouth group, but we have faced so many difficulties. The poor connections initially, then finally towards the end of the first class it starts to get better. One thing that hasn't improved and must be to help us learn is the feeling that we are just an after thought. Oh yeah, you too in Plymouth! It has to be tough for the teacher, but because of the technology we rarely hear the comments made by the people in Manchester. We spend long periods of time seeing the same pictures on the screen and we never see anyone in Manchester. We hear some voices well, the teacher all the time and the majority of the time we can't hear what anyone else is saying.

Frustration is probably the best word to describe how I feel and definitely most of us in Plymouth. Mom heard me going on about this and then she said this to me.......

"Ca aussi, ca va passer!"
"And this too, shall pass!"

I guess when she said that to me I really wasn't listening very well and I really glossed over that comment. I really internalized and I let the frustration block out any possible understanding of that statement.

On Monday I was determined to catch up on my reading, I was like a man on a mission and I was reading like I never did  before. I loved reading the passages that reinforced my reflection paper that I was sending in that evening. I was walking out the door of my store and then it hit me. I remembered that message that God sent me through Mom. I instantly smiled and felt the hand of God. Relax, be at peace, I know it's not the best way to learn, but do your best. Most of all be at peace! These words flowed into my heart and I was literally on fire for the next two days.

I know that I'm a little long winded today, but the Spirit is moving me and I shared this all with Mike. I still believe that changes need to be made, but in the current Spirit that I am in I will relax, and be at Peace!

Peace to all of you!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Saturday, November 12, 2011

I'm writing for me!

Today Terry and I had a discussion on this blog and she commented to me how she felt that I have grown through this ministry. She noted that I have been finding the little things that are going on around me, and she as my best critic has given me at least one thumbs up, maybe two someday!

Well on Thursday evening I had a chance to have a conversation with Tom about the papers we have to write and again something enlightening happened. Tom and I think honestly most of us are getting to another level of thinking in our papers. He said to me.."I'm writing for me!" On the surface this may sound like it has some bravado in it, but I didn't take it this way. I took it with the sincerity that it was delivered in.

These papers should be something that really creates a spark and drives a passion inside of us that needs to be put on paper or email for us in Plymouth. I believe that I'm starting to get at that point also.

My next paper will be about "Ressourcement"! You may ask why and the answer lies in my own heritage, as the term is a French word and being of French descent this created a spark in me. I'll share something else that I spoke to Mike about. A "source" in French for me also meant a well or a spring for water. Being that water is essential to life, the insight I received was to share that our Church Leaders at Vatican II dipped into the source or spring of riches our Church has by looking into our past.

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis!


Friday, November 11, 2011

It's not about me!

I think that the moments I value the most from our trips to Plymouth is actually the conversations that Mike and I are sharing. The trip takes us about an hour and twenty minutes to get there and back, and we never lack of something to share.

Last night, Mike and I were reflecting on our faith journey and something very enlightening occurred. We were sharing together how we have grown in our faith and more importantly have grown as men, fathers, husbands, etc. Mike stated that through some challenging times that he has realized that in this journey "it's not about me!" I really liked that phrase, and we both agree that it is really a way of life now.

We both realized how much this experience has transformed us into less self centered men and more in tune with what is going on around us. I'm not trying to paint us as a radical change from high egos into sainthood, but rather a slow and deliberate morphing into men we believe our wives value even more.

So ironically this reflection is being posted on Veterans Day, and fittingly our Veterans epitomized through their self sacrifice "it's not about me!"

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

We're on the same wave length!

Last night our parishes held the annual Mass of Remembrance. This was the very first time that I attended this Mass. Mike had asked me to go to proclaim some of the names of the many who had passed away. He asked me because of my french background and being a very french community we had the majority with french names.

It was extremely well done and the Mass was very well attended, which I was pleasantly surprised by that. When I entered I saw Mike with a purple shirt on and guess what I was wearing? Yup, you guessed it, purple! Mine was a shade darker. Elise asked if we called each other to prepare, and I said "No, we have been together so much lately, we're on the same wave length!"

Anyways, week three starts tonight and we are getting closer to wrapping up another class.

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Who me!

The word is Evangelizing and I think most people would have to say, "who me?" We probably would all use the same excuses as the Apostles, and Moses, "Eh, Lord there are many more worthy, who speak better, but not me!" Today at work I got a little taste of it again. One of my regular customers came in and we ended up talking about Church matters and he told me that a very good friend of his, whom I know very well is going back to Church and really loves our Pastor.

I mentioned to him that even though it seems that our Church is gaining some new members there's always room for more. He gave me the usual responses "well if you hear the rafters coming down, it might just be me. " My response was "my father in law said the same thing and it didn't happen, so I hope to see you there some time soon." 

Well, he didn't say yes......but most importantly he didn't say no.

There is ministry in the marketplace!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Choices & It's not about money!

At our last formation weekend we had a Deacon speak to us about the three legged table which was our lives. He reflected upon Family, Work, and Ministry. Obviously, he stated that if at any time one was out of sync the "table" our lives would also be out of balance. With classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays I came across a dilemma for this past Tuesday. Every year in our stores we have to perform a physical inventory, and quite honestly I've been doing them for over 25 years and I still dislike doing inventory. It is one of those necessary evils in my life that I take very seriously.

Up to this point I haven't missed any events on this journey to possible ordination. Well this week marked the first event I missed. I couldn't in good conscience delegate this important task upon my employees. Could they have done a good job? I know they could have done it alone, except for the fact that I am the manager and this is my responsibility. So inventory was done, and last night Mike and I gathered together to view the class on his  laptop, and because of the delay we were able to do Evening prayers together. I'm having a hard time enjoying this distance learning, but honestly I think I'm going to have a tougher time with the up coming on line course.

Now to the issue of.... it's not about money. On Friday night the local response group is having a fundraiser by having a regional comedian do a show. Terry has called many friends to join us for the evening. The cost is $20 per ticket, which is a little steep for some in this economy up here. She has done a great job, so much so that my best friend is talking other people into going with us. He called them and their answer was, " what do we get for the $20?" His response was, " #1 it's a fund raising event, but most of all it's not about the money, it's about being together!" That comment really hit me hard. I relate it to the travel to Plymouth, it's not fun, it is draining, but honestly it really is about being together.

So tonight Mike and I will share a ride and gather personally with our family in Plymouth, and through the technology we will be with our complete family in Manchester.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,