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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, February 28, 2012

And we just talked!

I have been meeting for over a year now with another parishioner for Morning Prayers. We can almost predict the usual time each one of us will arrive. Today was a little different. My friend showed up later than usual and he arrived with a heavy heart. We were just about to begin when I said...."Why don't we just talk this morning?"

We then shared what was going on in his life and how he dealt with a young member of our community. He counseled, he shared, and he was available for this young man. My friend has such a wonderful heart, and faith. He is so humble that he just doesn't want to take any credit for the ministry he just performed. He is a prime example of what it means to be a Christian and how well we can fulfill our Lenten obligations. Like my pastor would say, it's all about the ministry of presence.

We were both very much into this moment of sharing. So much so that I was actually a little late for work this morning. Luckily my Assistant was on time for opening. 

I learned so much this morning from this experience. It's great that we do our formal prayers together, but being there for each other is what Jesus taught us to do!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Saturday, February 25, 2012


This Lent has been very different for me already. It feels like a floodgate of ideas, reflections, and memories are pouring inside of me. Traditionally for me I have to fight off all the distractions to hear even the tiniest "whispers" of the Lord. Not so today! I feel like I could write, and write, and write about so many things. 

I'll share only one with you at this time. This one happened at work for me in a conversation with my assistant manager. We were discussing how the year is moving along and then I mentioned how I need to slow down a bit when I'm with customers. This isn't a fast food restaurant that you are trying to get them in, and get them out. We pride ourselves on service and taking care of all the little details. 

My assistant then said one word......."Breathe"! I thought about it a bit, a little puzzled, and I actually joked about breathing in the delivery room at child birth. It took just a little while longer that the Lord's message was starting to sink in, after all I'm only a man. During this time of Lent and every day, I need to slow down and breathe in the Spirit. I need to let this be a new way of life and not just a cute 40 day event. 

So the challenge is there, it's time to "Breathe!"

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


The Three's!

As we begin Lent I'm trying to work on the three's. Prayer, fasting, and alms giving...or charity. I really prefer the word charity, probably because I fondly remember the Sisters of the Presentation reminding me to do acts of charity. Fasting for me has always been a real challenge, especially trying not to eat meat on Friday. I read yesterday in "The Word Among Us" a great little message on fasting......................................................

"This Lent, let's all try to fast form the kinds of behaviors that divide people. 
Let's practice the kinds of behaviors that create unity 
and build people up instead!"

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's all about the people you meet!

We are all finally done the Prophets course. I have to say this course really exceeded my expectations. Yes, I know that is an over used cliche. In this case it is very true for me. I struggled with this new technology for distance learning. I know it can work and will work, but it's tough teaching an old dog new tricks.  Well, after opening jitters in this on line course I was off and running and really loving it. I guess through some really good guidance I got a glimpse into the lives of the prophets. By reading and trying to absorb this in, I was able to kind of feel for them and understand a little what was going on in their lives. I am both emotionally and Spiritually charged by this course.

When anyone looks back on their lives they can all relate to the wonderful people that they had met. It could be that elementary school teacher who changed your life, a friend that you met at an early age and they are still your best friend, a co worker, etc. These are all people that you have met face to face and they know you and they can sense what is going on in your life.  Their mere presence brings joy into your life. I have just met someone who did just that for me, and the funny thing is that I may never see her face to face at all. Our instructor Tracy has a presence to her that is so heart warming. She brought out the best in me and always encouraged me. I actually worked harder as the course was moving along. Unfortunately, some good things come to an end, but the Spirit that she ignited won't soon fade away. So this is to the people in your lives that you meet, if but only through today's modern means of communication.  The Spirit is definitely able to transcend through any human barriers.

Adieu mes Amis,


Thursday, February 16, 2012

One more night!

Tonight will be our final evening in the Prophets course. I will join hopefully more than one other person tonight in our final chat session.  The course was very enjoyable. Every time, and I mean every time I start something new there is always a bit of anxiety. This one started off a little rough, but really went smooth from that night forward.

I found that I needed to be a little more prepared with some reflections in the chat session. Last week it really helped out with just the three of us; Wayne, myself & the Holy Spirit. We were really fortunate to have a pace that suited men of our generation. I honestly felt that I got to know Wayne a little more by having that time to share.

After this evening we will be enjoying a brief recess until March 1st and then we will be taking a course on Christology. I am downloading one of the books on my kindle fire, and yes there will be a little anxiety coming my way again. Yes, Mike and I will be road warriors again. Please pray that it doesn't snow on Tuesday and Thursday evenings for the next couple of months. Hopefully, we will be free of that hazard come May.

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Formation Time!

Upon arriving this weekend, I kind of felt like it had been too long since the last time we gathered. Unofficially we were last together at the Bishop's installation. Christmas came and went, the New Year also flew right by us,and because of on line courses we had what seemed to be a very long time apart.

It was a very different weekend. We were getting an intense review of Vatican II and we were treated to our first homilies from our community. Honestly, I really have to say that I enjoyed every one of them. Prayer time was very special, and the reflections by Eric, Geoff, and Wayne were excellent.

I'm spending some time wrapping up the final session of this course. I didn't get a chance to read much, so that's what I've been doing the last couple of days. Tonight, well... I decided I needed to bowl. As well as I did I probably should have stayed home, but it was still fun.

Well, I hope you all enjoy the next few days. I probably won't be posting anything until the weekend.

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Friday, February 10, 2012

Just the two of us?

Last night was chat night for our 4th session in the Old Testament Prophets class. I have made it a point to sign in early to avoid any complications. It's kind of preventive medicine for me, given the technical difficulties I have encountered in todays' technology.

The time was awfully close to 9 pm and I wondered if my worst fears would happen? Would I be the only one in the chat room tonight? Well at 9 pm Wayne signed in and we shared a few stories before getting into the required questions to cover. We waited...we waited....and we waited! It was just the two of us last night.

Could we pull this off and carry on a session with just the two of us? Or should I say the three of us. One thing became glaringly obvious as we moved through time. You could sense the Spirit of the Lord guiding us, enlightening us, and giving us a very enjoyable evening sharing our thoughts, our joys, and a few jokes to boot!

So with the three of us moving right along, what I feared turned into an awesome evening!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Tonight's line up!

After a full days work, I also have an evening agenda quite full. Tonight Terry and I were together for supper and we discussed how this computer class is going. I actually love this format. We are required to provide a weekly posting of our reflections, and they are meant to be done in 2oo words or less. This course is on the prophets and in our fourth session we needed to pick 2 books from a dozen of the "minor" prophets. One of our deacon candidates did note that the term "minor"  was kind of strange. I agree, because there was nothing minor about the impact these readings gave to me. I wrote about the prophet Hosea, and this one was chosen because when Terry and I got married we had chosen the song...."Hosea...Come Back to Me". Hosea is a book that describes the down and out in relationships to the glory of salvation. It speaks to me of "Hesed" a Hebrew word for steadfast love.

The next selection was Malachi, and I chose this one for two very unimportant reasons. It was the last book, the name began with an M like mine, and it was rather short in chapters. Malachi epitomizes the adage, great things come in small packages. One Hebrew term was used that really hit me "haberet", which signifies an equal,a covenated partner. A great term that I would share for anyone married or about to be married.

Finally, the line up for tonight. Next on the agenda was the Knights of Columbus meeting. They did a great job to keep the meeting on schedule and lively.

I will now top off the evening by participating in the weekly chat session. In this we share our reflections on how we were affected by our studies. It is an hour long, and believe me the time actually goes by quite quickly.

This weekend Terry and I will be away for another formation weekend that will deal with Vatican II. It has been since December since we all gathered together and I really miss my family.

Blessings to you all! Please keep us all in your prayers!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Saturday, February 4, 2012

No! I am not in seclusion!

It's almost been a a full week since I posted anything, and honestly it has been a very busy week indeed. I've been back home a little over a week and there was so much to do at work. I had another out of town training day scheduled for Wednesday and I couldn't attend because we had freezing rain. I traveled with my assistant for the second session on Thursday. Yesterday, was a wrap up day and we had a staff meeting to get everyone on board with all that is going on.

Last night I attended the Catechises event on Abortion, Suicide, and euthanasia. They did a nice job with guest speakers, and they ended the evening with a video on the youths who attended the March for Life! Overall it really was pretty good.

It's Saturday and it's time to print up the 4th unit notes and directions for the prophets class. With that done, I will be back at it with reading, taking notes, and  trying to post some reflections. The introduction to the class stated that the average time would be about 4 to 5 hours of class time per session. I think, actually I know that I'm doing more than this. I like logging in to check what everyone else has written down. The chat sessions are actually getting better and Thursday night's time really went by very quickly.

So, this is why I'm a little behind on my postings.

One thing that has stirred something inside of me came through the Word Among Us. There was a little challenge to write down each evening how God spoke to me that day. Sometimes it's been just a friendly smile, a hello from a friend, some encouraging words from my teammate on my bowling team, and it's also been from a very supportive friend and parishioner encouraging me in my studies. When it's a little hectic, and this week it has been, I need to slow down and turn the radar up a bit!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,