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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, September 29, 2012

Was that a Deacon who said that?

''You have to put yourself last if you want to lead,'' said the former All-Star catcher, who spent the first 11 seasons of his 18-year playing career in Cleveland.
''You have to serve first,'' Alomar said. ''Be unselfish and do what you can for others.''

I was checking out a few articles on the internet and looked at one where Terry Francona and Sandy Alomar are candidates for the managers position with the Cleveland Indians. The words were so inspiring I thought that I would share them with you. I think his words speak for themselves!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


 Happy Birthday Fr. Mark Dollard

Men are like wine: some turn to vinegar, but the best improve with age.
Pope John XXIII

Sunday, September 23, 2012

...be servants of peace!

“Stay as you are…be servants of peace…work at home as you have worked abroad, humbly, persistently, intelligently.  Weep with those who are sorrowful, rejoice with those who are joyful. Teach those who are ignorant. Care for those who are sick. Serve your wives…serve your families…serve your neighbors…serve your cities…serve the poor. Join others who serve.
Serve, serve, serve! That’s the challenge.
For in the end it will be the servants who save us all.”

I found this quote on another blog and really felt that I needed to share this with all of you. R. Sargent Shriver ran for President when was 15 and being the times and my character I worked for his campaign. Unfortunately he didn't receive the nomination to his party, but his message means so much more to me today. Serve, serve, serve, the true message for all of us, but especially for those of us who are studying to be Deacons. This truly is appropriate with today's Gospel.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


It's so good to hear your voice!

For a few months now I've been trying to reconnect with my days at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana. I think since our Bishop Peter is an alumni of this school my interest to reflect back on my days there has resurfaced. I spent a year and four months on the Holy Hill and I feel the Spirit has guided me to reach out with my past. There were two individuals who made a strong impact on my life. One of them was a New Hampshire native studying for a Diocese in Florida, and also another gentlemen from Rhode Island who was  studying for the Diocese of Manchester with me. 

Over thirty years have passed and I began the process of updating my files in the alumni section and then looking up the profiles of these two. I found John (from RI) and read about his journey, and then searched for Mike. 

John's email was out there so I sent him a little note. I remembered the late night sessions studying for History exams, but most of all that he was such an exceptional friend. When I left the seminary I was dealing with a very trying issue and really put everything behind me and didn't look back. Today, that was probably the greatest regret of my life, but I really wasn't ready to stay in touch.

John responded to my email a couple of weeks ago and his words really lifted my spirits. Unfortunately he shared some very difficult news as Mike had passed away two years ago. John gave me his cell phone number and a couple of weeks passed by. 

On Friday I reached out and called him and he soon said ........."it's so good to hear your voice!" We talked for about a half hour and the wonderful memories of those years gone by came welling up inside of me. He is now an Episcopal Priest in RI and he is still the same wonderful man. There were no questions about why we lost touch, only enjoying the words of someone you missed. 

He asked about my journey and wants to be there in two years, God willing of course, when I hope to be a Permanent Deacon for the Diocese of Manchester.  Terry wants to plan a camping trip this summer and visit John and another friend we have in Rhode Island. 

Friday was a wonderful day, and it was great for me also to hear his voice!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Saturday, September 22, 2012

A four letter word!

We are all aware of the four letter words that just aren't said in public, at least they shouldn't be.  Unfortunately, each and every day it gets harder to go through a day where they are thrown out there, like it's just a common everyday word. Yet, in today's reading I uncovered one of the worst one's to hear, WAIT! Yes, the dreaded wait! 

This word isn't one many if any of us enjoy hearing. "What we await are new heavens and earth where, according to his promise, the justice of God will reside!" Certainly we can all await for true justice. But here is the clincher ......... "While waiting for this, make every effort to be found without stain or defilement, and at peace in his sight!"  Using an old sports cliche, the ball is literally in our court. We need to make the effort, we need to give it our best shot. It won't be easy, and at times maybe not fun, but to finally achieve justice, I think it's worth the wait!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bringing back memories!

This week I shared with Terry my favorite birthday of all time. I was about 15 or 16 years old and I was at an Order of the Arrow weekend at Hidden Valley. It was the first time in my life that I was away from home on my birthday. I loved attending these events and there was no way I was going to miss it. On Saturday the leaders produced a newsletter for us and I happened to notice that there was a little message..............
"today is someones birthday!" I thought to myself, "who told them?" 

That evening at supper we gathered and laughed. Soon a birthday cake came out full of candles and they all began to sing "Happy Birthday" to me. I will never, ever forget that day. I have always loved birthdays, with cake and ice cream. 

This year I had a double dose of joy. On Tuesday evening after supper Terry, and my Son had a cake with candles and sang "Happy Birthday" to me. On Wednesday evening Steve and Linda had a carrot cake for me, and Mike and Elise sent over brownies. I guess the group from St. A's saw it and I lifted up the brownies for them to see. They heard it was my birthday and they all sang "Happy Birthday" to me. 

I can't thank you all enough for making this year a birthday that I will always remember. This is an awesome community of families that loves each other as much as we love God. I am truly blessed to be one of your brothers on this journey. 

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


It all begins in the garden!

This year Terry and I tried a few different things in our vegetable garden. We mulched in our left over leaves into the garden instead of bagging or burning them. In the spring time we added some peat moss, and some manure to the garden and we have been extremely rewarded from just a small space. We have marveled at the abundance of fruit that we have received and have shared our blessings with families and friends. 

On Wednesday evening we held our second class on the Gospel of John and Steve brought up how there were so many connections with Genesis in the Gospel of John. Life began in the garden, man had fallen in the garden! Christ agonized in the garden, He died and rose again in the garden.

I was truly amazed by the parallels that Steve had uncovered, and I couldn't help but think about how many times we read in Scripture about pruning, gardens, and bearing fruit. 

Our time in formation is similar, the Lord through others is planting seeds within us with the anticipation of a wonderful bounty in the future.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rivers of Living Water!

"Whoever Believes in Me,
as Scripture says, 'Rivers
of living water will flow from
within him.'" John 7:38

 It's back to school time for our community as we begin our third year of formation. Last night Mike and I did a little catching up with each other and we enjoyed a very different and definitely shorter trip to school. Our little North Country group has remained intact despite Tom now being the road warrior. 

We had a wonderful evening last night in a very good and inviting environment. I do believe there is truly hope for this teleconferencing tool, and it may indeed prove to be good for us and future classes.

If you haven't figured it out yet we are studying the Gospel of John as our first class this year. There occurred an interesting irony from yesterday. Before leaving Berlin Mike and Elise gave me an early birthday card, yes today is my birthday and I'm 52, and upon the card was written the scripture passage you see above, and it was an interesting moment of discussion last night. 

Well, tonight will be back to the books time as we now have classes on Monday and Wednesday evening. 

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Thursday, September 6, 2012

and no one saw your footprints!

"Your thunder rolled round the sky,
your flashes lighted up the world.
The earth was moved and trembled
when your way led through the sea,
your path through the mighty waters
and no one saw your footprints. "

From Psalm 77 "Recalling God's Good Works!"

 I'm trying to get back to my regular schedule but unfortunately at times life gets in the way. This week has been one of my toughest week to bear with some family issues, a busy work schedule, and the anticipation of a new school year beginning. I was reminded yesterday through the Lord that He is in my life, ready, and waiting for me, and open to sharing the burdens I have dealt with. Throughout my life I have seen magnificent things happen, special events, and throughout all of these He has been there. I have had times where I soared like an Eagle, and times where I've felt as lowly as an ant, and every time He was there. 

This psalm made me think of the poem about footprints, and yet it is so different. We all see the magnificence of the Lord at various times in our lives, and yet we never see the footprints. 

When we wrap ourselves up and try to handle it on our own, we never see the footprints. We pump ourselves up when things are great, and we can get awfully cranky when there not. 

This week I needed this prayer time to be reminded that as we pass through those mighty waters we will never see the footprints, but we need to know and feel in our hearts that He is there!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,