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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 28, 2012

My least favorite time of the year!

Blogging will be light this week as I have two classes, Monday and Wednesday night, one paper due Wednesday, and I will be doing inventory this week at work! 

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

When in doubt!

On Monday night we had our first class on the Liturgy. Fr. Jason  (a Berlin native, from the east side) is our teacher. He brings a wonderful energy to the table. You can always tell how much someone loves someone or something by their attitude and enthusiasm. He has both of them, in a very positive way.

We all have a paper to write for tonight's class on various topics. I selected the question on what I discovered to be profound from the first class. My topic was centered around reading directions. I know that isn't something men do very well with, and I'm probably number one on that list. 

We discussed how there are instructions on the Liturgy of the Hours, the General instructions of the the Roman Missal, and Sacrosanctum Concilium (yes Latin). Like in all things in life there are instructions on how to do things right or better and the Church is full of treasures that will help anyone,including me, on why we do what we do and how to do it better. Unity, was a key word that grabbed my attention. We glorify our Lord when we pray, when we sing, when we love as one!

It didn't take too long for me to figure out that maybe, just maybe I should also read the instructions on how to bring Communion to the Sick. Yes, there are instructions on that too. 

I'm sure you now know that I'm trying to lead you all to the same place that I'm moving to. If you pray the Liturgy of the Hours read the instructions, read the General instructions of the Roman Missal, and if you are an EM going to the sick, read the instructions. 

Read the instructions not because you want to know more, but because it will help you better understand and give greater glory to God!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, October 21, 2012

I heard it in Church today!

We have a new pastor, Fr. Marc Gagne, and with someone new things always seem to change. We all now the story, but we all struggle with change. This being his second full weekend he is starting to challenge all of us to evangelize in the not so safe areas. We do a good job in Church, at home, but outside of that we are all really closet Catholics. He spoke of just small steps out there, like when we are gathered at our favorite restaurants we should begin with a prayer. It doesn't have to be an exaggerated action, but one of true thanks and piety. 

This being the Year of Faith, we are being called to let that light of Christ that is within us shine out to a broken world. Tonight I'm reading  a book, yes me the non-reader. The book is is called "One Body, Many Blogs" by TJ Burdick. This book is a guide for Christian bloggers and I have it downloaded on my Kindle Fire. I'm almost half done, yes it is a short book, and I'm getting some inspiration on how to improve on what I'm called to do. The number one commandment in most of the writers is to first pray! I was probably doing that for the most part, but I'm working to be better at it.

Tonight there was a biblical quotation that I thought really summed up our calling to procalaim the word, and also how prophetic some of the words were to describe our world today.................

I challenge you all to read this verse several times in prayer, let it sink in, and make sure you let that last line be your guide in life....But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry.

 Remember to do this in the not so safe areas!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Friday, October 19, 2012

The Word!

To say that I have rested during these last two weeks would not be accurate. My life will be changing again in the business world which is actually something I don't cherish, but I have grown accustomed to. My assistant has chosen a new career path and I have honestly been very blessed by her presence over the last eight plus years. On Monday morning upon entering the store there was an empty feeling inside those walls. It was very noticeable when I entered the office, which was no longer adorned with her family photos. Her presence and kind words will be greatly missed. Tomorrow we celebrate the 55th anniversary of the store and we will also be closing her chapter in my business career. 

I'm gearing up for the next course which will be Liturgy. This year, like the last two have been moving right along. 

This morning as usual Mike M. and I gathered for morning prayers and my attention drifted off when I read the following antiphon:  
Ant. 3 Zion, praise your God, who sent his word to renew the earth.

Inside of me I'm thinking, "wait a minute, I'm hearing the Gospel of John still speaking to me"
1In the beginning* was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.a

and then I remembered what my spiritual director loves to say when someone quotes John 3:16 "so what does John 3:17 say?"

17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn* the world, but that the world might be saved through him.l

So this evening as I reflect one more time on the Gospel of John, I'm reminded of the mighty power of the Word!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Monday, October 15, 2012

Time to take out the gardening tools!

Pope John XXIII 

“We are not on earth to guard a museum, but to cultivate a flowering garden of life.”

This weekend we had our first formation weekend of year three. The highlight of the weekend was being together as a community. We had not been with each other since the right of Lector in June. It still amazes me how we have come so close to each other in such a short time. The smiles and the moments we have to share any "Good News" like being expectant grandparents is precious.

This weekend the focus was on sharing information on resources and thoughts about evangelizing, specifically through catechesis. It was a weekend packed to the gills, and we mixed in a time where we designed candles that spoke of our faith. We had to think of someone who was instrumental in our faith. Terry selected a CCD teacher and I chose my Mom. The symbols was a dove for Terry and the fleur de lis for me. My Mom is from Quebec and thus you have my reasoning.  We shared many thoughts on the Church and one of the highlights for me was this phrase that you see above.

It really caught my attention as it speaks volumes of the thought of tradition vs. traditionalism. The Church isn't something that is frozen in time that is so precious that it needs to be placed under glass like in a museum. The Church is alive, filled with the Spirit and ready to change as the Spirit moves us. 

I liken this to celebrating Christmas as a family. When I was young I celebrated with my family, my domestic Church. We held strong to the way we celebrated our Christmas traditions. When the day came that Terry and I became parents we decided to bring new traditions to our new family our new and expanded domestic Church. We held strong to the past but mixed in something new that our children deeply cherish. In the future I suspect that my daughter will do the same as we did. 

We also learned that the way to perfection is to change. This isn't a concept that most people are very excited to hear about. My life since this journey began would be like an evolution of change. I thought I knew what I needed to do, and certainly what I didn't want to do. I now know that the Lord has His own plans for my formation and that I'm still learning to trust in His Providence.

So I challenge you all today that even though winter will soon be upon us, you need to take out your gardening tools and get to work. You may love what the Lord gave you the grace to cultivate.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,




Saturday, October 13, 2012

Time to be formed!

I believe that Deacon Greg one of our directors would quickly correct me on the title of this posting, or at least he would ask me to qualify it. 

This morning Terry and I are heading south with Mike for another formation weekend. The last time we gathered together was in June and it really feels a lot longer than that for me. I know that this one will be very special as we will be sharing some good news with everyone.

I ask for your prayers for all of us as we continue the ongoing process of discernment and the never ending job of formation. I'm sure Deacon Greg would approve of that statement. 

God  Bless you all and I will post some thoughts on Monday!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Monday, October 8, 2012

We are useless servants!

Last night I'm preparing to close out a wonderful day and I'm doing Evening Prayers. This was one of those nights where my attention was at it's best.  I'm really enjoying the prayers and then we have the following antiphon for the Canticle of Mary...

"Tell yourselves: We are useless servants, for we did only what we should have done."


Wasn't that a harsh statement to hear when your almost at the end of your prayers. Coincidence, I think not. I can't even remember how many times that I have read something for a few years before, bang! Well I guess the timing was as good as any, as He really got me thinking.

In an age where we are suppose to pump everyone up, and say you can be anything you want to be, this is tough to accept. After all, He can't mean me! I instantly thought about the Gospel of John where John the Baptist said "He must increase and I must decrease!" For the most part in my life I have been the useless servant. I've gotten better since I started this journey, and  of course all through the grace of God, but do I really extend myself? 

So you went to Mass yesterday Mitch, you visited at the hospital, you spent time with your Mom and Dad, you did something nice for your wife, you did some spiritual reading, so what do you want Lord? Obviously He wants more, because as the phrase states .......I've only done what I should have done anyways. Yes, this can be brought to an extreme, but I think the Lord is asking us not to get too puffed up about doing the right thing. After all, who gave us the gifts and the grace to do those things anyways?

I also really believe that the Lord is calling all of us to listen to His voice, and to stretch out of our comfort zone and answer those difficult calls. Our priests are overworked and they need our help. So in the next few days find some quiet time and as useless as we are, we may be able to break out a bit more.

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Other trinity!

Tonight I attended Mass with my folks, and our new pastor Fr. Marc Gagne was the Celebrant. There is a difference and it is all good. Each and everyone of us carries our own style, our own personality, and as Terry puts it "we each bring something special to the Table." 

I really loved his homily tonight on Marriage, commitment, and how we have turned this world into a disposable society. We don't repair anything anymore, we just replace it. Unfortunately, we do that with employees, friends, and relatives. 

He mentioned how we can get caught up in the other trinity, "me, myself, and I." When he said that it reminded me of how we like to live and have everything in our life according to our satisfaction. 

Our focus has to be on Christ's message of reconciliation, love, forgiveness, and a strong commitment in all our relationships. Our life has to be rooted in Love!

Well together with Fr. Marc, Fr. Kyle and our entire community we are beginning a journey together. I'm really looking forward to this long walk that we will have.

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Friday, October 5, 2012

You may be gone....

On October 6th officially, my pastor, and spiritual director will become the new pastor of St. Rose of Lima in Littleton. I have really enjoyed having him in Berlin and I'm also very happy that this new location will offer to him what he needs and deserves in his ministry.

I can sum up in one word what he offered to me and all the parishioners, Presence! Fr. Mark's key phrase was much more than a catch phrase, it was a way of life. He forever reminded me that ministry was about people, and being in their midst. You need to listen, to hold their hands when necessary, to cry with them, to be with them.

Well Fr. Mark, you may be gone but your presence will be forever felt and never forgotten.

God Bless you my friend!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Good Night John.....for now!

Tonight we will be taking our final class for the Gospel of John course. Unbelievable how four weeks has passed by.  This class has been just like the Gospel, very special indeed. The video-conferencing this year have been fabulous and the instructor has opened my eyes to the beauty of this Gospel. I especially enjoyed the connections that were made between the Gospel itself and the Wisdom books of the Old Testament.

A question or comment that I have heard from others is that Luke, Mark, or John is my favorite Gospel. So, what is my favorite? I don't have one yet. I guess I'll need more time plunging into the Gospels to determine that one someday. 

Honestly, I'm not so sure that I will have a favorite. There is so much beauty in each one that I feel like I'm being enriched whenever I devour the Lord's words.

After tonight we will be on break for a couple of weeks and we will also have a Formation weekend coming up on October 13th and 14th. 

Thank you all for your prayers and your support. We as a community really appreciate it!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,