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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 ...

Monday, December 31, 2012

Do you believe in miracles?

I came across this quote last week and thought, wow!

“There are two ways to live: You can live as if nothing 
is a miracle; or, you can live as if everything is a miracle.”
Albert Einstein

So now the million dollar question............."Do you believe in miracles?

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, December 23, 2012

You are a lamp!

On Thursday Terry and I traveled to Portsmouth to be with Danielle, Doug, and our future grand child. It had been some time since we were together and this would turn out to be a very special day indeed. 

Danielle had a doctors appointment to check the health and also the sex of the baby. We offered to meet them at a restaurant, yet she asked us to meet them at their apartment and that we would be very excited with the news. Today's technology can give you so much information and we were blessed to hear that it will be a girl. Ironically for some reason Terry and I kept calling the baby a girl from the beginning. 

We stopped at one of Danielle's favorite restaurant to celebrate the glorious news. It was a wonderful time, just being together to soak this all in. 

Danielle wanted to visit an eclectic shop in downturn Portsmouth so we followed her there. We had taken the dogs with us so we took them for a short walk into the park. I could see the crosses from the top of the roofs of the Catholic school, and I mentioned them to Danielle. We talked about schooling for the child and she was so shaken up by the events at Newtown that she said she would probably home school the child instead of public or private school. 

I'm not against home schooling, but to do so only out of fear of the current situation isn't always the best idea. I then mentioned to her about scripture where we are a lamp, and a lamp isn't meant to be hidden under a bed. A lamp must be out there to shine for all to see. It is a scary world out there, and we are all getting a sense that something horrific can happen anywhere. Yet, we need to live, we need to shine, we all need to be with others. True happiness can't be found alone, we need others, we need to gather, we need Christ in our lives. 

That day Terry and I shed tears of joy over the blessing that is yet to come. This little child that will bring joy, love, and possibly hope for a better world. She is a gift from above, and we all look forward to witnessing the gifts that she has been given.

This Advent as I await the coming of Our Lord and realizing what Jesus has done in my life and others, I am relating well how everything is different when it all begins with a Child!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, December 16, 2012

It's all about holding their hands, listening to their stories, ....

This past Thursday evening I traveled to Littleton to be with my spiritual director. It had been a few months since we gathered, as we were both dealing with challenges in our lives. You see, my director is now also my former pastor and he has moved away. Fortunately he didn't go very far at all. 

I sent him an email earlier in the week and hoped we could get together on Thursday evening. He had sent me his Christmas letter and left a note about going bowling. Ironically, we both seem to share the passion of bowling.  

This night though, I really didn't want to go bowling. I just needed someone to share my thoughts, my feelings, and what was going on in my life.  We had supper together where we openly spoke of many things. 

When we got back to the rectory we continued our conversation for a couple of hours longer. He gave me excellent feedback on why this year has been a challenge for me, he shared his thoughts on the words of remembrance I had for my sister, and he continued to challenge me on what he truly believes is the most important aspect of anyone's ministry. He said...."Mitch, it still is about holding their hands, listening to their stories even if you have heard it at least 20 times before, it's all about bringing the presence of Christ in their lives!" He reminded me that there are no greater things to be done than to be in the presence for those in need! 

Tonight I was watching the interview that ABC had with the Monsignor from the Newtown Conn. He spoke about the horrific events, but one phrase, one message truly opened my heart. He shared that his parishioners thanked him for his presence! 

As we all prepare for the birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, may we all be reminded that He came to be in our presence, and He continues to challenge us to bring him to the broken, to the hungry, to the prisoners, to anyone in need. On it's face value it can be viewed as not much at all, but it can truly change this world!

I believe in the ministry of presence!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Featured Article: "Perseverence in Difficult Times"

This morning while checking out the diocese website I came across this very beautiful picture and wonderful message of hope. I then looked over it and I thought it would be the right thing to share! Check it out at....catholicchurchnh.org. Yes, I did recently say that posting would be light because of spending time in reflection! Well, I also said that if the Spirit stirred something inside of me, I would present something to all of you. It really hit me when it discussed the difficult economic times, or perhaps the loss of a loved one. This can be a very difficult time of year, yet with our spiritual family at our side, and especially with the grace of God when can persevere! Take the time to check it out!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Saturday, December 8, 2012


As we all prepare for the birth of Our Lord, I will spend more time in reflection during this time of preparation. I want to be spending more time in prayer, time in Adoration, time for Reconciliation, and time with family, and friends. I really can't believe how quickly this year is coming to an end. The dreaded third year, as I was told! I think what has  made it so difficult is all the challenges that life hands to all of us. What I recently discovered is that how much the Lord shares in our pains and sufferings, along with our joys and hopes. 

While I continue to prepare,my posting will be lighter than normal. I plan on posting one reflection that has captured me, or stirred something inside me. Then again, who knows what will happen as the Spirit inspires something from within! 

I will be doing the one thing that I learned at the last formation weekend, and that is quietly enjoying this journey. At least I will attempt to! (Patience is a virtue that I'm still trying to seek!)

 Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis!


Friday, December 7, 2012

Where did that come from?

If any of you are like Terry and I, you may have some pictures that are still hiding away in the cache of your digital camera. We recently stumbled upon these treasures and I wanted to share some with all of you!

 Yes, very happy guys indeed!

Tom, Lynn & Family!
One more from the Feast of St. Anne!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Practice what you teach!

Practice what you teach! These are part of the words that a Deacon is called to do:

‘Believe what you read. Teach what you believe. Practice what you teach.’

Yesterday Mike and I traveled to our retreat house for another formation weekend. The topic was Homelitics. We continue to get knowledge and experience on this very important part of our future ministry, God willing of course! 

The day was everything I had expected. My family was there for me to offer hope with kind words, a bear hug, and all the support that God could give me through them. 

We had a breakout session to discuss the readings for the Advent season. It went very well. We were being pushed a little further in our thoughts and soon Ken looked at me and asked me to share my experience during this challenging time. I honestly saw the face and the voice of Christ coming to me, asking me to open up that wound and sharing how the hand of God raised us all up when we were so low. 

Soon we found the floodgates opening and our thoughts were directed in how we experience Christ in our lives through the challenging moments, and how we are called by Christ to stand up straight and tall and see how truly Good God is!

We finished our night prayer and I went to my room to put a few things away and was about to head upstairs to be with everyone. Mike told me that Terry had called and I knew that the news wasn't very good. My assistant had a pipe break in his apartment and was struggling to save what he had. The damage was almost everywhere. He had lossed hope and was discouraged by the work before him. He was also scheduled to be at work today at 10 am. Well I told Terry without hesitation that I coming home. My travel partner Mike also said he was coming with me, as he didn't want me to make the journey alone. He was very Christ like for me last night, and I thanked him! Kevin called me and I noticed he was very down. I told him not to worry that I would be there to cover the store. 

I was told, and I believe that my work does come before this ministry. I must fulfill these obligations that I also hold very seriously. Yes, I am saddened that I missed the rest of this weekend, yes I am saddened that I couldn't spend more time with everyone, and yes it bothers me that I couldn't wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a  Blessed Advent season, but when you are committed to something, you have to be all in or you aren't really committed at all. 

In today's readings we hear that the signs are there, and I need to stand up, look around,  look at my life and then,  

‘Believe what I read. Teach what I believe. Practice what I teach.’

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,