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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 ...

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Reflections of Christmas Week!

I hope and pray that all of you had a very Blessed Christmas day, and my wish is that our hearts maybe open to receive the Lord each and every day. This past week you probably have noticed little to no activity on this blog. The bugs have come back and prevented me from posting anything. Today, Terry cleaned up the computer and so far everything seems to be in a somewhat normal state. 

There were many highlights to the week and still more to come. I called a few friends from out of town to try to touch base with them and wish them the very best. I begin with Fr. John in RI, and as usual we had a great time sharing our joys. He was my best friend in the Seminary and I am so blessed to have recaptured that friendship once more. Our conversation was brief, but very joyful. 

I then called my former high school french teacher who is a Deacon in Maine. Given the day I called (Monday evening), our conversation again was brief but very heartfelt. For some time now I was thinking how much I would be experiencing many firsts. He guided me in realizing that this year, and in the coming months would actually be the lasts of many experiences. This was my last Christmas as a lay person, and the Easter Season would also bring this experience to me once more. The realization of that actually fired me up to serving more at the Altar and really enjoying those final moments.

Early Tuesday morning I went to do some final errands for Terry and decided to pop into the Church and check out the decorations. Last year was awesome, this year they were stunning. Fr. Marc outdid himself once more. I was so moved by what I saw, and then he said..."look behind you!" There was streams of greenery and lights descending from the ceiling forming the look of a canopy. Unfortunately, my words will not do justice to the beauty of the Church. Fr. asked so which Masses will you be serving at? I told him I was Lector at Midnight and would be back at the 9 am Mass. Soon thereafter I sent him a text asking if I could serve at the 4pm Mass, and he said..."come and join the fun!"

On Christmas Eve I joined the sisters to bring the Peace of the Lord to a child who's father is in prison. This was the second year that I participated in this and it again really touched my heart. I firmly intend this to be my continued ministry in the parish or wherever I will be in the future. 

I really enjoyed the times spent serving for the final times and really taking in each and every blessed moment. All I could think of was something I read....."you should serve as if it were your first, your last, or your only opportunity to serve!" Most of all this message needs to be a model of how I live my life as a disciple. 

Christmas Eve Terry, my Son and I spent time with Mom and Dad. I know these precious moments won't last forever and I cherish each and everyone of them.

Christmas morning,Terry and my Mom and Dad would be there. Mom wanted me to get a new alb and it came in on Monday and this was her first opportunity to see it. Terry was the first to see me in it and she really liked it! Mom and Dad both loved the selection. This gift will always remain in my heart and serve as a reminder of my Mom, who shared her faith and nurtured it with the grace of God inside of me.

Last night we gathered with family sharing good food, good conversations, and the joy of all being together.

This weekend the joy of Christmas continues as my daughter, her fiance and my granddaughter will be home. We will be further blessed to share our little baby with our faith family on Sunday Morning. This will be the first time that we take her to our beautiful church and share our joy with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Memere and Pepere are very excited. 

As I continue my vacation, I want to extend my blessings to all of you. Your thoughts, your prayers, your support is truly carrying us all to the blessed moment. Time seems to be flying by for me now, and in some ways I wish it would slow down a bit. 

Joyeux Noel a tous!



Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Chance to Reflect!

A few weeks ago I met with Fr. Marc and asked if I could get an opportunity to offer a reflection some time in the future. Without hesitation he offered me my first shot at the Advent Penance Service. He checked with Fr. Kyle and wanted to know if there were any concerns and there wasn't. He thought I was game for asking, and offered "you might regret it!" In my heart I knew that wouldn't be true. I asked for the chance because I really feel that I need as many opportunities as possible. 

Within a few weeks he sent me the information on what the reading would be. I spent time reflecting, researching, and praying. Something came to me and after more prayer time I was on my way. 

I remember at times that Fr.Marc reminded me that you will eventually have your own style in what you do, and I truly believe he also meant that for preaching. 

I am man who loves a good story and similar to my writing style I like to get people wondering what I'm trying to get at with the story. That is the approach I selected and my time was coming this past Thursday evening.

I was a little nervous, yet there was a peaceful feeling coming over me. 

I never really timed myself, feeling that my critics would eventually tell me once the glow of the first time would be over. 

I received quite a few compliments, and my Mom was my first critic, mentioning that she felt that I spoke a little too fast. 

The next day my buddy called me with glowing reviews and then came the honest critique that I was looking forward." The eye contact was awesome, preparation was good; the story got me going and I was wondering what was the point, and I loved it; you should have paused a little more after the reading; you seemed a little nervous at times and you spoke a little too fast which made it seem like you were anxious to get it over with. I don't think most people noticed all those items except for those who know you best." "Honestly" though he said," I thought you did an awesome job for your first time. I was truly impressed."

So what are my thoughts? After all most people are their own toughest critics. I think my best friend actually nailed it. I felt really good most of the time and there were periods where I felt not as comfortable. So how would I grade it, probably a C+. I feel that's a good grade for the first time and there will be more opportunities. 

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Monday, December 9, 2013

Thanksgiving again, a coincidence, and beets!

This weekend we celebrated Thanksgiving for the third time in my family. Honestly, this is the truth. We have often heard "why can't we be in the Christmas Spirit everyday?". Well, why can't we gather more often and give thanks for all the blessings we have received. This weekend my daughter and her family came home for Thanksgiving. It had been almost two months since I last saw them all and it was great. So what was on the menu? Turkey? Not! My wife asked what they wanted and she heard it loud and clear. Salmon Pie! Terry makes an awesome Salmon Pie and she was asked to not make just one but two of them! One for the road! It was so special to have them here and to be with them. The next time we will see them again is after Christmas! Honestly, I can't wait.

Yesterday I was Lector at the 9 am Mass and it was very special. This was only the second time I served as Lector since June and at times you can feel a little nervous with so much time in between. I stayed around to help out after Mass as we no longer have a Sacristan for the Parish. Well the extra time gave me a chance to learn a little bit more about where everything is stored and the little things, like changing the candles.

On my way home I was anxious to see everyone again so I was rushing a bit and noticed a police car at the corner, and I did what everyone does, I slowed down just in case. Well, I'm just about home making the corner and behind me is the police car and the lights are flashing. I thought maybe he found me going a little fast. He asked if I knew why and I said no! Well my inspection was due in September and this is December, not good news. I told him I was sure it was done, but I had no paper work verifying that. He gave me 4 days to get it done and he would forget the ticket.

This morning I got some paperwork ready for Fr. Marc and then headed over to the garage to take care of the problem. I popped in, shared my story about the ticket. He looked in the computer and saw that it was supposed to be done, and it was paid for. Initially I asked him to give me a ride home, but he asked if I didn't mind waiting. I had a great conversation with a good friend. He is a local with a very charismatic personality. We ended up talking about my journey and his life and shared some great conversations. He shared with me that he is no longer a practicing Catholic, believes in God but had issues with the Catholic Church. I said that I prayed that he and God would find each other. It was very open, very warm, and very real. Coincidence, there are none. I'm still shocked how God placed me in an opportunity to minister. Well, the car was ready and passed with flying colors and I was on my way. I also got to hear some great words of wisdom that someday I may use!

Now about those beets! At Mass yesterday morning Fr. Kyle shared that in the previous week he had spoken about his road trips to college and what kept him going was a bag of M&M's peanuts and Dunkin Donuts Coffee! He then shared that this week in his mailbox he received, you guessed it M&M's and DD gift cards. Yesterday he preached about stumps and beets and warned everyone not to send him any this week. At Mass yesterday an usher shared...." I heard you are doing a reflection on Thursday!" Nervously I said yes, and wondered, how did he know? This morning I turned in some paperwork for Fr. Marc to fill out and heard..."I heard you are doing a reflection on Thursday!" Now I'm curious, "who told you?" "Oh, Fr. Kyle shared the information at the 4 pm Mass on Saturday!" Well, I guess the pressure is on! He never once mentioned it at the 9 am Mass. 

Today I'm off and will continue to work on my reflection! I already have something going and I'm praying for more insight. I will do my best as I look forward to this great opportunity. 

By the way, Fr. Kyle will receive a can of beets on Thursday night!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


The real “war on Christmas”: it’s not what you think

The real “war on Christmas”: it’s not what you think.

Peace to all, just had to share these thought provoking thoughts!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Trying to survive the drought!

It's been over three years since I was first given the blessing to share my thoughts, my feelings, and what has transpired in my journey to one day be a Permanent Deacon. The days and now the weeks seem to be flying by and yet I've struggled to share even some basic thoughts. I don't want to just repeat myself so I think it's actually been best that this has been a challenge. With each passing week I'm more convinced of this calling. I know in my heart that this is what God has been calling me to be since I was a child. Yes, since I was a child. All that has happened in my life has been another step in my formation. 

So is there anything really new? Actually no! If you call becoming more confident in serving, than the answer is yes. Otherwise, not really! 

This weekend I served for the first time in our twinned parish in Gorham and really loved the experience there. It was very different as I shared that with Fr. Kyle. Holy Family is a very lovely, cozy, country Church. We are literally sitting right on top of them, and so are the faithful. The only thing different from the buildings is the size, but the heart of all the parishioners is huge. I have been so well treated and respected it is actually very humbling. A very dear friend shared her love and best wishes for me, and also reminded me how she is not surprised about this vocation. I've always known this was for you, and you get the total package. I like that! 

I've been a leader all my life and this is not what the vocation is all about. Yes, I know there are times where I will be asked to lead, but this is all about serving. 

In a couple of days Terry and I will be doing our final interview and I'm not nervous at all. I ask that you all continue to pray for all 22 of us and also for the new class that has recently started. 

Tonight I get to do something that I absolutely love, BOWLING! Because of scheduling issues I've missed several weeks, but tonight I'm back for my third straight week. 

So that's it, nothing earth shattering, just another ordinary day!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Friday, November 22, 2013

The silence of the blog doesn't mean it's been quiet!

I think this is the longest drought I have gone through in the three plus years that I have been blessed to blog about my, and my brother's journey. Why the silence? Honestly I don't really know completely, but it wasn't because I wasn't busy. 

I'm wrapping up my inventory reports at the store, we had two days of training on customer service for my job, and I've been working a long stretch of days without a day off. Today I'm just trying to take in the moments to breathe. 

This past Tuesday was a day that I will never forget in my life. I've shared with all of you a few times how I have felt a calling to minister to those behind bars. I've taken the mandatory training to receive the "badge", and then life got busy, and it got easier to procrastinate, and give into my fears. I wanted more training and it never happened, I wanted to shadow someone else and unfortunately it never worked out. The day was coming soon and the plans started unraveling. Sunday evening I get a simple message from one of the chaplains..."Come!" I shared the news with my wife and she said...."you said July, you said soon, why not?" That was the two nudges I needed and early Monday morning I sent them an email that I was coming. 

Great, now what do I do? Well, I looked through my books and thought I would do a Communion Service, similar to what would happen on Sunday without a Priest. I looked up the readings, printed them, printed the psalm and the response, the Gospel for the day,  reviewed some suggested General Intercessions, and voila, I was ready! Well, not quite! Do I do a reflection? The opportunity was one that I couldn't pass up on and amazingly within a few minutes I had something put together. I shared it with Terry while she was watching TV and she then turned down the volume and listened intently. She actually added a new piece for me that I used. Why did she listen intently? She said..." you caught me with the line about the childhood game of hide and seek, and I wanted to find out where you were going with this?"  The Gospel was from St. Luke and it was the story of Zacchaeus, and the story ended where Christ said " I came to seek out the lost!" So there is where the inspiration came from hide and seek. It's one of those games that we all loved to play. It's great to play with little children as they hide ever so close to you and they are all excited when you find them. Ironically as they get older they stray, we stray, further and further away. When you hide ever so well it feels kind of bittersweet with the other person giving up, and then you feel kind of lost. Our lives at times can mirror the game of hide and seek, and without fail the Lord is always seeking the lost. One of the men shared with me his thoughts his hopes, his dreams, and how he also played hide and seek with the Lord. I was so touched by those words. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory. I stayed for several hours and really loved the experience.

That evening I ministered to a family at a wake service and really felt Christ leading me and guiding me to offer some support to this family whom I knew. 

I ended the night going bowling and had my best night of the year so far.

As we are winding down the week I'm preparing for the upcoming formation weekend. 

So as you see, my schedule isn't slowing down at all.

Please continue to pray for us as we continue to discern our vocation.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Monday, November 11, 2013

Truth and Mercy

"The truth without mercy would be cold, off-putting, and ready to wound. The truth isn't a wet rag that you throw in someone's face." Cardinal Sean O'Malley

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Living for that balance in my life.

One of the many things we have discussed in the past three years of formation has been that there will always, and we mean always be opportunities to minister. The challenge will be to balance your life and to say no, when you need to. Well, we are back in school and still under assignment to our parishes, and that means we are very busy again. This class has really lifted my love and desire to serve. The Eucharist, the source and summit of our faith, has opened my eyes even further to the beauty, the richness, and the honor it is to celebrate as a community of sinners. 

Tuesday night is my normal bowling night, but it is also chat night for my class. This week I decided that I needed a break, and I really wanted to be with my buddies. It had been almost a month since I last bowled and it was a great feeling just being there. As much as this class has lifted me up, so did this in a very human way. I need to be with others, I am happiest when I am in community. I would never have made it as a hermit. It's just not me!

Mike J. had called me on Monday to follow up on the Remembrance Mass that we would be having on this past Friday evening. He asked if I was free to go out for supper, so we chose Wednesday night. Again, this is one thing that I really have enjoyed about this journey. I can't express in words how much these moments mean to me. We both shared that as much as we love this class, we miss the personal connections of riding together and sharing what is going on in our lives. A simple night, a simple meal (Pizza, Mary's in Gorham), yet a very enjoyable time. 

Friday I got out early and I was a man on a mission. First, get a haircut, second work on my reading assignment. With those finished rather quickly, I prepared for the evening service. Once again, the opportunity to be in community with family is awesome. I served at the Altar and was honored to read some of the names of the deceased, with the greatest honor reading my sister's name. It really touched my heart and affected me in so many ways. 

Yesterday I got back in the classroom, by working on my assignments. Terry was off to visit our granddaughter and I was home being with the dogs. Not a fair trade off, but the dogs are very precious to us also. 

Last night we celebrated my brother's birthday. We went out to eat and had a really good time together. Nothing fancy, just good food, and great company. 

Today I will be serving at the 9 am Mass, and will be taking my folks there. I will be spending some time with them today.

Finally, it is November 10th and it is snowing in Berlin. The fact that it is snowing is really nothing special, but it is really pretty out there!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Saturday, November 9, 2013

Pope Francis’ Marginalized Ones: You and Everyone You Dismiss, Too

Pope Francis’ Marginalized Ones: You and Everyone You Dismiss, Too

Here is an excellent piece for all of you to read. It is from another blog that I have been following. It stresses one of the most important aspects of our faith, celebrating in unity!



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Celebrate our Youth!

Our Diocese recently had an event for youth leadership! I was looking at these two pictures and noticed, proudly I may add, that we have four of our youths who served at the altar. The four young lads dressed in cassocks and surplices. Congrats Boys!



Monday, November 4, 2013

Saturday, November 2, 2013

You don't choose your life..........

It has been an awesome weekend so far! Last night we traveled with friends and family to just have a very leisure night out at one of our favorite spots. My buddy, my brother and I have been going there for over 30 years now ( yes I'm getting older ) and we still absolutely love everything about it. We weren't there long but it gave us all a chance just to "be" together. It was very special!

This morning I got to serve at Mass for the feast of All Souls! This course that I'm currently taking on line, has really lifted my love and appreciation for the richness, for the traditions, but most of all for the gift that Christ gave us all, our Liturgy. Today we prayed for those we lost, who meant something to us, and it was a day that we were all united in prayer to all those souls. 

The rest of the daylight hours I got to spend with my beautiful wife. I was reminded today how much she has meant to me in my life and I can't thank her enough for supporting me on this journey that we share together. 

This evening we took my folks to a wonderful social event for the parish, Dinner and a movie. Our parish started doing this last year and we both loved it. This year we invited my folks and it was a capacity crowd. With servers and guests we had about 100 people attend for the evening upstairs and then there was a children's dinner and a movie downstairs. 

For the adults we saw the movie "The Way!" I won't tell you anything about it except for one thing. There is a line in the movie that hits to the heart of relationships and life. The father says to his son..."It's the life I've chosen" and the son responds...."You don't choose your life, you live it!"

I pray that we all truly live our lives with the gifts that we have been blessed with, and that they bear great fruit, all for the glory of God!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Out on a limb | National Catholic Reporter

Out on a limb | National Catholic Reporter

Please read this wonderful article. It was very touching for me!



Saturday, October 26, 2013

It is the holiest of all signs!

Week one of the Eucharist course is done and we continue to move forward. It was a challenge keeping up with everything, but this week I really surprised myself. I have found a passion for reading! Besides what I needed to read for my course, I read the book "Rebuilt". From the comments from our other Deacon Candidates it almost seems like everyone has read this. If you haven't it is worth the time.It ended up being one of those books I had trouble putting it down. 

I also finished the Pope's first encyclical and I really loved his words about the Sacraments. No, I'm not going to write them down for you because I feel that you should all take the time to read it. The only regret I have is that it didn't come out until after I finished my Baptismal Catechesis project. I know I will have to include some of it eventually. You gotta love our Pope!

As of yesterday Week 2 started for our course and there is some reading to do. I started reading the required book "The Eucharistic Celebration, The Source and Summit of Faith", by Adolf Adam. I was really moved by something I need to share with you and I will let the authors words inspire you:

"Because actions that are frequently repeated are in danger of losing beauty in their
outward form as well as losing the power and depth that come from inner participation, the following statement by Romano Guardini deserves careful consideration:

"When we cross ourselves, let it be a real sign of the cross. 
Instead of a cramped gesture that gives no notion of its meaning,
let us make a large, unhurried sign,
from forehead to breast,
from shoulder to shoulder,
consciously feeling how it includes the whole of us at once,
how it consecrates and sanctifies us.
It does so because it is the sign of the universe and the sign of our redemption....
It is the holiest of all signs."

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A moment of faith!

Last night I was given a tremendous vote of confidence, and the faith that was bestowed upon me by our two wonderful priests is very heartwarming. These two men have worked very hard to put together a busy schedule to enlighten all the members of our parishes. With such a schedule it's not surprising that there is going to be some overlap in events and when one of them is away it can pose a challenge. 

One aspect of my assignment to the parish is that I would lead at least one evening, an episode of the Catholicism series that is being presented to the adults of our parish. A few weeks ago our priest's realized that they had a dilemma, two events (Catholicism & Boot camp for our Confirmation candidates) and one priest gone on retreat. I was asked and I accepted with great anticipation the invitation to lead on Tuesday evening the 22nd. Last week I watched and learned how they managed the evening, and with a quick lesson in technology it was soon to be my turn. 

Was I nervous, yeah a bit, but I was really looking forward to this. Sort of like riding your bike without training wheels for the first time. It was a little bumpy, yet it certainly was a joy and a thrill. Yes I struggled a little with the procedure, yes also with the equipment, but the thrill to have these people, my family in Christ, share their thoughts and their own understanding was awesome! I could feel Christ's presence within our midst and it was evident as I looked into their eyes.

I know that this will be another one of the first of many opportunities to come, yet this one was very, very special for me.

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, October 20, 2013

From Goat....

 Yes it is a wonderful day in New England, the skies are clearing, and yes our beloved Red Sox are heading back to the world series. From being the goats of the American League East to a chance at redemption, to win it all. 

Shane Victorino typifies that metaphor of goat to hero, struggling to hit, and maybe just maybe questioning his own abilities. Failing to move the runners along at a crucial time, when he was considered one of the best at bunting. 

Then it comes, one more opportunity in front of him! As he approaches the plate he hears the chorus of faithful chanting...........

"Don't worry 'bout a thing," they crooned, "cuz every little thing's gonna be all right."

Can't you just imagine how you would feel if someone chanted that to you! Today and everyday Our Lord Jesus Christ is calling to us, crooning to us, telling us not to worry, cuz everything is going to be all right! With all the distractions out there in the world we often times struggle to hear him! So listen up everybody cuz this one's for you....
"Don't worry 'bout a thing," Christ and all the choirs of Saints are crooning, "cuz every little thing's gonna be all right."

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Thursday, October 17, 2013

With Great Honor to serve!

This week I continued to get opportunities to grow, to learn, to serve, and to evangelize. With the passing away of Terry's uncle the family asked that I help them to prepare for the funeral. Terry and I worked as a team, going to their home, listening, sharing memories, and preparing for the words of remembrance of Uncle Chet. I asked Fr. Kyle if I could assist as Acolyte and he agreed that it would be a great opportunity to learn and to honor the family. 

I didn't stress as much with preparing what to say as I have recently. I wonder if it was that because I was in front of my peers and I may have tried too hard? I honestly think that this is what happened. On Tuesday evening I confided with Fr. Kyle that I was struggling to come up with something, and he shared this "keep it simple!" Hmmmm! Was I over thinking this again? Probably! No, definitely! I was inspired by things I saw, words I heard, the sharing of words from my wife, inspiration from the Holy Spirit, and words and thoughts that came to me when speaking with my daughter. 

This morning I thought that I should type it up in large enough print that I could follow my thoughts. A gush of inspiration filled me and it was as if the words were being spoken to me. It's tough to put something down about how you feel about someone and what you admired most about them.

I felt a little nervous today, yet there was a peace that was deep inside me. I continue to try to improve on what I do at the altar, and all for the glory of God. 

The moment came and there was a deep, very deep inner peace that came over me. I almost didn't need the papers in front of me, yet I'm not quite there yet. I was proud and honored to be able to do this for God and one of his creations. As Fr. Kyle put it, "Chet was unique, and there will never be another one quite like him!" 

Uncle Chet loved the classics in music, not classical, but the oldies. I felt that there was two songs from his era that summed up him and his life. The first one was Blue Skies! What I admired the most about him was how much he valued life and never complained, even though he was battling throat cancer. He wasn't one of those people you meet and  ask how they are doing, only to regret that you even asked them the question. Uncle Chet was great, there was nothing but Blue Skies in his life!

Lastly, I ended with a song that speaks well to many people. The Nat King Cole classic,
Unforgettable! When you love someone, and truly love them, they will always be Unforgettable to you!

Rest in Peace Uncle Chet!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Feast of Saint Teresa of Jesus



Saint Teresa of Jesus, Virgin and Doctor of the Church

“Let nothing disturb you, Let nothing frighten you, All things are passing away: God never changes. Patience obtains all things. Whoever has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”[1]

Monday, October 14, 2013

Back to school!

School officially begins today as we are back on line for the first of our final three courses!


The course is Eucharist: The Source and Summit of the Christian Life!

"Getting pulled in many directions!"

I had so many plans for the week, and then the Lord had his own plans. My wife and I are in formation for the MRA ( Mother Rivier Association ) her in Berlin. I have been blessed to have had many wonderful sisters that have taught me so much more than my education studies. I got out early to prepare and was checking out a few things on the computer and then the power went out. I soon got a call from the store and because it was so late I decided to close the store early. I got home and checked if Terry was ready and we walked to the convent, which was only a block away. Soon we were in front of St. Joseph's church and the lights went on. Sister noted, "you brought the power with you!"  It was a great night to study about Mother Rivier and share time with other faithful. 

Tuesday was a very, very, busy day. I had a district meeting in White River Junction Vt. and that was scheduled to go on until 4pm. It was a good meeting, but it was very similar to the many I have attended over the years. I asked my district manager if I could get out at 3:45 because I had an event that night. He was right on as we had everything wrapped up by 3:45. It didn't take me long to get on the road and head straight to the church to assist at the Healing Mass. Mike and I volunteered to help out at the event that was very well attended. 

Wednesday I got the call from Terry that her uncle was in the hospital and not doing very well. Unfortunately she had to work and asked if I would go. Soon thereafter Fr. Kyle called and asked if I could do the prayers at a wake service on Thursday night. Having never done one I asked for the book and a crash course. 

That evening went very well and there was just something very spiritual going on. My cousin asked what was the book I was holding and then I asked if she knew that I was studying to be a Deacon and I wanted to pray over her father. She did know and consented that we would pray together. I could really feel the presence of Christ in our midst and time seem to move on slowly. She opened up and my Uncle seemed to be very much at peace. She then asked if I could come back the next night and then said........
"could you please bring your book!" The words comforted her in this difficult time and she seemed  to be at peace too. 

Thursday was a long day working a 12 hour shift and then heading straight up to the hospital to be with family. We talked for quite a while and then we gathered holding hands and prayed over my Uncle. Once again the presence of the Lord was definitely in our midst and the peace of Christ brought comfort and love to all of us. I excused myself to leave to be with another family who had lost their loved one. Again, this was a crash course and it too was a Spirit filled time. I thought it went very well and one of our parishioners stated that he was so glad that I was there with them. 

Friday Terry and I left to go camping for our second and final time this year. We were blessed to be with family, friends, and our guest of honor Myanna, our granddaughter.  I get recharged so much from these moments. 

Last night we attended Mass and I got to serve for the first time with Fr. Kyle. Again it was a very Spirit filled time. I'm starting to feel comfortable with this being only the second time. It was great hearing and feeling the support of the parishioners. At the end of Mass Fr. showed me how they close up the church and then I spent the rest of the evening with Mom, Dad, and Terry. 

Yes, it was a busy week, and yes it was very Spirit filled!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Monday, October 7, 2013

Experiencing all the senses!

This past weekend was one to remember. It all began on Friday evening at the Church Festival walking around, talking to so many people, and then seeing our good friends from Franklin walking through the door. Originally we had a full weekend planned, but because of commitments to the parish our friends had to leave Saturday evening instead of being here the full weekend. 

Regardless we left the festival at about 8:30 and relaxed and shared many stories at Mike's and Elise's house. With an early morning departure planned, I promised myself that I wouldn't keep them up too late even though I was really enjoying the moments. 

On Saturday we all headed to the Fryeburg Fair. Terry and I were never big on going to fairs, but this one is very special. We had a great day being with each other and sampling many great delicacies and indulgences. It was amazing that our noses when on high alert and being bombarded with so much. I commented that you could have found your way without your eyes opened to what was drawing you. I then commented to Tom that it could have been used in a homily, oops "reflection". Do we really use all the gifts that God gave us?

That evening we capped it off with a great meal of "Beef Stew"! It was a perfect time together. We shared our friendship, our love, and our enjoyment of being together. 

Yesterday was my first day to serve as Acolyte at Mass. It was a great experience right from the start. I was very proud and humbled to be given the honor to serve at the table. Just before the end of Mass Fr. Marc congratulated the director and the choir for their fine work, and then announced to the community that no they didn't miss an ordination and that Mike and I were getting closer but not quite there. I served many years as an altar boy and then served a few more with my son. I was comfortable, and a little nervous yesterday. It truly was a very special experience. 

The rest of the day was pretty quiet, dinner with my folks, a little work around the house, and a quiet evening doing face time with our granddaughter. 

It was truly a weekend where I experienced all the senses!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,



Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Oct 01, About Today for Theresa of the Child Jesus, V

Good Morning to all! As my wife celebrates the feast day of her favorite saint and upon whom she is named after I wish her the best of all the little things that God will reveal to her today and everyday!

Oct 01, About Today for Theresa of the Child Jesus, V


Monday, September 30, 2013

Pure joy: check out this deacon ordination video

Pure joy: check out this deacon ordination video!

Please check this video out at the above link. I was so moved by this that I wanted to share this with all of you. While being in my fourth year officially for discerning Christ's call, I know in my heart that he has been calling me to this since I was a child. My love for Christ and His Church has only grown and my life will never be the same. As I continue to discern I ask for your prayers.This weekend we were reminded that we are approaching the 18th hole but we aren't there yet! I am enjoying tremendously this assignment and the chance to get hands on experience. This coming weekend I will assist at Holy Mass for the first time as an Acolyte. I can't wait for Sunday and I know that I'll be smiling from ear to ear. I am so humbled and blessed to be a part of this journey with 21 other great men and wives. We all come from different walks of life and yet we are all one!

May Jesus Christ grant you all your heart's desires and fulfill all of your plans!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Friday, September 27, 2013

Training, preparation, and back on the road!

On Wednesday I met with my pastor and he said "all set, we're going to the Church!" He looked like a man on a mission, no pun intended, and when we got there I could see that he planned a training session. We had talked about serving at the altar to get a feel for the future, and he did mention it, and there we have it! I got a crash course on what will be expected from me as an Acolyte, and the duties I will be expected to perform. Wow! I love it! 

The training went very well, with a few moments of hesitation on my part, I felt I did quite well. It probably doesn't hurt that I grew up as an altar boy, and that I have really paid attention to the details the last few years. We had a few questions come up and he gave me a homework to touch base with Fr. Jason on those questions. That was pretty much taken care of today!

At this weekend's formation session I will have the honor of presenting my reflection on Sunday morning's Liturgy of the Hours reading. The adage of an hour for every minute you speak is not quite right with me. I believe it's closer to two for one in my case. Terry has been my guinea pig and she gave me the thumb's up! 

Early tomorrow morning I'll be picking Mike up so that we can head south for the pastoral administration training. I'm really looking forward to meeting up with everyone and it should be a great time.

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Today I have my monthly meeting with my pastor! It is also a very special day as I have the honor to present the collaborative work that Deacon Jeff and I put together. Our mission was to put together a catechetical piece for the Sacrament of Baptism. The work was a sharing of the old and the new with some technology thrown in. We both put in a fair amount of work through research, reflections, and guidance from the Holy Spirit. I'm very proud to be the presenter and will offer this to Fr. Marc for his review. 

I'm also meeting with him to discuss his vision of the future of myself as a Permanent Deacon serving here. I'm looking forward to the training that will be coming very soon!

Please keep the prayers rolling, as even though we are getting closer by the day, we all still need your help!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Monday, September 23, 2013

Let the bells ring!

With year four already firmly rooted this weekend will officially mark the beginning for all of us. This will be our first Formation weekend of the final year. It seems that we have been apart for such a long time and I'm really looking forward to being back with everyone. This will also be my final reflection in front of my peers, or so I think. I have the honor to reflect upon the Sunday morning reading from the Liturgy of the Hours. I've been bouncing my thoughts off on Terry and she seems to like it! At least she didn't say this time ......" I don't get it!" 

I also have a meeting this week with my pastor to review my progress, answer questions, and prepare for more training. 

I ask you all to continue keep all of us in your prayers!

Bonsoir et Adiue mes Amis,


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pope rejects church of 'small-minded rules' in Jesuit interview | National Catholic Reporter

Pope rejects church of 'small-minded rules' in Jesuit interview | National Catholic Reporter

Please check this out by  clicking on the link!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Another Epiphany!

 Isn't our Lord Amazing! Yes! This morning I attended Mass shortly after my posting about there being no fear of God, and then Bam....we hear this from this morning's psalm....

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
prudent are all who live by it.
His praise endures forever.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


There is no fear of God!

Yesterday at work I experienced an epiphany. At one of our formation weekends our speaker mentioned that everyone should experience several epiphanies a week, and that if it wasn't happening, we really aren't paying close enough attention to the Lord. My assistant had just come into work and we shared a light moment together. I then asked him how he liked the new video game "Grand Theft Auto V". He said he liked it but he also confessed that there definitely will be issues. He mentioned that this game is really pushing the boundaries and not really appropriate for younger children even though they will be begging for it. The challenge will be there for parents to make some very strong decisions, like I did when Mortal Kombat came out. Today that video would be viewed as very mild in light of what is now out there. The desensitizing process is continuing.

He then said..."Mitch, I believe that there isn't a real fear of God anymore in this world! People's words don't mean very much, it's not about all of us , it's about what each of us can grab in this world!" These words really impressed me! He has grown up in the faith, yet hasn't practiced for years, yet that spark, that imprint that was made a Baptism is definitely burning inside of him! 

I told him I agree with him, except that there are still many who do fear and respect the Lord, and that what they tell you they really do mean. I also told him that all of us are guilty of desensitizing people. There is a phrase in this town that comes about around the third of the month when the government checks come in the mail, it's called "pajama day!" I shared with him how many people including myself at times had looked down upon some of these people. Viewing them as less than what they actually are, "God's Children!"

Four years ago I would have never dreamed that I would be sharing my faith so openly with my coworkers and almost everyone. I am also amazed at how others are open to this discussion and are really concerned. There is hope for this world, and through the grace of God He will use all of us as an instrument to bring the "Good News" to this broken world.

Have you witnessed your epiphany today?

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Meetings, Great News, and a time for renewal!

It has finally happened to me, I need something to keep me organized. For years off and on I've tried different ways to keep organized and like many good things, I've just let them go. My schedule between work, life, and this assignment has made it necessary for me to "find a way" to be on top of what is coming up. Well, I ordered an app for my Kindle Fire and I like it, except for the annoying reminders that came with it. 

I had two meetings on the agenda yesterday and they were both listed on the reminder calendar. #1 was a meeting with my pastor. I got home early and checked the emails and saw that he felt he was a little overbooked and asked to reschedule. I talked to him with my trusty little kindle by side and adjusted the date when we confirmed the appointment. Next week, same bat time, same bat channel.

Last night the three extreme northern boys (Deacon Candidates) met with our regional mentor for supper in Gorham. It was great meeting with the guys again, and meeting with our mentor. I actually remembered him from four years ago. This night was very good! It was a chance to share, to question, and to be reassured that there was someone close by who could impart some words of wisdom when needed. 

And now for the Great News! I have a very good friend who was working hard to get a new job. It has been a challenging time for him, yet through the grace of God he has persevered, and he texted me the awesome news. He will be starting his new job in a few weeks. Our prayer time together will undoubtedly change, yet the Spirit that was created between the two of us has only been enhanced by the time spent together and the Lord's presence in our midst. 

It will be a beautiful day in the North Country today and yes the leaves are starting to change!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

So the Church is a Mess? Not Sure What to Do?

So the Church is a Mess? Not Sure What to Do?

Once again I felt compelled to share this with all of you! This is without a doubt our mission as disciples of Christ!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


PS to view "So the Church is a mess?Not Sure what to do?.... please click on the link above!  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A full week!

As fall appears to be upon us time seems to be moving quickly. With the thoughts of winter soon coming the work load is actually piling up. We are still in the busy season and it looks like for the second year in a row September will be our strongest month in sales. In my thirty years of work this has never happened but as we become more dependent upon the tourism trade this is what we are trending to. 

A busy work week equaled times of prayer. I've been praying quite a bit this week for different people in need. 

This year for the first time in 8 years I took the summer off from bowling. On Tuesday night I made my not so spectacular return to the lanes. It was a rough first two games. My final game was quite respectable. Our team ended up winning 4 games and we were in rare form of cheering, antagonizing, and just having good fun. 

We capped off the week with a visit with our daughter and her family yesterday!

This week I have a couple of meetings to attend to. I meet with my pastor to review where we are with the assignments and our plan for the future. That same evening Mike, Steve, and I will meet with our regional coordinator. 

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Learning the ropes!

Yesterday, I was watching, learning, and assisting. It was a busy day in the parish with two funerals and a committal. I had already offered to be at two of those. We had a funeral at a funeral parlor. This was new for me and I knew the man who passed away. His surviving brother is a good friend of mine and we shared some good moments together and I offered my condolences and prayers to the family. It lasted about an hour. This was the first time I observed Fr. Marc. It was a short and simple ceremony that still offered our Lord's message of hope for us who are seeing a loved one depart. He mentioned it was like someone you've probably seen leaving on a cruise ship heading for some distant land. There is  excitement and confetti being thrown around and then there is melancholy as they are leaving us behind. Yet, the hope comes for those of us who realize that there is also someone anxiously waiting for them as they make their arrival. We all heard from a family member how good, caring, and humble this man was, and indeed he truly was. At the end Fr. Marc stood next to me and said...."You've seen Fr. Kyle, you've seen Deacon Jeff, you've now seen me, and now you learn to develop your own style!" This statement was quite powerful to me, and it is one I'm still digesting today. It made me think of how different we all are and yet Christ will use us to give His message of Peace, Hope, and Love. 

Next was a committal at the cemetery where Terry would be joining me. The young person was someone we know and it was very challenging. It was also and honor for me to assist and "be there" for the family. At times like these I keep remembering what Fr. Mark told me...."It's about holding their hands, it's about listening to them, it's all about being there for them!" I believe that this has become a strong part of my ministry. We stayed with the family and joined them at the restaurant to spend time with them. 

On a different note Terry and I spent the rest of the afternoon attending a local event and enjoying each others presence. She finally has a job where we can spend more time together and I'm loving it. We capped off the evening with a fire at my brother's house with his family.

That's it, just a normal day in the life of a Deacon Candidate. 

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Back home and still on vacation!

I really, really enjoyed this past weekend. We had Elise and Mike over Saturday night, we spent a wonderful day with Patty and Phil on Sunday, and we had an awesome breakfast with them also on Monday morning.  Yes it rained a whole bunch, lots of thunder, my dog was scared, and to top it off a rooster started crowing at 4:30 am, and it was still great!

Yesterday I started working on my invitation list for next year, yes we are less than nine months away, but who is counting! (I AM!) We all met together with the priests to plan ahead and get ideas on what we should be doing. There are really a lot of questions that got answered and logistics worked out that will be pleasing to all!

Today I joined Fr. Kyle at the nursing home to assist at Mass. This was my first time there and I really enjoyed being with the residents. I got a chance to make people laugh, to thank them, make them smile, and evangelize also. 

So that's it so far and I wish you all a very blessed week!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Gone Camping!


One of my favorite activities is camping! 
Because of various reasons we haven't gone in three years!
We leave today just to get some time together!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Sacraments 101: Baptism (why we baptize)

While working with the Deacon this summer on catechesis for Baptism we thought we would use this video!

Please tell me what you think!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Friday, August 30, 2013

Beautiful: watch this extraordinary teacher set his class on fire

Beautiful: watch this extraordinary teacher set his class on fire

This is a must see video!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


"Before I Die......................"

I'm on vacation and on my first day of vacation, that was yesterday, I traveled to Dover to have a special day alone with my grand daughter. My daughter called me while I was in DD in Jackson picking up a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich. I called her back and assured her that there was no way I was missing out on this day. I had someone say to me......"why don't you just send them the money, it would be cheaper!" Indeed it would, but there is no way I'm missing out on the opportunity to "be" with her. 

Before my daughter left for work we went for a walk with Myanna and P (her dog). That moment was very special to me. It isn't often that she and I get to talk face to face and I really treasure these moments. A friend of mine shared with me that it's really all about being with people. Yes, we can communicate more through cell phones, face time on ipad's etc, but there is no replacement for being with someone. 

Needless to say the day was everything I had hoped for and the only negative was the long trip back home last night.

I'm sure I piqued your curiosity on why I labeled this posting as "Before I die.....". 

On the way to Dover I saw this great big blackboard that was marked "Before I die...sign here!" It was incredible to see! A giant bucket list! 

I think we all have those thoughts of that one special thing that would make our life complete our joyous if we were only fortunate enough!

After seeing that, all I could think of was, is that really where we are in life? 

Don't get me wrong, because I would love to visit Rome and France some day, but to think that my life would be complete because of those experiences would be wrong. 

With a day filled spent with my little peanut, looking in her eyes, singing to her, seeing her smile, that was a very joyous experience that I wouldn't trade for anything else!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,



Monday, August 26, 2013

Letter to a new deacon

Letter to a new deacon

Once again to my readers! As you probably well know I follow this blog very religiously and when something special strikes to my heart, I feel compelled to share this with all of you. For my Deacon candidate brother and sisters, these words are a true inspiration. Please click on the words Letter to a new deacon.

Adieu et bonsoir mes Amis,


Fan or Follower!

This weekend we had a very special treat at St.Anne's and Holy Family Churches. Fr. Andrew ( formerly Deacon Andrew ) was the celebrant. It's always nice to see a good friend once again, and I can only imagine that he was very excited and maybe a little nervous coming home again. 

His homily focused on the Gospel speaking of the narrow gate. He mentioned that Jesus maybe sounding a little cranky on comments like..."I don't know you!" He also referred to Pre-Vatican II and how many viewed God as someone who would zap you if you did something wrong. Since then we have developed a personal view of God and he felt we may have come too far in our own thoughts. 

He mentioned how there is this feeling that if you are a good person, you are all set. Thence comes the thought "are you a fan or a follower". It was a very simple yet powerful. As a fan we sit by, we watch, yet we aren't fully engaged. There usually isn't much pain involved in being a fan, yet a follower is a different story. 

So what is it? Well, for most of us it is probably both. We profess our love, our devotion, but do we profess and offer up our lives. We all have different gifts and are called to something based upon those gifts and are we all in?

So are you a fan or follower?

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Monday, August 19, 2013

“The Church has not gone down the tubes…”

“The Church has not gone down the tubes…”

To all of my followers please take the time to read this, ....it is very enlightening!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


PS Let's set the world on fire together! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A little more than a shadow!

This weekend I'm staying home as I will be covering many hours in the next week because I have an assistant away for training. My wife left early this morning to care for our granddaughter and I'm sure she's loving it. 

Today there was funeral scheduled and I thought it would be a good opportunity to shadow Fr. Kyle. I stopped by the sacristy and asked if he would be okay with that and he said sure. 

At the cemetery he offered me the opportunity to assist him with the prayers and I really enjoyed the opportunity to observe as well as participate. 

With that done, he asked if I wanted to observe him anointing and praying over someone at the nursing home. Once again, I thought that this would be a great opportunity to watch and "be" in the presence of those in need. It went very well and I thanked him so much for the wonderful chance to take an active role in ministry. 

When I got home Terry called and alerted me that she had arrived in Dover, and then I got to share with her the good news of what I had just experienced. She mentioned that she wished that she could have been there to share those moments. 

It was a really good day! Something different, something good!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Monday, August 12, 2013

If you only had one hour!

It's another weekend and once again we are making the trip south to "be" with family. With the arrival of our granddaughter we have been making several of these to help out as much as we can. We have both been down there three times and it's become very ritual but far from ordinary. As we gaze into her eyes we do see changes each week and it is definitely worth the trip. 

On Saturday night we thought we would gamble and see if Deacon Roger (my old high school french teacher) would be at Mass in South Berwick. It was the 4 pm Mass and the three of us, of course Myanna would be there, are hoping for something special. As I knelt to pray Terry whispers to me...."is that him?" Sure enough, it was and we shared a brief moment together before Mass. Ironically his homily spoke of someone trying to connect with him this week and finally doing so, and he continued to say that person was attending Mass that evening and was preparing to be a permanent Deacon in New Hampshire. He shared about his sense of humor and how we need to connect with one another. After Mass we spoke fondly about old memories, and we were excited to blessed by him. 

There has been a feeling for quite some time now that I need to make a better effort to reach out to people, to listen, to touch, but most of all to "be" with them. 

Yesterday we prepared for Mass at 11 pm. My daughter had mentioned...."but Dad, you just went yesterday, why again?" I shared with her a little story she had told me how much she valued being with people she loved, and I told her a very good friend of mine is saying Mass and I may not see him again until next May! She looked up to me, and said...."I understand!"

Once again the three of us walked up the street to celebrate the Lord and to be with someone we love! It was a wonderful Mass and an exceptional homily that challenged people to think of what they would do if they only had one hour left. Who would you see? Who would you reach out to? We spoke to Fr. Andrew one more time and then walked back to the apartment glowing. 

I then turned on my cell phone and got a message from a great friend who I was I reaching out to earlier this week. He shared some wonderful news with me, and he promised to call so we could hear each other's voice. 

My best friend then started a texting war with me and asked me if I would go with him to check out Perseid last night. I thought of saying no, but said yes and told him I would be home at one am and asked him to pick me up. 

The day continued on spending time with our little girl, watching her, singing to her (she loves music and my voice), and just "being" with her until her mommy and daddy showed up. We then made the long trip back home and in Gorham I texted my buddy that I would be home soon. I got home and continued sending him messages with no responses. 

This morning he called me and commented that he was bluffing and didn't think I really meant it. Initially, I was going to say no yet something inside of me said "why not!" Well of course I told him that I would never be one of those people who would give him a hard time about this, not!!!! He will pay, but of course at the right moment to get the full effect of public humiliation, after all what are best friends for. Today I'm disappointed because I think we missed out on a moment to be with one another. 

So, if you only had one hour left what would you do?

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Moved by the Spirit!

I know that I have recently mentioned that last week I had many people that had reached out to me to say hi, to share some "good news", to make that person to person contact. Well, I believe that the Holy Spirit has guided me to do the same. I followed up with a buddy on how his recent assignment went, and I wasn't surprised that he did very well. I also ran into a friend who is the chaplain at the state prison in Berlin. I couldn't believe it he had lost over 170 pounds. He looks great! I asked him to get me signed up to train to be a volunteer in the NH state prisons for men. Last night I called one of my favorite high school teachers who is now a deacon in Maine. We talked for almost an hour and he shared so much with me about his ministry, his life, and his spirituality. I sent him an email tonight as we promised to keep in touch and pray for each other. I am now waiting to hear from my college professor, and I'm sure this will also be fruitful. Without a doubt I feel this is God's way of forming me into the person I need to be.

I promise to keep you all informed on how these relationships are developing, and I challenge you to allow the Spirit to move you also!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,