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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, March 31, 2013

Alleluia, He is Truly Risen!


May the risen Lord Bless all of you !

  Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,

Saturday, March 30, 2013



To say that I wasn't touched by these images is ridiculous. Even at lunch time yesterday our brothers and sisters in Christ of other faiths commented how much his actions have truly impressed them. We thanked them for loving and caring for our Pope and I was told, 

"He doesn't just belong to you!" 

As I continue to discern my ministry to those in prison, I find great inspiration from our holy father. 

Here are more quotes that have inspired me, may they lift you up also....

"We should not simply remain in our own secure world -- that of the 99 sheep who never strayed from the fold -- but we should go out, with Christ, in search of the one lost sheep, however far it may have wandered,"

"Being with Jesus demands that we go out from ourselves, and from living a tired and habitual faith."

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Must see video....Two thumbs up!

Palm Sunday!

Today please take just a few minutes of your time to look at a very powerful video. The title is Palm Sunday and you can find it by going to Youtube. I tried providing the link on this site but I was unable to so! I'm sure you will love it. You will see the picture of two young men, this is the one.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Through Holy Week!

My silent posting during this week has not been accidental. Last year I limited my posts and this year I repeated the practice without notice. We all need to move quietly, at our own pace through this very holy week.  Let me update you as to what has been a very busy and Holy Week!

Training for prison ministry ended up being much more than I expected, and I don't mean the training itself. I'm not an expert nor may I ever be, but I did read a book to get some insight, and it ended up being pretty much what I expected. It was actually very corporate like, with a lot of do's and mostly don'ts. The strange part began almost immediately, as I had to go outside to get information a couple of times before entering. I was met so warmly by the chaplain director, someone whom I've only met twice before. He is such a caring and faithful man. 

Two gentlemen from Kairos came by to speak with me during the breaks. One gentlemen was definitely full of the Spirit and was excited about his ministry. I really know that we will meet again sharing the Lord to those in prison. Next another gentlemen shared his relationship with another one of my brother candidates. The two of them made me feel very welcome and proud of what I'm undertaking. 

 I then spoke with the Anglican chaplain and he greeted me ever so warmly...."I've heard so much about you and I was really looking forward to meeting you!" Wow, talk about a great way to say welcome on board. A little later we spoke for several minutes and we really had a great conversation on faith. 

Before leaving while turning in my paper work to get my badge, I spoke with the reentry director. After reviewing the paper work he mentions to me, ..."my family and I attend the same church you do.! It is such a beautiful church that reminds me of the one back home!" He then spoke of his faith and his family and of his love for this area. Then came the question........."Many of us here have asked ourselves why would anyone come to volunteer at a place like this?" My answer was...."The best way I can explain it is like this, it is a calling, similar to one being called to the priesthood! The Lord is calling people to care for his children!"

 Then the week started a little rough as I was sick for the next few days. I missed my Monday evening class on the New Testament Letters of St. Paul. I'm not so sure I've let any of you know about this yet, with the exception of my fellow brothers and sisters taking this course. This course is absolutely fantastic. My favorite thus far! My  wife and my mother told me.........."you say that at every course!" Well, maybe I do but I reserve the right to update my favorite list at will. This course has challenged me to think in a very different way, to see things in a very different way. If the intended results were to change us, it has worked for me. Our teacher asked us about our faith......" Is your faith a security blanket, or is it something that causes something to stir deep inside of you, enough to create a change!"

Holy Thursday I attended alone and enjoyed being with all the congregants. For the past couple of years I have been heavily involved with the Liturgies and this year it isn't the case. It has given me a chance to see and enjoy from another familiar perspective. It's like it has always been before yet different. This will probably be the last year being within the nave of the church and it has been very spiritual for me. 

Good Friday, busy day ahead for Mike and I. We both were honored to represent our community at an Ecumenical service. Mike was a reader early in the service and then we had seven individuals giving reflections on the seven last words of Christ. I was one of those and I really loved the experience. It was a very humbling and honorable experience for me. The Lord with the aide of my wife helped me prepare for this, and without the two of them His message wouldn't have gotten out there. I will share more about this in another posting. 

Last night Mike and I were lectors again, and we both loved being a part of this liturgy. 

What I have noticed this week was that so many people were involved during this week. From the choir, to the altar servers ( who were absolutely fantastic by the way ), to the readers, extra-ordinary ministers of communion, there were so many people involved and that is the way it really should be. 

So today I will continue reading for my class, I will wait patiently for my wife to get home from work, and tonight Terry, my Mom, and my Dad, and I will celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior at Easter Vigil. 

I Can't WAIT!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Friday, March 22, 2013

I was in prison and you came to visit me.'



Tomorrow is the day when I begin training at the Federal Correctional Institute here in Berlin. It has almost been a year since I have felt a calling to serve the Lord by visiting those in prison. I have gotten all kinds of reactions from this, some with enthusiastic support, some give me a discouraging look, and then I get "Do you really want to do this?"  My answer hasn't really wavered............"not really, but I feel called to do this!"

The paperwork is ready, quite a bit actually. I was told to come with an id card, the paperwork, a letter of recommendation and that's it. Oh yeah, and be prepared for four hours of training. It really isn't very much for something like this. 

I read a small book, notice I said small, and rather enjoyed the insights I gleaned from this book. In my line of work I've received a tremendous amount of training over the years. Hard to believe that in a paint store you would need a bunch of training, yet that is one aspect of my career that I truly respect. 

So for me, four hours of training just isn't really enough. The challenge and the difficulty is that I'm still in formation and that I'm juggling my classes with my work load, and the other ministries I do for the Lord. I realize that something will have to give. I think that the hospital ministry will have to go on the back burner until the future, or quite possibly I will no longer be able to go on a regular basis. This will be something difficult to give up, but necessary.

Am I nervous, you bet! Scared, a little! Anxious, definitely! 

The call to this ministry hasn't diminished at all. 

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Only a heartbeat away!

We have a new Pope and he would probably say that the presence of Christ is always within our midst. In my store this week I had two gentlemen come in who are very regular customers. They are brothers who are definitely full of life. The more outspoken one always calls me reverend ( his name for me ) and then he belted out " I love this Pope, I love his style. I love his humility and his simple nature!" This man is Catholic but hasn't practiced for years. Obviously the Spirit touched his heart and brought back memories of a Church he once knew! I let him go on and then I said to him, "you know there are many like you that are really only a heartbeat away from coming back!" He looked a little reluctant but never said no! The seed was planted!

My Mom who is 86 is so moved by his presence, and again Pope Francis would say that it is Christ who is truly present. Every time I visit her she is very anxious to share something new about him, and also share how much my sister talks about him. My sister hasn't practiced in years and is touched by what she is witnessing, she seems to be only a heartbeat away!

This morning I attended the 9 am Mass and I'm putting all of my effort into celebrating the Liturgy. In one of my books that I am reading I came across something that has changed me...."Celebrate this Mass like it was your first, like it was your last, and like it will be the only one!" I was scheduled as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist and then it happened to me. I met a woman who came to receive. I had never seen this woman before in my life and then I looked into her eyes and saw the love of Christ. I couldn't help but light up myself. I really believe that Christ's Church in Berlin is in a state of renewal where he is calling many to come, and they are slowly making their way back!

In today's readings we hear how the Lord put water in the desert, and rivers in the wasteland. These are definitely two things that on a human level are extremely impossible and rather ridiculous to even imagine. Let us imagine if we, each and every one of us shared our love of Christ to those we meet each and every day what could happen in this world. I pray that through the grace of Christ each and every one of us plants that seed and allows God to put water in the deserts, and rivers in each and every wasteland. 

There are many more souls that are only a heartbeat away!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Healing a broken world!

I'm so sorry that I never finished my reflection on that very busy Monday, where Mike and I met with our pastor and then we were to gather to offer up a Mass for Healing.  We were a little late for the moments to prepare, yet there was a different feeling in the air. I've known Fr. Marc for only a short time, and this evening I saw, I felt, I recognized a very different side of him. He seemed to be at peace, eager to begin something he was very comfortable with. We gathered as teams in the Sacristy and then we held hands in prayer calling for the Holy Spirit to be in our midst. 

The Mass was a beautiful celebration, and as I looked around I saw more people than I thought would be there. There were actually a great number of people that I know, but don't see very often celebrating with us. I thought to myself, this is what it's all about. We are called to be community, to pray together, to carry each other, to come before the Lord seeking his help. 

During the anointing of many, all I could think of is that there are many broken people out  there and that they are desperately seeking the "healing" the "love" that only Jesus Christ can give to us. There were so many people there that I was pressed into praying with a very dear friend of mine. We've known each other since our very first day of school and she reached out for my hands in prayer. Initially I was scared, and then I thought about St. Paul's words about love. Love that is so pure, so tender, so forgiving, that comforts us all. I prayed through the intercession of St. Paul to allow the Love of Christ to come into her heart and for those she was praying for. Christ's words were on my lips and I realized soon thereafter that I needn't worry about way to say!

Amazingly we were there for over three hours! Fr. Marc and Fr. Kyle were both very busy. Fr. Marc kept praising and encouraging each one who waited patiently to receive the blessing with Holy Oil! 

It was an evening that felt like time stood still. 

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Go Out!

"Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony. Go out and interact with your brothers. Go out and share. Go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit," Bergoglio told Argentina's priests last year.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

First Taste!

Well it is time to fill you all in on what transpired at Mike and I's first meeting with Fr. Marc.  I guess the title of this posting really sums up quite well what the future may hold for us. We met with him for almost an hour. Usually when you meet with someone for the first time there can be those awkward moments, moments of silence. This one didn't have any of those. Obviously he was well prepared and he also has a strong vision of where he  wants this parish to move to. He is a quite creative individual with many interesting ideas. 

We both had the opportunity to share what we are doing in the parish, and Fr. Marc threw out many ideas for us to digest as we contemplate where the Spirit is guiding us for our practicum. 

The time went by so quickly he even set an alarm to go off so we wouldn't be late for the Healing Mass! I guess we all were really into this meeting as we were only a few minutes late to get to the Church!

Mike and I would love your prayers as we both contemplate this very important mission we will be undertaking in the future!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Initial Impressions from yesterday!


As I fully digest what happened I will share more!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Monday, March 4, 2013

Our own little meeting!

In just a little over an hour Mike and I will be meeting officially with our Pastor. He's been keeping a very busy schedule and we thought it would be great to get together and chat for a while. 

Tonight the parish will be having the first of many healing services where the parishioners will have the opportunity to pray and to be anointed (not the Sacrament) with holy oil from St. Anne de Beaupre and L'Oratoire St. Joseph de Montreal. I'm really looking forward to this event, so I'll share some details a little later. 

Once again I ask for your prayers for all 22 of us from our Diocese and our spouses as we continue on this journey to Ordination!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,