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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, July 29, 2013

You gotta love our Bishop!

Photo: Bishop meets the Mud!

This is the face of the new Church! Ready and willing to get down into the mud pits literally to bring Christ's message to the world. Simply by his presence he shows the mercy and the love of Christ for everyone! 

He is #1 in my book! 

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


No one Welcome!

One of the many things that I have enjoyed during this journey, is how our Lord speaks to us in such subtle ways. I have been thinking about an old friend who I had just spoken to last week. We only had a brief moment to talk to each other but it was very enjoyable. We made plans to meet again, but with the distance separating us, one of us will have to go out of our way to make it happen. 

Yesterday Terry and I were babysitting our  granddaughter and we took her to Church yesterday in Dover,where we celebrated with Fr. Andrew and the wonderful people of Dover. This was the first homily I had heard him preach since ordination, and he's really good. He started out by sharing how he missed an opportunity to be with someone he knew, who would have really enjoyed the visit if only for a short while. 

So this homily got me to think about my old friend and how he had a neighbor who had posted a sign in front of their home....."No One Welcome". I am not kidding about this sign. This was always a topic of our conversations when we used to get together, and he always remarked how I kept bringing this up. He told me how different these people were and how they kind of shut themselves out from the world. As you can see I've never gotten over this experience.

Yesterday I was also checking over the Divine Office on my Kindle fire and noticed "About this week!" Usually I kind of gloss over this or actually ignore this. I felt drawn to read this information and it spoke of the meaning of Catholic. We all know that it means Universal, but what got me was the rest of the story. Catholic in the patristic and ecclesiological sense means ..............."Welcome...............Hospitality!" 

Now as the plot thickens I'm putting the two events together. We all may have a sign pasted on our foreheads that reads "No One Welcome" whether we notice it or not to others in the world. How many times have I not been welcoming to others or showed them what true Christian hospitality is.Whether we realize it or not, we are all in the hospitality industry for Christ. Years ago I laughed at this sign thinking how ridiculous it was, when in fact I know that I was doing the same thing. 

I'm not advocating to create sweeping changes in the Church, I'm advocating that it all begins with me and everyone who calls themselves a disciple of Christ. It is and will always be a daily challenge to rip that sign off of my forehead. With and only with the grace of God we can change and put on the new man as St. Paul would say. I'm sure God is saying, nice job my son, What took you so long to figure it out!" 

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Remembering that we are all sinners...

 Photo: Beautiful day for today's pilgrimage to Berlin. St. Anne pray for us!

Yesterday was a very big day for the Diocese, for our parish, and for all the pilgrims. It was an overcast day, yet the mood was very positive. I had debated whether or not I should walk to church. I don't live very far, about a half mile maybe. I was almost there and noticed a gentlemen all dressed in black. It looked like the Bishop to me. It certainly was and we had a very nice conversation. Wow a personal audience with the Bishop! I got to share who I was, what I was working on, and a special project I want to share with the parish. Being a new grandfather I was pumped up when I read that there was a Rite of the Blessing of the child in the womb.  I couldn't help but think how wonderful this would be at Mass or even in a private ceremony. The bishop himself seemed uplifted by the idea. 

I spent time in Adoration, attended the volunteers Mass and then attended the Morning prayers. They were all unique, and very enjoyable.

So what will be my assignment? Last year I knew ahead of time that I would be a P-Lot boy. Yes, the dreaded parking lot attendant. The lowest job available at one of my summer jobs. Funny thing was last year I learned so much about humility and doing the best I can all for the glory of God. This year I said again, "I'll do anything!" But this time I meant it.

This year I decided to be a P-Lot boy, where I greeted, directed, aided all those who needed something to make their day special for them. I absolutely loved the work and the time I spent with many pilgrims. I met a nice young seminarian studying for the Diocese of Portland Maine, who had roots here in Berlin. I chose the perfect job, and I was very thankful for the opportunity to serve.

At one point I was talking to some of the other volunteers and then caught the eye of one of my brother candidates. He had made the trip with others to sing in the choir and we had a few moments to share. These men and women who have come into our lives are very special, they are family. 

We now come to the High Mass and Fr. Jason is looking around and then asked, "could you do me a favor?" I'm sure you know the answer..."I'll do anything!" "Would you and your wife or anyone of your choosing be the gift bearers?" Naturally I said "It would be an honor for Terry and I !"  Terry upon learning of my volunteering her said, "Wow, that's a great honor!" 

So you are probably wondering what's up with the title of this posting? Well, just like last year we had a great procession that was about to begin. Last year we followed the Bishop, priests and seminarians. This year we were almost first in line after the Knights of Columbus. When we were exiting the church we could hear the choir sing "Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom!" This short phrase would be chanted over and over again. All I could think of was the thief, asking the Lord for forgiveness and recognizing his sinful nature. 

There aren't enough adjectives to describe what kind of day we all had, it was special!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


 PS- you can see a shot of me at work with one hand on my hip!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

And tonight it begins!


Once again our little parish Good Shepherd of St. Anne's Church will be hosting the pilgrimage for vocations. Last year we were so pleased to see our beautiful church filled to capacity, it truly was a great sight to see. This year our expectations are a little more modest, yet who knows how the Spirit will move people to come. We were told a couple of weekends ago how a young man who came to the pilgrimage has applied and has been accepted to enter into the seminary. I truly believe that our continued prayers and support will surely bring an increase in vocations to the priesthood, the religious life, and the permanent diaconate. So if you were worried that we don't have room, come. We have made changes and we are ready. The church is absolutely gorgeous and you will not regret your trip. 

On behalf of the parish we welcome you through your presence and prayers!

Bonne Sainte Anne priez pour nous! (Good Saint Anne pray for us!)

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Friday, July 19, 2013

Down the hill and through the woods!

Tomorrow Terry and I get a double helping of love. We will be reunited with our daughter, Son, and granddaughter. We will also be visiting with Fr. Andrew Nelson.
I have been looking forward to this for quite some time now and we will be spending a little more time with all of them in the next few weeks!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sorry I was away!

July 4th, the last day I posted anything. First I want to apologize for not keeping up with the blog, but summer is finally here, I think anyways!

On the 4th I attended the inter parish picnic, and as usual it was a great social event. This was a great opportunity to meet and greet with those parishioners I don't get to see on a regular basis. I had great conversations, played balloon toss, egg toss, tug of war (I was on the clergy side, and we loss!), and just being in the presence of so many wonderful people was awesome. 

That weekend I took my Mom north of the border to attend a family reunion. It was a great day of fun and conversations with relatives that I haven't seen much in two years. On the way back home we had to stop to pick up some curd cheese. It isn't a true trip until we buy up a bunch of cheese. 

This past Saturday Terry and I went to the beach with friends and relatives. It was an awesome day that was topped off with pier fries and then a lobster roll.

On Sunday Terry and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary. We had a great day just being with each other, and we topped it off having supper with relatives and our Son serving us. 

Then it has been the shadow game, observing the Deacon at a funeral, and then observing and participating at a wake service on Monday night with the pastor. 

I met with my pastor also on Monday to touch base, finalize the agreement, and plan for how best I can serve the parish. 

Yes, it has been busy, but it's also the way I like it!

Blogging will be light for the next few weeks, but I will posting at least once a week!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


This weekend will be a double treat! Terry and I get to see our grand daughter again and we will also visit with Fr. Andrew!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Pope Francis on Finding the “Wounds of Christ” in the Street

Pope Francis on Finding the “Wounds of Christ” in the Street!

I really felt moved to share this with all of you. I regularly follow this blog, but this one, it touches the soul of what a disciple is. Please read, I guarantee you will never be the same!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,



Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Are you free today?

On Monday I decided to make those calls that I had planned on making for about a week. I first called the Hospital Chaplain here in Berlin to discuss an Ecumenical Remembrance Service, and then I called the Deacon who is the chaplain at the Concord State Prison. I stroke out on both or so I thought. The Sr. (our hospital chaplain) called me back minutes later and told me she loved the idea and asked if I was available that day to present the idea. With only a half hour to get ready, I was there. The meeting went very well and it was also a great opportunity to gather with the local clergy. The idea for this event was given to me by my pastor, and for those who know me I don't take credit for someone Else's idea, yet I do know who to run with it! The wheels are in motion and this project will fit in quite well with my parish assignment. With a short week before me I will enjoy the next few days. On Saturday I will be heading North of the Border to take my Mom to a family reunion, and of course I will stop to pick up some Canadian curd cheese. 

Have a great Fourth everybody!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Monday, July 1, 2013

Me and my shadow!

 Yesterday I did some job shadowing. Our summer resident, Deacon Jeff, was performing his first ever Baptism. I remained in the shadows observing, and reflecting on a few of the things he did. One little piece really captured my attention. It occurred at the beginning when he asked the parents and god parents to walk back to the entrance of the Church. He explained how in the early Church the Baptismal area would be near the entrance and at times outside of the church. The movement from the entrance to the was full of symbolism that I pray others there captured also.

He spoke very well and encouraged the family and reminded them that they are, and will continue to be the first to teach the faith, and the first to share Christ's love. 

So Baptism 101 proved to be a success and I look forward to more training, and shadowing in different ministries. 

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,