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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 ...

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!