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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, January 31, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

Today's second reading in the Office Readings

From The Introduction to the Devout Life, by Saint Francis de Sales, bishop
(Pars 1, cap 3)

Devotion must be practiced in different ways

When God the Creator made all things, he commanded the plants to bring forth fruit each according to its own kind; he has likewise commanded Christians, who are the living plants of his Church, to bring forth the fruits of devotion, each one in accord with his character, his station and his calling.

I say that devotion must be practiced in different ways by the nobleman and by the working man, by the servant and by the prince, by the widow, by the unmarried girl and by the married woman. But even this distinction is not sufficient; for the practice of devotion must be adapted to the strength, to the occupation and to the duties of each one in particular.

Tell me, please, my Philothea, whether it is proper for a bishop to want to lead a solitary life like a Carthusian; or for married people to be no more concerned than a Capuchin about increasing their income; or for a working man to spend his whole day in church like a religious; or on the other hand for a religious to be constantly exposed like a bishop to all the events and circumstances that bear on the needs of our neighbor. Is not this sort of devotion ridiculous, unorganized and intolerable? Yet this absurd error occurs very frequently, but in no way does true devotion, my Philothea, destroy anything at all. On the contrary, it perfects and fulfils all things. In fact if it ever works against, or is inimical to, anyone’s legitimate station and calling, then it is very definitely false devotion.

The bee collects honey from flowers in such a way as to do the least damage or destruction to them, and he leaves them whole, undamaged and fresh, just as he found them. True devotion does still better. Not only does it not injure any sort of calling or occupation, it even embellishes and enhances it.

Moreover, just as every sort of gem, cast in honey, becomes brighter and more sparkling, each according to its color, so each person becomes more acceptable and fitting in his own vocation when he sets his vocation in the context of devotion. Through devotion your family cares become more peaceful, mutual love between husband and wife becomes more sincere, the service we owe to the prince becomes more faithful, and our work, no matter what it is, becomes more pleasant and agreeable.

It is therefore an error and even a heresy to wish to exclude the exercise of devotion from military divisions, from the artisans’ shops, from the courts of princes, from family households. I acknowledge, my dear Philothea, that the type of devotion which is purely contemplative, monastic and religious can certainly not be exercised in these sorts of stations and occupations, but besides this threefold type of devotion, there are many others fit for perfecting those who live in a secular state.

Therefore, in whatever situations we happen to be, we can and we must aspire to the life of perfection.

In between meetings I read this and it really moved me to share these great thoughts and words.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis


Saturday, January 18, 2014

The joys of computer issues!

For several weeks now I've been experiencing issues with the computer, so much so that at times I haven't been able to post anything from my home computer. This morning it looks like I'm in a good place and I will take advantage of the opportunity. 

Today is a packing day as I'm preparing for my National Sales Meeting with Sherwin-Williams. I'll be gone for a few days next week and I probably won't be posting much of anything for at least a week. 

Besides our surprise visit from Bishop Peter last weekend, I really enjoyed the time I had to get to know some of the guys better. As much as we may feel that we are getting closer to one another, and we are, we really don't get a lot of opportunities to just sit down and talk to one another. I am so glad we didn't turn around and head home on Saturday as I would have missed out on these special times of one on one with the guys. 

I'm sure I have made you all aware of the changes that are going on in my parish. We have a new pastor, which means I have a new mentor. I haven't met with him yet, as I feel I should give him a little breathing room until we do meet. The official end of the assignment is supposed to be March and the calendar is telling me that the end is very near.  

My book have come in for the Canon Law course that begins on January 27th. Those wonderful trips to watch TV for our course begin soon and that signals the home stretch for all of us. Yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

This weekend I will enjoy my last weekend with my current pastor and I will wish him well on his new assignment. 

Have a great week everybody and maybe I'll post something from Nashville if I get a chance.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Angels, Wings, and the Visitation

This'll be the first time I post from my iPad, so it'll probably be a very short one. The title for the blog today may sound like it's the title from a Dan Brown novel. This weekend we got a visit from  Bishop Peter  at our formation weekend. So Bishop Peter is the visitation part of this title. He mentioned how deacons are very similar to angels and that the stole is the wings of the angel. He told us how angels are called to proclaim, to direct, and to lead people to God. The wings we're clearly seen when the deacon was walking by each of us, and while walking by the stole moved like flapping wings. The bishop held us captive  with his words, it was very silent, each one of us intently listening to him speak. This unforgettable experience was the first time the bishop or any bishop for that matter attended a formation weekend, it was an experience that I believe not of us will ever forget.

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Not so fast!

The picture above says it all! I'm still home waiting to see if the weather will actually break or not. I called my director early this morning and invited him to the hockey game that will be played on the street in front of my house. Yes, it's that bad. Mike called me and said he wasn't leaving yet either. We wait, we hope, we pray!

Adieu et Bonjour mes Amis,


Friday, January 10, 2014

Another weekend of Formation!

Good evening all! Tonight I'm getting ready for the home stretch run. I've ordered my books for our canon law course, and very soon I'll be packing for our third formation weekend. It's all seems to be moving at a brisk pace. We have five formation weekends in our final year and this will be the one that puts us over the hump. 

Canon law is our second of three courses that we need to finish. This course begins on the 29th of this month and runs for about 4 weeks. Hopefully the white stuff won't be falling when we make our travels.

With January being a very unpredictable month, weather wise, the forecast isn't too inviting for tomorrow. Even though the weather is supposed to be warming up, there is a call for freezing rain. YUK! Snow isn't fun, but freezing rain is horrible. I hope and pray that traveling through the notch will be smooth and uneventful.

Tomorrow we will continue from our last weekend, where we are learning more about the rituals of serving and so on. 

Again, I ask you all to continue to pray for us all!

Bonsoir et Adieu mes Amis,


Sunday, January 5, 2014


I am very well aware that my frequency of posting things has fallen off. I still enjoy the ability to share what is going on in my life, but life is getting busier and moving along at a very quick pace.

Given that, there is something in life that remains constant, and that is things change. This weekend we received the news that our Pastor Fr. Marc will be leaving shortly. He has only been here for sixteen months and he is being asked to take on another challenging assignment. I will definitely miss him, as he has taught me so much, and has been a very good mentor. 

With that loss, there is still reason for joy. Fr. Kyle has been appointed as our new pastor and Fr. Andrew will be our new vicar. The North Country as a whole will be home to three of the youngest priests in the Diocese. My spiritual director, Fr. Matt in Lancaster, is also a very young priest. I really believe that Bishop Peter truly cares for the Northern part of this state. Thank you!

I continue to love serving at the Altar as an Acolyte, and also greeting the parishioners before and after Mass. There is a tremendous need for many to reach out as they are struggling with difficulties. I love my parish family and feel so blessed to share this journey with them. 

For the past few days I have been working on my parish project. I'm sure I've shared with all of you that I was instructed to spend more time putting together a package that can be presented within an hour and half. I was reminded by one of my director's not to reinvent the wheel, so I found something I really liked and adapted the information to a power point display. I'm really proud of the finished product and very excited to present this to my new pastor. I want this to be a special event, so I'm looking for Fr. to approve a Holy Water font for the lower hall, and I will need two candles to make this a very solemn event also. 

On top of that I found some great information that I want to add to the parish website to help families prepare for this blessed event. I'm also looking for some information that can be presented at the offices for those who aren't on line. I will be asking Fr. to add 3 to 4 times a year a parish event of the new rite "Blessing of the Child within the womb." My wife thought that it would also be great to ask the parishioners to bring gifts for the mothers: diapers, formula, gift cards, etc. We would then be truly supporting those who choose life. Having recently been blessed with being a Pepere, I realize the costs of raising a child. I do my best to help out my daughter, and I think it would be great for those who could help: "adopt" a child  or grand child so to speak. 

C'est tous, that's it for now!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,