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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, August 31, 2014

A student's prayer

From a friend who shared St Thomas Aquinas' student prayer....

Come, Holy Spirit, Divine Creator, true source of light and fountain of wisdom!  Pour forth your brilliance upon my dense intellect, dissipate the darkness which covers me, that of sin and of ignorance.  Grant me a penetrating mind to understand, a retentive memory, method and ease in learning, the lucidity to comprehend, and abundant grace in expressing myself.  Guide the beginning of my work, direct its progress, and bring it to successful completion.  This I ask through Jesus Christ, true God and true man, living and reigning with You and the Father, forever and ever.
Amen.  (www.catholic.org, retrieved Sunday, August 31, 2014)


Deacon Mitch 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Never in a thousand years

Fr Kyle was a little nervous yesterday, sending me a message wondering if I still wanted to assist at Mass last night. After all, he stated "you have a busy weekend!" I sent him a text stating "I"ll be there!" What was on the agenda, Mass at 6, wake service at 7:30, funeral Saturday at 10:00, followed by the committal, Mass at 6 again, and then Mass at 7 am Sunday morning. The key for the whole weekend was last night at 6 pm. A very dear friend of mine, Fr Richard Dion would be the celebrant, and how many opportunities would I get to serve along with him. At his homily, and it was a good one, he stated how like Mary in life you never know what is around the corner. We all may have dreams and plans, and when God calls, things may change. Fr Richard stated in all our years growing literally a few houses away from each other, not in a thousand years would we have dreamed of celebrating Mass together. There was no way I would have missed it. I often get comments how much I smile at Mass and last night was no exception. I feel a great joy and honor to serve at the Altar, and to assist our wonderful priests, and the smiles are just part of who I am. So keep smiling people, share your love and joy. Evangelize with a smile!

Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,

Deacon Mitch 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Detest what is evil!


Your love must be sincere. Detest what is evil, cling to what is good. Love one another with the affection of brothers. Anticipate each other in showing respect. Do not grow slack but be fervent in spirit; he whom you serve is the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient under trial, persevere in prayer.

Tonight's reading from evening prayer....very appropriate in these troubled times.


Deacon Mitch

In support of our Christian brothers and sisters suffering!

    This is the Arab symbol for N "A Nazarene, A follower of Christ!"

    Deacon Mitch

The West Lacks One Essential Tool to Defeat ISIS

The West Lacks One Essential Tool to Defeat ISIS

This is a must read for all Christians, especially since our Holy Father has called us to recognize this genocide that is before us. Our local priests have challenged us to be their voice.


Deacon Mitch

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Support your Priests

19 Ways to Let Your Parish Priest Know You Appreciate Him
by Jonathan Teixeira | AUGUST 4, 2014

Our parish priests are some of the hardest working members of the Church. The typical parish priest works every weekend and holiday, lives in the same building as their office, and only gets one day off a week, not to mention they’re being asked to care for more souls and take on more responsibilities and roles than ever before.

Today is the feast day of St. John Vianney, patron of parish priests. To mark the occasion, we asked a some parish priests how we could best let them know we’re thankful for them and all the work they do for us.

In no particular order:

1. Pray for Your Priest(s)

“The most important thing a parishioner can do for his/her priest is pray for them. We are always praying for someone, even required to offer a Mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation on behalf of our parishioners. It’s just good to know that they pray for us everyday.”

“A rosary, a holy hour, a small offering or a daily suffering offered for the priest.”

“Send cards to priests with assurances of prayer for their intentions.”

“The offering of prayers for the priest and his ministry.  (It’s a great joy to know of prayers since I know that my life and ministry are only as fruitful as the people praying for me.)”

2. Cook Them a Meal, Especially on Their Busy Days

"It would be nice if someone made sure that the priest(s) of the parish had a nice cooked meal on Sundays and major holidays. We often have no cooks and after a long morning, it would be nice to come home to something we didn’t have to make.”

“Find out his favorite meal and make it for him.”

3. Celebrate Their Special Days

“Celebrating the priest’s birthday and ordination day are good thoughts, too.”

“It's nice to be remembered on the day of my priestly ordination.”

4. Pray More, Complain Less

“The vast majority of interactions seem to revolve around a complaint about the priest, the parish, a parishioner, the music, the temperature in the church, a burned out lightbulb, a decision, etc. and rarely about the supernatural realities.”

5. Offer to Help

“Don’t wait to be asked! Priests are ordained to give, and it’s hard for us to ask for things.”

“Volunteer your time to the parish as a sign of support and service.”

“Consider increasing your tithe to show your support for the parish and priest.”

6. Go to Mass and/or Confession

“Nothing will make a priest happier.”

“Pick a day, go to a Mass that he's celebrating, and get a bunch of people to sit in the front rows. When Father asks you after Mass why, tell him you were offering your participation at Mass in thanksgiving for His priesthood.”

7. Write Them a Note Expressing Your Gratitude

“A note, especially to a priest with whom you’ve lost touch, letting him know how his priesthood impacted your life - and that you’re still with the program - means a lot.”

“My favorite thing to receive from people is a letter.  Not a card with a few words.  Those are nice too, but I love receiving a letter or a card with a substantial message in it.  It is very powerful to hear somebody describe exactly HOW the thing I said or did was so fruitful for them.  It is a reminder that Jesus is a lot bigger than me and he can do great things with the little I have to offer.”

“I really appreciate when people say to me personally or send notes of gratitude: "Thanks for your priesthood", "Thanks for being our pastor." ‘Thanks for answering the call.’”

“Tell them that they have made a difference in your life.”

“Write them a thank you with a tone of appreciation.”

“Simple notes mean a great deal to priests these days. Things like notes of appreciation after funerals and weddings a simple compliment after a well prepared homily.”

“Being specific helps!”

8. Say Thank You

“Thank the priest for every Mass. Even if you don’t necessarily like the priest, as the Mass is always about the presence of Jesus.”

“Even something as simple as saying to the priest after confession "Thank you for your ministry and I will pray for you" can mean a great deal.”

“Make a video asking random parishioners one thing they would like to thank Fr. ____ for.”

9. Give Them a Compliment

“Look for opportunities to compliment priests. Even ones you don’t particularly like.”

“I always cheer up when someone tells me after Mass, ‘That was a beautiful Mass, Father.’”

10. Look Out for Their Wellbeing

“Encourage priest to take time off.”

11. Save the Drama for Yo Mama

“Avoid and discourage gossip about priests and parishes.”

“Don’t gossip or criticize, instead offer to help and to build up. I wonder how many vocations were ruined when young people hear adults tear down the priest, usually because of some petty parish dispute.”

12. Let Him Know You Have His Back

“When you witness a situation when someone is being rude to a priest, let him know that you noticed and express compassion.”

13. Establish a Relationship

“Don’t tell him what you don’t like if that’s the first time you’ve bothered to talk to him.”

“Say hello before telling him what’s wrong.”

14. Have Realistic Expectations and Be Helpful

“He’s probably not a plumber, so don’t expect him to fix the leaky pipe. But definitely do ask him if he knows it’s leaking.”

“Always assume good will.  Offering feedback is helpful, but criticism and complaint given without humility and sincere love is draining after a while. “

15. Don’t Be a “Priest Collector”

“Don't think that you have to have the priest over every Sunday.  Don't expect to be the priest's friend - he is your pastor/assistant and he needs to keep things professional.  Don't brag to fellow parishioners how "Close you guys are" as then that creates animosity or jealously - and THAT stresses the priest out.”

16. Be Supportive

“Whenever there is something that is stressful, such as a difficult time during the parish, I know "reinforcement" is appreciated.  I haven't had much of that in my first 5 years (yet) but I recall some tremendously difficult funerals where people sent a nice note. I recall discovering a stash of notes here at St. Mary's from 23 years ago when the school closed.  The newspapers and some very vocal but few people were out for the pastor, using attacks of "racist" and "uncaring."  The pastor, then, saved all the dozens of notes from people offering to him their understanding at the difficult decision he made.”

17. Give Him Space

“Sometimes it's good to be just left alone, too.  Stay away from what is called "unkind kindness" which is assuming Father is (Lonely, depressed, stressed, anxious, etc) when sometimes he needs to just blow off some steam.”

18. Invite Him Over

“It's nice when people think to invite me to family gatherings: special birthdays or anniversary celebrations, holiday dinners (even though I usually decline because I'm with my own family -- it's nice to be invited).”

19. Strive for Holiness

“Ultimately, being the saint God desires them to be!  There’s nothing more exciting for a priest than witnessing holiness in the lives of the people to whom he ministers; not only is that an experience of grace that his labor is bearing fruit but it’s also tremendously edifying in his own pursuit of holiness.”

I hope this list has inspired you to do something for your priest. Remember, each priest has his own preferences and ways that make him feel appreciated. Some may really like being invited over for dinner, while other priests may recharge with a quiet dinner alone in the rectory. Every priest I contacted mentioned a well-thought, meaningful letter or card mentioning specific ways he helped you. Maybe that’s a great place to start. No matter what you do, let’s make sure we let our priests know just how much we care for them.


Deacon Mitch

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Our Priests at the ATV Festival

     Fr Andrew & Fr Kyle before the big race!

    Fr. Andrew talking trash & confident!

    Fr Kyle with the confidence of a winner!

    The big race,,,,,and the winner is....Fr Andrew....the rematch is on for next year!

   Preparation for the Blessing!

   With all this fun.......wouldn't you want to be a Priest here?

   Bonjour et Adieu mes Amis,

    Deacon Mitch

    More pics to add....

   Who wants to come to Berlin/Gorham?