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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, October 31, 2014


So on your journey of faith, are you on cruise control?  Are you just checking  off the to do list, or worse of all are you complacent about your faith? Are we missing out on opportunities to be who Christ has called us to be.  Faith isn't simply a one on one with you and God. We are all in this together...when one suffers we all suffer no matter where they are, be it Syria, Iraq, or here in Berlin or Gorham, or anywhere. There are times I suffer from this malaise of complacency and this Cursillo has recharged my batteries. I hope and pray that all of you can find those moments to recharge your relationship with Christ.


Deacon Mitch 

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Today is the moment, today is the right time! A few weeks ago a friend shared how much he has heard about our Priests. There definitely is a buzz in the community. Weeks have gone by, and I have seen him several times, knowing in my heart he hasn't gone to attend Mass yet. Filled with the Spirit today is the day! I asked, and no he hasn't gone yet.Things have come up, that moment hasn't been right yet. He shared that this Saturday would be the day. I am really tempted to be there just to greet him for the coming home celebration. I have inventory that day, kind of busy, but scheduled to get out early. Maybe one hour sooner might be the difference. I will be there, hoping that day is the day!


Deacon Mitch 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Today's thought

Come to me all you who labor and I will give you rest! Take my yoke and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart. 

There are no promises of an easy way of life, no guarantees! There is a promise that Christ will share the burden and help me carry the load if only I trust in Him! Don't be stubborn, don't be the hero! Through this challenge I can grow and do more than I could have ever imagined if only I can fully trust in Him to share the load!


Deacon Mitch

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

One more thought on this Blessed Day

Ant. 1 My commandment is this: love one another as I have loved you.

This is the first antiphon from Morning Prayer!

Deacon Mitch

A few days late but a gentle reminder in honor of our 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


St Paul reminds us that our life needs to mirror Christ, the path to Salvation runs through the Cross. Turn to the Cross, turn to prayer, turn to the Body of Christ.


Deacon Mitch

Monday, October 27, 2014

A pop up you will love

O Lord Jesus Christ, open the eyes of my heart that I may hear your word, and understand and do your will, for I am a sojourner upon the Earth.

Hide not your commandments from me, but open my eyes, that I may perceive the wonders of your Law.

Speak unto me the hidden and secret things of your wisdon.

On you do I set my hope, O my God, that you shall enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of your knowledge; not only to cherish those things which are written, but to do them;

That in reading the lives and sayings of the Saints I may not sin, but that such may serve for my restoration, enlightenment and sanctification, for the salvation of my soul, and the inheritance of life everlasting.

For you are the enlightenment of those who lie in darkness, and from you comes every good deed and every gift. Amen.

prayer of St. John Chrysostom

On searching through Scripture on my my IPad app Laudate this is what popped up! May we all takes steps to move with Christ.


Deacon Mitch


Give us strength in temptation, endurance in trial,
– and gratitude in prosperity.


Deacon Mitch

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Baptism, the doorway to the Church! It is with great joy that I have been Baptizing children. Our numbers are up! This past Sunday I serrved and preached at three Masses and Baptized another gorgeous child! I am so happy in my vocation, and can't help but smile. Check out the pictures..

It all begins at the back of the Church..Juliana's first steps into her new life..a child of Christ!

We move to the Altar of Christ!

The prayers, as we prepare for that solemn moment.

Mother Mary looking over us!

Anointing with the Holy Oil of Salvation 

What a beautiful baby!

Juliana, I Baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!


Welcome Home Juliana...Alleluia..Alleluia...Alleluia!


Deacon Mitch

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Proclaim the Good News!

One of the duties of a Deacon is to proclaim the Good News! Tomorrow is my buddy Fr Andrew's 40th....I mean 36th Birthday! Here are a few pictures of my handiwork !


Deacon Mitch

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Who is invited?

These words from Dorothy Day should challenge us as to whom is invited!

Dorothy Day, who was completely given to God and to God's poor, once said, "Even the lowest, most depraved, we must see Christ in them and love them to folly. When we suffer from dirt, lack of privacy, heat and cold, coarse food, let us rejoice" (quoted by James Forest in Love Is the Measure, Paulist Press, 1986). Day had learned, as Paul did (second reading), to make the best of every circumstance. Surely she could also say with Paul, "I can do all things in him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).

Although I have made mention of this before, I think it bears repeating. Day died on Nov. 29, 1980 (the same year that another champion of social justice, Archbishop Oscar Romero, was martyred for his commitment to God and God's people). Day's funeral Mass was attended by priests and nuns, but also by bag ladies, addicts, beggars, the homeless and all those other poor ones in whom she saw the face of God.

Anyone looking on at those gathered for the feast in today's Gospel, and on those who came together for Day's funeral, might characterize these groups as a motley crew. And so they were; and so we are, a community of diverse members called together by God and graced with the gifts and ability to care for one another. Until the final call to the joys and abundance of eternity, we remain responsible for all God's least ones, who have been entrusted to our keeping.

From today's National Catholic Reporter.


Deacon Mitch

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Diocese shared this!

Liked · 6 hrs · Edited · 

Here is a picture of Rev. Andrew Nelson, Deacon Mitch Couture and some friends at the Blessing of the Animals for the Feast of St. Francis, this past Saturday at St. Anne Church of Good Shepherd Parish in Berlin.
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Making the headlines!


Deacon Mitch

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The threat of rain held off!

For the Feast of St Francis showers were predicted. Looking heavenward Fr Andrew suggested we use the short Rite. All went well with many happy faces, maybe not the cats, but many indeed! Here are a few pictures ....

    Yes, we had a duck that my best friend brought. Notice the hamster Fr Andrew is holding. Next year,
     who knows?


   Deacon Mitch 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Celebrating the vigil of the Feast of St Francis at Holy Family

I love animals! I have ever since I can remember. One of my personal wishes as a Deacon was to bring back the Blessing of the Animals. Thanks to our priests it is a reality. Here is the first picture 


    Deacon Mitch