Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Terry and I just came back from vacation with the parish of Saint Gabriel to New York City. It was a great trip to relax, and revisit a city that we had not seen in 15 years. The crowds are bigger, and obviously the traffic was a lot crazier than it was many years ago. Two highlights to stand out from the trip, The Jersey boys, The musical on the four seasons. Terry and I were singing our favorite songs along with this group. The other highlight was truly an emotional one for me. 15 years ago Terry and I went to the top of one of the twin towers, specifically the south tower. It's still touches me today sharing this with all of you. My eyes are welling up just like they did last Thursday. I still pray for the souls who were lost that day, and for the souls of those who caused this needless destruction. Here's a picture that I would like to share for you......
Sunday, June 21, 2015
I've recently shared with all of you how this weekend was going to be a challenging one. For the very first time I preached three Masses in one day...phew! After several hours of prep I was ready to go. I actually spilled the beans to Terry the night before what to expect. I want to preface by thanking two wonderful priests who are definitely making me a better Deacon. My pastor Fr. Kyle has pushed me to preach without notes and I have loved the experience. Fr. Andrew has been pushing me to preach as often as possible and the practice has helped tremendously. The next person I'm so grateful for is my loving wife. She shared with me a few weeks ago that I needed to separate myself from the ambo and walk around and have a closer and more intimate conversation with the parishioners. Was I nervous, yes, but not as much as I thought I would be. Today was a day to spread my wings and I loved the experience. St. Anne's church is very large and there is much distance away from the people. Holy Family is smaller and with only one mic there, it couldn't be done. So, either way the homily was well received. I asked "the boss" Fr. Kyle what he thought and his first words were....what did you think? I told him I felt that this was actually my best so far, and that I know I can, and want to get better. The critique was good, he also shared some thoughts on how to improve on the next one. The Priests asked how often I wanted to preach and I shared that because of work, once a month would be great! I have some time to prepare, before the next time I preach, but in the meantime I continue to pray and spend time with the Lord.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
It's been actually quite a long time since I've posted any of my thoughts and how ministry is going in my life. Yes I've been posting pictures and a few thoughts and phrases from other people I respect, in some ways it feels like to me like a Facebook posting. Not like that's really bad, but it's not like many of the postings that I've done in the past. So here goes, I've been issued a challenge to start thinking of ways to enhance my ministry, and put a plan together. One of the challenges that I received was that it had to include visiting the nursing homes. This is something I haven't done in a long time, and even before that it was an area ministry that I didn't spend very much time in. So this is what I came up with so far: prison ministry about four times a year, nursing homes also about four times a year, hospital Ministry still yet to be determined, spending some time working in the food pantry. Baptisms have been a very special part of my ministry in the past year, and as I grow as a deacon I also feel that my ability to evangelize and prepare the families is growing. This week I had to handle a situation that on the surface would have seemed very delicate, yet by the grace of God A new life begins to shine. The same would have to be said about doing funerals and committals. I seem to be growing, learning from the various experiences I've had. Just a week ago I met with the family, for what was thought to be only a committal. I don't want to belittle what a committal is, but it definitely doesn't take up a lot of time. The time spent with the family was an epiphany for me, and I was able to share some insights with the family. This past weekend I did the funeral for two wonderful people. I feel blessed that I was able to bring the presence of Christ to them in these difficult moments. My next challenge is coming this weekend, I will be preaching at three masses on Sunday. I'm extremely excited and yet nervous too. I'm also preaching for father Kyle, who is an exceptional homilist. I've been preparing this for about two weeks now and I'm starting to put together the notes for the homily. I will be preaching without notes, and my wife has issued a challenge for me. As of this time I don't want to reveal it, because I want to surprise her.
For those of you who are unaware, I have a full-time job working for the Sherwin-Williams paint company. Like all things in life we face challenges, yet even in the difficult times, in those times where It may seem dark, my faith guides me. I offer up my work daily to Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. Just this week I received a report outlining the performance of my store in marketing initiatives. I am part of the Eastern Division, and my store was ranked number one in my district, and number 24 in the entire division. There are well over 700 stores in the division. As you probably can tell I am quite ecstatic,and thank God for guiding me through those challenging moments.
There will be more to tell you shortly. I will let you all how the preaching went this weekend, and what that little challenge my wife has asked me to do.
May God bless you all this week!
Peace Deacon Mitch