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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 ...

Saturday, August 29, 2015

With both feet in!

 This past weekend I got another opportunity to preach. I was inspired to the Holy Spirit why watching my sales rep talk about two employees who are struggling in the company. He likened their attitude and demeanor as two people who were standing in a doorway, with 1 foot in, and 1 foot out. As you stated the negative is your are never fully committed  when that is the way you position yourself. It's incredible how we as Christians live our lives that way. Not fully committing to Christ and his church.  It's creating a lot of soul-searching for myself. It's something I'll be working on every day. Working on both feet in and fully committed.

 Dona Nobis Pacem

 Deacon Mitch 

Friday, August 28, 2015

The feast of Saint Augustine

. You inspire us, O Lord, to delight in praising you because you made us for yourself; our hearts are restless until they rest in you. Saint Augustine

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What are we cultivating?

James 3:17-18

Wisdom from above is first of all innocent. It is also peaceable, lenient, docile, rich in sympathy and the kindly deeds that are its fruits, impartial and sincere. The harvest of justice is sown in peace for those who cultivate peace. 

Dona Nobis Pacem 

Deacon Mitch 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Blessing of the child within the womb

This past weekend I served at the 9 AM mass. I could not help but stare at this young woman who is about to receive one of her greatest blessings in the world a child next spring. She is a wonderful young woman. I got to know her at a very young age being her basketball coach. She always had a very good heart and an open mind to learning. She was visiting home this weekend and she sat behind my wife and my granddaughter at mass. After mass I just had to go see her and congratulate her of the coming day. I asked her for a favor, "would you allow me the honor to bless your child in the womb?" Her answer was yes and she was about as excited as I was. I asked her who her favorite Saint was, and she said her family was very close to Saint Anne. So beneath the statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and good Saint Anne, I called upon her intercession to have Jesus bless the child, the parents, and the very anxious aunt. It was an honor to have  her to be the first to receive this blessing from me. Secretly inside I'm hoping I get to baptize this child.

Dona Nobis Pacem

Deacon Mitch know

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Eucharist

Turning his attention to the Mass itself, Pope Francis said that sometimes people are heard to say What is Mass for? I go to church when I feel like it, and I pray better alone. "

But, the Pope stressed,  “the Eucharist is not a private prayer or a beautiful spiritual experience.

The Eucharist, said the Holy Father, “ is Jesus who gives himself entirely to us.” Those who feed on Him and abide in Him through Holy Communion and faith, he added, will see their lives transformed as a gift to God and to others.

In conclusion, the Pope recalled Jesus’ words, "He who eats this bread will live forever".  He then explained that by living  in communion with Jesus on this earth we can look forward to the voice of the Risen Lord who calls us when we finally close our eyes.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Patron Saint of Deacons


In honor to my brothers throughout the world.

Saint Lawrence was the chief among the seven deacons of the Roman Church. In the year 258 Pope Sixtus was led out to die, and St. Lawrence stood by, weeping that he could not share his fate. "I was your minister," he said, "when you consecrated the blood of Our Lord; why do you leave me behind now that you are about to shed your own?" The holy Pope comforted him with the words, "Do not weep, my son; in three days you will follow me." This prophecy came true. The prefect of the city knew the rich offerings which the Christians put into the hands of the clergy, and he demanded the treasures of the Roman Church from Lawrence, their guardian. The Saint promised, at the end of three days, to show him riches exceeding all the wealth of the empire, and set about collecting the poor, the infirm, and the religious who lived by the alms of the faithful. He then bade the prefect "see the treasures of the Church" Christ, whom Lawrence had served in his poor, gave him strength in the conflict which ensued. Roasted over a slow fire, he made sport of his pains. "I am done enough," he said, "eat, if you will." At length Christ, the Father of the poor, received him into eternal habitations. God showed by the glory which shone around St. Lawrence the value He set upon his love for the poor. Prayers innumerable were granted at his tomb; and he continued from his throne in heaven his charity to those in need, granting them, as St. Augustine says, "the smaller graces which they sought, and leading them to the desire of better gifts"

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Living in a gray world!

The reference to this blog is not coincidental, for there is one thing that I have learned, that there are no coincidences in life. It would be very easy to say that this began last Saturday, but that would be a mistake. For the past few weeks I've been receiving a lot of comments about wearing gray clerics. Even my wife has had to fend these questions, these concerns. Why is he wearing that today? Who is that guy in gray? Who does he think he is? What is he? Ironically, these are mostly happening when I am out in the public, away from the church. When I am in the church, or in the setting that lends itself to the ministry, there seems to be no confusion. Even last Sunday evening when I greeted the congregation after they were leaving the 6 PM mass, I received hugs, and people sharing how good it looks. Some even asked when did this start.

Quite a few months ago, our bishop instructed all the deacons to wear gray clerics whenever they were ministering, or representing the church in some fashion. 

 That being said, I understand the looks, the confusion, and the questions. Having a deacon in this community is not new, having one wearing clerics is.

There are many times after mass, or even before mass, people say "hi father"! I've gotten to the point that I'm not correcting them anymore. I am a father, just not the one they are thinking of.

I am beginning to understand, and realize also that part of this change, this new look for some, created this confusion. But the most important thing, is to understand that through the grace of God my actions my words will be God's word and God's actions. They will see Christ, and they will realize that this sacred order instituted by Jesus will be a sign of his presence in their lives.

In the meantime, my brothers and I assisted by our wives, will continue to learn how to live in a gray world.

Dona Nobis Pacem

Deacon Mitch

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Lorica

Lorica of St. Patrick 

I arise today 

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity 

Through belief in the threeness 

Through confession of the Oneness 

Of the Creator of creation

I arise today 

Through the strength of Christ with his baptism, 

Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial, 

Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension 

Through the strength of his descent for the Judgement of doom. 

I arise today 

Through the strength of the love of Cherubim 

In obedience to the Angels, 

In the service of the Archangels, 

In hope of resurrection to meet with reward, 

In prayers of patriarchs, 

In predictions of prophets, 

In preaching of Apostles, 

In faiths of confessors, 

In innocence of Holy Virgins, 

In deeds of righteous men. 

I arise today 

Through the strength of heaven: 

Light of sun 

Brilliance of moon 

Splendor of fire 

Speed of lightning 

Swiftness of wind  

Depth of sea 

Stability of earth 

Firmness of rock. 

I arise today 

Through God's strength to pilot me: 

God's might to uphold me, 

God's wisdom to guide me 

God's eye to look before me, 

God's ear to hear me, 

God's word to speak for me, 

God's hand to guard me, 

God's way to lie before me, 

God's host to secure me 

against snares of devils 

against temptations of vices 

against inclinations of nature 

against everyone who shall wish me ill, 

afar and anear, 

alone and in a crowd. 

I summon today all these powers between me and these evils 

Against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and my soul, 

Against incantations of false prophets, 

Against black laws of heathenry, 

Against false laws of heretics, 

Against craft of idolatry, 

Against spells of women and smiths and wizards, 

Against every knowledge that endangers man's body and soul. 

Christ to protect me today 

against poison, against burning, 

against drowning, against wounding, 

so that there may come abundance of reward. 

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, 

Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, 

Christ on my right, Christ on my left 

Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise 

Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, 

Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, 

Christ in every eye that sees me, 

Christ in every ear that hears me. 

I arise today 

Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, 

Through belief in the Threeness, 

Through confession of the Oneness 

Towards the Creator. 

Salvation is of the Lord 

Salvation is of the Lord 

Salvation is of Christ 

May thy salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.

Please pray and continue to rediscover the great joy that is found in our faith!

Dona Nobis Pacem

Deacon Mitch

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Adieu mon Amis!

This past Saturday we said goodbye to Ryan Amazeen. This summer was Ryan's first assignment, and we were very blessed to have him in our midst. His love for Christ, his enthusiasm, his joy for living, Will be dearly missed! Here's one last picture of the four of us gathered together. Men in black..... And gray too!

Dona Nobis Pacem

Deacon Mitch

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Feast of St Jean-Baptiste Vianney

Tomorrow is the feast of St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney,  Who is the patron saint of all the priests. I thought it was appropriate to publish once more this very timely reminder to all of us!

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