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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 ...

Monday, November 30, 2015

A brief novena to prepare for the Year of Divine Mercy

You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world.
O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy,
envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat 3 times)
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

I confess to Almighty God

It is said at evening prayers, at times you will hear it said at mass, the Confiteor.  We all know this prayer:  I confess to Almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault, through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God. 

There is one line in there that has struck me straight to the heart. In what I have done, and in what I have failed to do! Unfortunately  isn't it true that in most of our prayers we fall in the habit of being too robotic.  Yes we do recite the words, but do we really understand what we are saying? In what I have done, and in what I have failed to do.  The sin of omission. The most overlooked sin in our lives. How many times have you said to yourself, I am a good person? Were  there any times in your life, that you really didn't do anything wrong but you failed to right a wrong  with compassion and mercy.  Obviously I'm writing about this because it's triggering something in my life. Not doing something wrong, doesn't mean you're completely right either. I recently followed a blog that  took it one step further, when they said the following: in what I have said, and in what I have failed to say. That one could be a double whammy. How many times in my relationships I was quick to say the wrong things, or how many times I didn't try to encourage someone. It seems like almost every day I am reminded of my favorite scripture verse "Encourage each other daily while it is still today!"

 The challenge for all of us is for each and every day to break apart that one portion of this prayer and make it the most important thing in our lives. To walk away from the sin of omission. To try to be perfect like God!

Monday, November 23, 2015

A pie in the face & Bring back the Dicky

Yesterday morning we had our annual Parish November to remember event. We had a pancake with scrambled eggs and sausage breakfast. It was a big hit. One of the things I realize that it wasn't just about  raising money for the parish. Too often times in life we get caught up about  judging the success  by dollars and cents. This one wasn't one of those. This one had a completely different feel to it, right from the start. Most of the times in years past, it was always the same people who are in charge of the events, father Kyle did a left turn on this one. He began by soliciting One by one our youngest families to be in charge. They were definitely up to the task. There was so many games for young families to play, to enjoy themselves, just to be with each other. And the verdict on this one, is Mission accomplished. This event was a testament of where our future lies and I'm happy to say it is very bright. A very disturbing comment we often times hear in Berlin is that all that's going on are funerals. To those people I say, your comments are very hurtful, but worst of all way off base. After several years of hardly anyone participating in the RCIA program, last year we had seven, this year we have 15 so far. Baptisms are going through the roof, we have had over 20 baptisms within the last month and a half. I could honestly go on and on to tell you of the many good things that are happening here in Berlin and Gorham.

Now I'm sure you want to know what the pie in the face was. We allowed the parishioners to perform an auction to raise money by pieing the pastor, the associate pastor, and yes also the Deacon in the face with a cream pie. My wife was given the honor & courtesy by my mother to hit me and she did a good job.

And now for the Dicky, or the mock turtleneck. You must remember those items growing up I know I do. Father Andrew brought that up and we even checked  Amazon.com and they are still for sale. I am seriously thinking of getting one just for fun, nothing else. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

To live by

Life is beauty, admire it,
Life is bliss, taste it,
Life is a dream, realize it,
Life is a challenge, meet it,
Life is a duty, complete it,
Life is a game, play it,
Life is precious, care for it,
Life is wealth, keep it,
Life is love, enjoy it,
Life is mystery, know it,
Life is a promise, fulfill it,
Life is sorrow, overcome it,
Life is a song, sing it,
Life is a struggle, accept it,
Life is tragedy, confront it,
Life is an adventure, dare it,
Life is happiness, deserve it,
Life is life, defend it.

From St Therese of Lisieux

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

What to do

In the face of such strong attacks by the enemies of the Church of God, are we to remain inactive? Is that all we can do, complain and cry? No! Every one of us has a holy obligation to build a trench and personally hurl back the assaults of the enemy.

—St. Maximilian Kolbe

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The 33 - Official Trailer [HD]

 Please Check out this Trailer....and learn the rest of the story, the story of a Permanent Deacon who believed that in his weakness God is the answer! God made the impossible possible.The man who said lets go get the miners is a Permanent Deacon from Texas. The technique he used to save them has been attempted four more times for other reasons than saving human lives and failed each time. There are no coincidences in life! Praise God

Friday, November 13, 2015

For our Brothers & Sisters in France

As Catholic Christians, let us pray:

Lord, the ones you love are under siege and in danger at the hands of those who do not know you, and who do not love life. Already many are dead, and the grief will be terrible. We beg your mercy on the souls of the dead, and your healing upon those injured; but we beg your mercy upon the city of Paris and the people therein, as they are targeted by a dark madness that travels among us. We understand nothing, Lord, but we know that a light shines in the darkness, and the darkness does not overcome it. Christ Jesus, light of the world, come into this darkness. In your light, we see light.

Notre Dame de Paris, pray for the people of your city! Our Lady of Grace, you who showed yourself to Saint Catherine Laboure and brought miracles, who smiled upon Saint Therese of Lisieux and created a missionary, in your holy Motherhood, please intercede for your fearful and endangered people; bring your consolations to the people of Paris and all of France. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, hear us.

Saint Therese of Lisieux, Patron of France, pray for them
Saint John of Arc, Patron of France, pray for them.
Saint Martin of Tours, Patron of France, pray for them
Saint Remigius, Patron of France, (pray for them)
Saint John Vianney…
Saint Jeanne Jugan…
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux…
Saint Germain Cousin…
Saint Peter Julian Eymard…
Saint Louis…
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque…
Saint Peter Fourier…
Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat…
Saints Louis and Zelie Martin…
Saint Jane Frances de Chantal…
Saint Catherine Laboure…
Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne…
Saint John Eudes…
Saint Vincent de Paul…
Saint Hilary of Poitiers
Saint Isaac Jogues…
Saint Jane de Chantal…
Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle…
Saint Benedict Joseph Labre…

Coptic Martyrs, victims of ISIS, pray for them

All you holy men and women, pray for France, and pray for us.

St. Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen..

From the Anchoress at Aletia

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How holy?

[Jesus] came to put a harlot above a Pharisee, a penitent robber above a high priest, and a prodigal son above his exemplary brother. To all the phonies and fakers who would say that they could not join the Church because his Church was not holy enough, he would ask, “How holy must the Church be before you will enter into it?”

Fulton J. Sheen

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A change of appetite.

Something has changed in me recently, call it the effect of the Cursillo, but either way there is a change. In the last couple weeks I've made it a very conscious effort to spend more time in study. I downloaded the app. Lighthouse Catholic media, and I've listened to presentations from Dr. Scott Hahn. What they have done for me is to increase my appetite for scripture. All I can think of is the following passage from the book of Jeremiah .....When I found your words, I devoured them; your words were my joy, the happiness of my heart. Jeremiah 15:16. I have to say I am enjoying the diet I am on.

I will end with this final thought also from Dr. Scott Hahn...Study will lead to prayer, prayer will lead to greater study.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Which Beatitudes

The devil's beatitudes.....

1.  Blessed are those who are too tired, too busy, too distracted to spend an hour once a week with their fellow Christians — they are my best workers!

2.  Blessed are those Christians who wait to be asked and expect to be thanked — I can use them.

3.  Blessed are the touchy who stop going to church — they are my missionaries.

4.  Blessed are the troublemakers — they shall be called my children.

5. Blessed are the complainers — I’m all ears to them.

6. Blessed are those who are bored with the minister’s mannerism and mistakes — for they get nothing out of his sermons.

7.  Blessed is the church member who expects to be invited to his own church — for he is a part of the problem instead of the solution.

8.  Blessed are those who gossip — for they shall cause strife and divisions that please me.

9.  Blessed are those who are easily offended — for they will soon get angry and quit.

10. Blessed are those who do not give an offering to carry on God’s work — for they are my helpers.

11.  Blessed is he who professes to love God but hates his brother and sister — for he shall be with me forever!

12.  Blessed are you who, when you read this think it is about other people and not yourself — I’ve got you too!

and this last one is my own addition...

13. Blessed are you who leave church early, and think you've accomplished everything you need to! -