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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, December 30, 2016

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

A time for inner peace… And then a question.

  For about as long as I've been doing this blog I've probably been preaching several times about finding balance and the necessity for inner peace. Tuesday night I had a couple options of things to do one of them was to be with the RCIA team to teach,  The other was a little more simple, to go bowling.  I chose to go bowling. For me bowling is more than just a night out it's a chance to just relax just to have some fun, just to be with friends. I made the right choice. It wasn't just because I had one of the best nights of bowling I've had in two years, it's because I had so much fun being with my friends and doing something just for me. We were loud,  we heckled  people, and we were definitely competitive. Towards the end of the final game one of my teammates asked me a question, do you have a moment to talk to me after bowling.  I was a little concerned but I know I needed to do this. After we were done,  we talked, I listened. I offered him a little bit of advice, some spiritual advice.  He seemed a little bit anxious, and yet also determined. I recommended him a very simple message spend time with Jesus,  get down on your knees and humble yourself, and pray the rosary.

 After a couple of days I decided it was time to touch base with him, and sent him a text message. Last night I got two answers. One from him and one from Jesus Christ. He sent me a text  that everything was getting better, to young people thinking each one was angry at the other. He sounded so relieved. So much so That he was very thankful of me thinking about him and that his prayer life was getting better, with more confidence as he put it. Needless to say I'm  cloud nine right now.

 So I know you want to know what Jesus had to say. Jesus spoke to me by sending me to the right place at the right time. All He did was ask you to be his eyes and ears, to one of his children. All I did was share the words of Christ. It's pretty simple but highly amazing. Too often we downplay that Jesus
finds a way to use us in his plan of salvation. The response for us is very simple, say yes!

In Scripture we find two excellent examples of people saying yes to God. On the feast of the immaculate conception we hear Mary saying yes. Saying yes to something she doesn't understand, saying yes because she loves God, saying yes because she is obedient, saying yes because she is faithful, saying yes because she trusts in God, saying yes because she knows to be a true disciple means total surrender.

The next to say yes is St. Joseph. Again saying yes because he believes, because he is faithful, because he trusts in God, because he knows it requires total surrender.

During this fourth weekend and Advent let it be a mission to be ready, to be always ready, to say yes to Jesus Christ.


Deacon Mitch

Saturday, December 10, 2016

An Advent message

I was blessed this morning to be able to preach to the parish for a Saturday  morning mass.  I figured father had a busy schedule, and I can always use the practice. I will give you the highlights, two points that I thought were critical in today's Gospel. Walking the Journey in faith,  and keeping our focus on the Lord. Even though this is important during Advent, it should be a daily occurrence. When we stay focused, when we live for Jesus Christ,  we begin to walk into the light. When we do it on our own, and want to take control, it is them that we let the darkness set in. We are children of light, we need to put on the armor of light.  We must live as what we were created for, that all our lives glorify God.


 Deacon Mitch 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Saying goodbye!

  I haven't been all day much more than two years. I have recently found how challenging, yes so challenging being a deacon. Early this week I was just informed, that an extremely dear friend had just passed away.  Larry was one-of-a-kind, truly a unique man. There wasn't much that Larry did halfway, he lived life to the fullest. Tomorrow I travel a short distance to say goodbye to my friend and to share my condolences to the family and friends.  Larry was such a beautiful gift that God gave me in my life, I am so blessed to have him be a part of my life. To God I will always be so grateful. I ask you all to pray with  for the soul of Larry Gallant, and the family and friends he leaves behind.


Deacon Mitch

Monday, November 21, 2016

Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,

It is something I absolutely love to do! I know I've said it at least 100 times, the gift to be able to baptize children is so precious, such a joy in my life! Each and every time I baptize there is a sense of joy, a sense of comfort, and it is all received in the sense of humility. I am truly humbled to be given this  great honor.

I had a very busy weekend and there are far too many highlights to share, but needless to say the baptism yesterday afternoon was absolutely right up there. 

I know you're looking at the posting on this blog and wondering what does this have to do with baptism. Well here it goes...immediately after the baptism a couple comes to share some good news for me. They thanked me, and shared that you must of been doing this for years. A compliment  Indeed, as I told them I've only been baptizing children for two years.

And then it came…… "We have a question to ask you?" Immediately bells and whistles resounding in my head, saying here it comes. The couple shared with me how they have a calling to come back to the Catholic Church, and they wanted to know if they could split their time between two churches, the Baptist and Catholic Church.

I told them I believe you've already answered the question. They gave me a puzzled look. I shared that you want to, and feel that you have a call to come back to the Catholic Church, and that they probably should realize that Jesus is calling them back home. I reminded them that Jesus formed  one church, not many churches, simply one. I shared with them that the Baptists are very good people, and they can find joy, peace, and the love of Christ there. But I also shared with them that the fullness of truth, the fullness of faith resides in the Catholic Church. I shared with them that they probably have heard that they have a personal relationship with God, with Jesus. I also told him that as a Catholic I have an intimate relationship with Jesus. Where upon receiving the blessed sacrament, we receive the body and the soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. There are no other churches that offer that, there is only one. I reminded them of the book of John quoted Jesus that unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink of his blood, you do not have any life in you.

I then asked them to pray about this, and if the Holy Spirit moves them they should seek out a Priest to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and then the Joy of receiving once again the Blessed Sacrament.

They then walked away from me. All I can do is pray, that these words that Jesus gave me, would be enough to bring them back home! I leave this all in the hands of the Holy Spirit!


Deacon Mitch

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Being a true leader

I'm still reading the book be over man a Catholic vision of male spirituality. And I'm sure you've already figured out that I have another quote that I need to share with you. And here it is......"Being a leader is not all about the Benjamin's, rather it is all about the beatitudes."

In the beatitudes Jesus tells us what a real leader is....


3“Blessed are the poor in spirit,*

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.a

4* Blessed are they who mourn,b

for they will be comforted.

5* Blessed are the meek,c

for they will inherit the land.

6Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,*

for they will be satisfied.

7Blessed are the merciful,

for they will be shown mercy.d

8* Blessed are the clean of heart,e

for they will see God.

9Blessed are the peacemakers,

for they will be called children of God.

10Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,*

for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.f

11Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me.g12* Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.h Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Let's all make it a point this weekend to review the beatitudes and strive to be a true leader.


Deacon Mitch

Monday, November 14, 2016

Do we decide?

I'm still on the book .....Behold  the Man"  and there is now another quote  I have to share with you...."Do we accept the responsibility of life giving love and communion that comes with being Catholic, or do we decide and define for ourselves what being Catholic means, influenced by a culture of death that chokes the word and bears no fruit?" 

What does it mean to each one of us about being Catholic, and who gets to decide?


Deacon Mitch

Monday, November 7, 2016

Must read for real men


Maybe, because no one asked!

Yesterday I was greeted with a very pleasant surprise. Josh Livingston the seminarian who spent the summer with us here in Berlin and Gorham popped in at the 11 o'clock mass at holy family church. To say I was a little shocked would be an understatement. I was definitely excited to see him again, he is a very good young man Who is discerning his vocation to the priesthood. Josh was visiting, and also promoting and making everyone aware that this is vocation awareness week. He asked us all to offer prayers, and offer words of encouragement, and also to reach out to people who have discerned becoming a priest, a religious, and may be a deacon.

Today I assisted father Michael at a funeral mass here at Saint Anne's Church in Berlin. Another pleasant surprise occurred, very very surprising. There was a young man who came forward to offer words of rememberance of his grandmother. I and father Michael both commented after the mass how impressed we were with this young man. His poise, his voice, the words he chose, he was filled with the spirit.

At the cemetery both father Michael and I made a point to talk to him and share with him how impressed we were by the way he spoke of his grandmother and his and her faith. I have never heard anyone so eloquent and so faithful at the same moment at a funeral. 

Then came the moment that created a  flashback in my life. I remember how vividly the moment when father Richard came to my store and asked me to consider being a deacon. I look at it just like a coach asking someone to be a member of his team. And what a special team this is, to serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

So here goes, I went out to Keith and asked him…… "Have you ever considered being a deacon?" His response was pretty impressive, he didn't say no, Rather he said "I'm not sure they would except me because of the ages of my children. It is something that I discussed with my children there vocation in life." Wow, this young man has his head on straight. I shared with him that he should cry and that the diocese is looking for a few good men, and that I would also pray for him. The next thing I did when I got back home is sent an email to the diocese. I told them they have a candidate that they really need to look into, and at least have a discussion with his pastor.

My challenge for all of you is this week, rather for each and every day. Pray for vocations, encourage our young people to discern their true vocation. And lastly do one thing more, go right up and speak to them and tell them that you feel that quite possibly they have a vocation as a priest, a religious, or a deacon. Do not fall into the trap, of making a mistake, by not asking them!


Deacon Mitch

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Take away from the weekend retreat.

Terry and I had a very restful and enjoyable retreat this past weekend. This was actually the first time since ordination that I attended a full weekend retreat. I was so looking forward to being with my brothers and sisters in Christ, and the Lord did not disappoint.

The retreat this past weekend centered on the Eucharist! I was taught during formation that there are no coincidences in life. The Eucharist is and must continue to be the center of all of our lives. And is with any gifts that we receive, that gift must be shared with everyone. 

There were so many things that I could share with  all of you about this past weekend, but there is one single phrase that continues to resonate in my heart. It actually was something that father Kyle and I discussed just a few weeks ago. Father Kyle shared with me that we must be very careful around the Blessed Sacrament. He shared that we have to be so careful that we do not fall into the trap, the trap of familiarity. He shared that it is too easy to fall into that trap. This is especially so for priests and deacons. We are around the Blessed Sacrament quite often, and we can become way too casual.

This was the catchphrase that caught my attention…… "Familiarity breeds contempt!"

That phrase hit hard! It is something that I need to work on. It's not that I'm bad at it, but I don't want to fall into the trap. And for all those who receive the Blessed Sacrament, it is very challenging for them also. Years after years after years of lining up to receive the blessed sacrament, it can happen. Believe me it does.

We need to constantly remind ourselves what we have before us, the true body blood and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ! The greatest gift we could ever receive in our lives. 

My prayer for all of us is that we do not become too familiar, too casual, when we are in the presence of Christ!


Deacon Mitch

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Behold the man!

First again, I would love to apologize for taking a very long break. There are so many reasons why, but in essence they are only excuses. I know that I have apologized before, but through the grace of God I will persevere.

It is without a doubt a fact, that our lives are very hectic. We run from here to there, and we live on Reminders and schedules. Those reminders help to keep us on track, and that is good,  but if we forget why we were created in the first place the reminders actually have no purpose.

We were created to Love! We were created to love and serve our Lord Jesus Christ!

I want to share with you that I have not wasted the time away from posting anything on this blog. Several months ago a really good friend of mine, a priest friend of mine, issued a challenge to all his parishioners, read at least one book this year. I am one who is always up for a good challenge. He gave us a list of books to choose from, and I chose one from Saint mother Theresa of Calcutta.

The book was absolutely awesome! So much so, that I was hooked. I know I've shared with all of you that I have never had a great love for reading. I really can't explain why this happened in my life, but it is so. Given that, something needed to change in my life! Father Andrew helped push me to that point, without a doubt from a lot of nudging of the Holy Spirit!

Well here we are several months later, and really not about bragging, but about giving glory to God that time in study was desperately needed. I needed to know more and more about our glorious faith. There became a hunger inside of me that became insatiable. This quote from Jeremiah seems to resonate in my heart and in my mind, when he says when I discovered your word I devoured it! Often times I feel like I'm at a banquet with so much to choose from, so much to devour, but I don't know where to start. Well it started with one book, and now it seems like it will never end. I have a great list of books that I need to go through, realizing that it is all one at a time. 

So here we are and I know you're really wondering where I am going with all of this. The title of this posting should suggest where I am. That is the name of the book that I'm reading at this time, Behold the Man, A Catholic vision of male  spirituality. The book is authored by Deacon Harold 

The main reason why I was drawn to this book, is because I strongly believe that the Holy Spirit is guiding me to work with men in order to become true men of God true men of the Spirit true men of what God has created us to be. With men being about 15% of our parishes population that is going to mass, something needs to change. I am a strong believer that the Lord Jesus Christ through the movement of the Holy Spirit, stirs something within all of us to be agents of change.

Far too often I am hearing these words that are starting to irritate me. I am a good man, I've done enough! As I look at the cross I am reminded of the Jesus prayer "Lord Jesus Christ son of the living God have mercy on me A sinner." Jesus gave it all, he gave himself up completely for us, and we are called to do no less.

I am not telling you that you need to read this book, I am telling you you need to read to discover the richness the beauty in the tradition of Christ's one and only Church, where the fullness of truth resides. Here is the quote that I would love to share it with you at this time, "we cannot, in a sense live life as it is meant to be lived, as it truly exists, if we are not open to participating in the life of the Spirit." It is time for all man to live life in the Spirit!

I am sending this challenge mostly to you men  out there, it's time for us to be who God created us to be, and that is real men who love unconditionally, and who'll share that love unconditionally. This world is sorely lacking in real men! Once again men out there it's time for you guys to be an agent of change.

I promise you through the grace of God that I will put my best effort to post something at least once a week. Tomorrow Terry and I are off to a retreat with our diaconate community. I am so excited as it will be the The first time since ordination joining my brothers and sisters in Christ! It will be a time of reflection and prayer that is desperately needed also in my life. Stand tall my brothers, the devil will not be happy with what you were doing, but stand tall!

May the God of mercy, the God of love, who conquers all fears, descend upon you and remain with you all forever Amen!

Deacon Mitch

Thursday, September 15, 2016

No shortcuts to the top!

Several weeks ago I'm helping my family pack up some belongings of a lost loved one. We were busy and focused on the need at hand to quickly clean up the house. We worked well as a team and accomplished so much in such a short period of time.

In a quiet moment I noticed a book on hiking (he was a hiking nut) that had this title "No shortcuts to the top!" I couldn't help but feel being tugged by this title, almost on a daily basis. It brought memories of my youth where it seemed to be the thing to find a shortcut, to save some time. This process almost always brought this sense of satisfaction accomplished. I felt proud feeling that wow, I was able to do this in less time, finding a way around something.

Two nights ago we were  having an RCIA information night and the doors are wide open. Two people came in looking for information on the primary election that was being held upstairs in our Church Hall. They having found they were in the wrong hall, asked this question....."Is there a shortcut to getting to the top floor?" 

Looking back on my journey of faith, I've noticed many times that I sought the shortcut, a faster way of getting to the top floor without extending myself, or putting in greater effort.

Once again there is the dilemma I'm working on. After ordination I really thought I've read all I need to and I've grown as much as I possibly could. How wrong was I! Jesus has been tugging at me to move forward, to work harder, to pray more, and avoid the shortcuts that human nature is inclined to seek.

So now you maybe asking what I'm doing to avoid the shortcuts and excuses that I've used in the past. I started to pray the rosary daily, and I've grown so much that I've gotten my wife and I to do it together to pray for our children who really need the prayers, two a day now. I've also encouraged a young lady to pray the rosary, and she has procrastinated so I've found a book to help her out with praying the rosary.

The rosary and meditating on the mysteries that are designed for Deacons is changing my life. Yes, another life changing experience, go figure. We are all destined for many life changing events, all we need to do is pray.

Yesterday I preached at daily Mass and the inspiration for my homily was....yes meditating on the mysteries was an epiphany that inspired me to share that joy with my parishioners. Yesterday was the feast of the Exultation of the Cross and I shared with them that two things stood out. That at the Elevation of the Host by our Priest is also that moment where we are at the Intersection of Heaven and Earth...we are there at Mount Calvary at that very moment and that the Cross is the fulfillment of the Eucharist. The Passover, The Last Supper and the Crucifixion is one moment of the Eucharist and we are there. NO shortcuts, we are truly there.

Pray the rosary, encourage others to pray the rosary. Find a way, make it happen, because after all ......There are no shortcuts to the top!

Deacon Mitch

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A time for grief

At the present moment and into some time in the future I will be away grieving the loss of a family member.


Deacon Mitch

Saturday, August 27, 2016

With the help of Mother Mary, a Blue Nun, the hint finally took root!

It's something that I had been doing almost daily as a child but in time it slowly faded away, but obviously never disappeared. The Rosary and pondering the meditations.

 Yes, I have done it regularly but it never took a strong root into my heart until now.

For quite some time now I have been getting some very gentle hints that I should be praying the rosary. I would say it began in earnest when I rejoined the Knights of Columbus and received a gift, a rosary. At the time I said, it's beautiful, it's nice, I'll hand it at the side of my bed. There it stayed for quite some time. I happened to lose it once in my garden when I attempted to pray irregularly. I shared that with my Dad and he gave me his. Another hint that never took root.

A few months ago my mother gave me her father's rosary, wow! My Pepere was a very faithful man. Like in the past I had the perfect place for it, hanging it in one of the shrine areas of the house I have. I thought to myself it looks good.

A few weeks ago I received a gift from my sister in Illinois. My Mom called to tell me to quickly come over to see. A huge rosary with large beads. Wow! What did I do? The same, I had a great place to hang it around the framed charge to a Deacon! It looks great.

A week ago I'm serving Mass and my little niece was there and we had a long talk, and then she shared that Sister Rouen a Blue Nun and a friend gave her a rosary and invited her to pray everyday. I was moved to say to her, let's make a pact that together before Jesus, we will both pray the rosary daily.

The little nudge, or hint, finally took root. I really needed help in something I must work on in my life and I need to tell you that the power of the rosary is immense. I've learned to change my life in so many ways, simply by praying the rosary and meditating on the life of Christ, and Mary.

I also brought out a book I've had since ordination "Ordained to Serve...Prayers and Blessings for Permanent Deacons." In there I discovered a treasure! Meditations that are set for a Deacon to help them in service to Christ and His Church!

I pray that this little story, this little hint, maybe all the nudge you need to pray!

On this feast day of St. Monica, through her intercession we pray for the conversion of all our loved ones who have gone astray. Never lose hope, never stop praying.


Deacon Mitch

Friday, August 12, 2016

Unless you become like a child...

I'm sharing today words from Michael Phelps after las nights win....."I feel like a kid again, and that's the difference, Phelps said. I feel like I did when I was 18. That was the only way I was going to get back and race at this level consistently."

Today and everyday lets make it our life to be a kid again in order to run the good race!


Deacon Mitch 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

How far would you go???

Good afternoon! I'm finally having my first vacation for the year. My wife would remind me that it's about time. This morning I'm listening to the Patrick Madrid Show on Immaculate Heart Radio and the discussion turned to abortion. I must have been fired up listening to the discussion that I had to share the thoughts discussed during break time with her. She reminded me that we had just talked about how I've struggled with coming up with something to share on this blog,  she said...."you have what you are looking for, go ahead and do it." So here it is...A response was given that abortion is okay, after all "it's the law, the Supreme Court said so!"

Patrick then shared "well, slavery at one time was deemed the law of the land and upheld by the Supreme Court, would you agree or disagree that it was a bad law and stand up with Abolitionists?"

The caller struggled to answer the question knowing quite well where this was going. If a law is immoral and Abortion is, shouldn't we work to repeal this law?

The discussion moved on a very slippery slope for many. What about if a gay gene was identified, by the way there isn't, but if there was one how would you answer that question on abortion, or a mother wanting a daughter with dark hair realizing that her next child would be born with red hair.  How far would you go?

Unfortunately all things that are evil that have been introduced with so called good intentions eventually move on to be more and more.

As we approach the canonization of Blessed Mother Teresa let us reflect on her wisdom about Abortion:

"It is poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

"I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is 'Abortion' , because it a war against the child....A direct killing of the innocent child, 'Murder' by the mother herself....And if we can accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love....And we remind ourselves that loves means to be willing to give until it hurts...." 

"The right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father's role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts....a child.....as a competitor, an intrusion and an inconvenience. It has nominally  accorded mothers unfettered dominion over the dependent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters. And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands form their husbands or other sexual partners."

and lastly.....

"If a mother can kill her own child.....what is left for me to kill you and you to kill me....there is nothing in between."

How far would you go?


Deacon Mitch 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Adieu mon Petit Frere

Last night we said Adieu to Fr Andrew. We celebrated a Mass with about 900 of his closest friends. The Love that was displayed was amazing, but not surprising. 

Here are some pictures....

What a night, what a gift he was to all of us. Please pray for him as he temporarily leads our Mother Church in Manchester.


Deacon Mitch

Summer Reading

I recently read in an email that the average American reads one book per year. My challenge was to be above average, which in my case wasn't too hard to beat. My first book was Lord of the Worlds by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson. As I shared before I loved it. 

Fr Andrew had put together a challenge for all of us to read one book this summer. I ordered two. The first was Mr. Blue by Myles Connolly. This one was very good. I preferred Lord of the Worlds, but nonetheless a very good and easy reading book that was written in a similar time.

My next book is from Blesssed, soon to be Saint Mother Teresa....No Greater Love. I picked this one as I'm finding guidance from her to live my life as a Deacon. Great reading, thought provoking, and challenging. Highly recommended. 

I will keep you all posted on my future thoughts.


Deacon Mitch

Monday, June 20, 2016

Time and Promises

Yesterday, was a grand day! Celebrating Father's day in many special ways, by serving at the Altar with Fr. Andrew, by standing by my Dad's side at the end of the Mass greeting everyone; it was a wonderful time. 

Back in the Sacristy  I shared a few moments with Fr. Andrew along with his Mom and Dad. I guess we are all looking over the time Fr. Andrew has spent with us and how quickly it is coming to an end. I would have to say I'm savoring every moment that I get to serve with him, realizing that I may only serve once or twice a year with him from now on into the foreseeable future. Each moment is truly bittersweet. 

His parents are such wonderful people, and I have grown close to them; just like family. His Mom asked about this blog and I shared that work, ministry, family, has been so busy that I have been struggling to find the time. Yes, that old ancient excuse. 

Actually, I've been praying for some time on finding answer to this blog question. I've realized for quite some time that there has been a dry period in this ministry. Yes, it is a ministry, a journey that I've been on for quite a few years now. Looking back I marveled at how the Holy Spirit has moved me to share so many different things going on, and ironically it has always been a little nudge, a grace filled moment that gets me back on track.

Yesterday, I believe that the Holy Spirit in His own time provided me another grace filled moment to move forward. I realize time is important, precious, but also can be used as an excuse for walking away. We have all been charged to manage our gifts, and time is definitely a gift! I know that I'm busy, but I have allowed outside influences to manage my time, or at least being an excuse for the lack of it. Through the grace of God I resolve to move forward, maybe not at the break neck speed I've shared thoughts in the past, but with timely thoughts and words that the spirit is looking to share with me and then with all of you. 

Now for the second word....Promise! I've learned to better manage that word in my life. I believe that most of us have thrown out that word far too frequently, and haphazardly in our lives. My ministry has made me realize how important promises are, like the ones made by adults at Baptism as Godparents and parents baptizing their child. As I meet with people I share with them what they are saying,what they are promising. Once I had someone back out because they realized fully what they are promising to God and in good conscience, couldn't fulfill that.

So what was the impetus to dealing with promises? Again, the conversation with the Nelson's. Mrs. Nelson mentioned she had some issues at her house, and I as a paint expert  I said that I could take a look at it. She said...promise? I hesitated, realizing that I committed myself, and then calmly said....yes! I will make sure that I manage my time to fulfill that promise. Maybe not so much as to looking at a paint problem, but rather as an opportunity to be with people I care for and just enjoying being with them.

So my brothers and sisters, here we are working together to manage time, and keeping promises.

May the Holy Spirit continue to move us all and may the Grace of God nudge us all along to be His Messengers of hope, peace, and love.

Deacon  Mitch

Friday, May 27, 2016

It's already been two years

It's hard to believe but as of this past Tuesday it has been two years since ordination. That evening we celebrated with friends who are also ordained that day.i've been honored to receive text messages from dear friends wishing me the best and a parishioner was in my store yesterday's reminded me of the ordination anniversary too. My biggest Takeaway at this time is how God has perfect timing. I shared with my friends that if we were still in studies this year because of my workload I probably would have to withdraw. What this reminds me of is that God knows what's in my heart I knew when I was ready and his timing was perfect. I am still so humbled by this tremendous honor and I strive each and every day to better myself to try to serve worthily Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, May the blessings of Almighty God descend upon you and remain with you all forever and ever amen

Friday, May 13, 2016

What are the fruits of the Holy Spirit

I was off Sunday and Monday, and upon returning to work on Tuesday morning I see this on my desk..... 

One of my parishioners and a dear friend dropped it off. It took a little detective work to figure out who it was.

Tonight he stopped by to chat and discuss the powers of the fruits of the Holy Spirit and how much you can change peoples lives. As we near the feast of Pentecost these prophetic words I'm much more important today the neighbor ever been. For they are much more than words they are a tool, a gift to all of us. These fruits are giveen to us to be perfect as Christ is called us to be.

And now I'm taking a few minutes to do evening prayer, and this is tonight's reading

Galatians 5:16, 22-23a, 25

Live in accord with the spirit and you will not yield to the cravings of the flesh. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patient endurance, kindness, generosity, faith, mildness and chastity. Since we live by the spirit, let us follow the spirit’s lead.

Let us call upon the Holy Spirit to guide us to fill us with the fruits of Charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-Control, and chastity.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

There is nothing ordinary in the ordinary times, and there is nothing off in the off-season

Just last week we wrapped up the final session with our our RCIA class. We met for one final time,  to answer questions, and just to gather as friends in Christ.

Father Andrew put together one final piece that I thought was an excellent way to end the night. We held a private mass for the group and it was very special.

We also had a private social afterwards, to relax. And enjoy each other's company. There is so much joy that they are working to gather as a group for Bible study, which begins next week.

The RCIA team has already gathered together to plan for the future. How do we make things better? Who will be on the team next year?

As we are nearing the end of Easter season, we will be entering ordinary times. One thing that I have learned, there is nothing ordinary about ordinary times. We are still filled with the spirit and the spirit moves us to seek out those who yearn for the truth. 

So in essence at this time it is the off-season so to speak for our RCIA team. I believe each one of us are looking for a way to make things better, and also seek out those who have a longing to be closer to Christ through the Sacraments. 

There is a new movie out called Convinced.It is about people who have come to the Catholic Church, they have finally come home, and they call themselves born-again Catholics. I ordered the copy recently and I am expecting it tomorrow.

The producer believes that it would be an ideal film to introduce those who are contemplating to be Catholics, and maybe just maybe realize that they are not the only ones that feel this way.

After I view it I will share my thoughts with you.

As you can see there are no off in the offseasons. And there is definitely no ordinary in ordinary times.

God bless

Friday, April 15, 2016

No teasing and no spoiler alert

I finally finished reading lord of the world from Robert Hugh Benson. All I can tell you is that I was extremely shocked by the ending of the book. This is definitely a must read book. Definitely two thumbs up!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Commentary on Lord of the World

 In a 2005 essay, Joseph Pearce wrote that, while Orwell and Huxley's novels are "great literature", they "are clearly inferior works of prophecy." Pearce explains that while "the political dictatorships" that inspired Huxley and Orwell "have had their day", "Benson's novel-nightmare ...is coming true before our very eyes."[57]

Pearce elaborates,

The world depicted in Lord of the World is one where creeping secularism and godless humanism have triumphed over traditional morality. It is a world where philosophical relativism has triumphed over objectivity; a world where, in the name of tolerance, religious doctrine is not tolerated. It is a world where euthanasia is practiced widely and religion hardly practiced at all. The lord of this nightmare world is a benign-looking politician intent on power in the name of "peace", and intent on the destruction of religion in the name of "truth". In such a world, only a small and shrinking Church stands resolutely against the demonic "Lord of the World".[58]

Monday, April 11, 2016

Can't stop

Adeste fideles_ sang the choir from the tribune.--Come, let us adore, rather than weep; let us exult, be content, be ourselves like little children. As He for us became a child, let us become childlike for Him. Let us put on the garments of infancy and the shoes of peace. _For the Lord hath reigned.

Again more from the book that I am reading.

And it continues...

The white head bowed. Then it rose erect.
"Yes, my son.... But so long as Jesus Christ deigns to use us, we must be used. He is Prophet and King as well as Priest. We then, too, must be prophet and king as well as priest. What of Prophecy and Royalty?"
The voice thrilled Percy like a trumpet.
"Yes, Holiness.... For prophecy, then, let us preach charity; for Royalty, let us reign on crosses. We must love and suffer.... " (He drew one sobbing breath.) "Your Holiness has preached charity always. Let charity then issue in good deeds. Let us be foremost in them; let us engage in trade honestly, in family life chastely, in government uprightly. And as for suffering--ah! Holiness!"

Another excerpt from The Lord of the world

Holy Father--the mass, prayer, the rosary. These first and last. The world denies their power: it is on their power that Christians must throw all their weight. All things in Jesus Christ--in Jesus Christ, first and last. Nothing else can avail. He must do all, for we can do nothing." Fr Percy to the Pope

Amazing how true these words are still today! Please keep in mind that this book was written in 1907!

Saturday, April 9, 2016


under all a satisfaction that God's grace was so sovereign. If it could reach this woman, who could be too far removed for it to take effect? From the Lord of the World 

Cracking open a book

Reading has never been one of my passions.  When you have the Popes recommending a book to be read, I guess it was time to crack open the book. 
I've started reading this book, and find it so interesting. I've never had many books    that are difficult to put down, this is one of them. Give it some thought. Please share any thoughts with any of you who have already read this book. If you have trouble finding it you can probably download it onto your tablet or phone

Thursday, April 7, 2016

In a familiar place again

I have talked numerous times for balance in life. One of the many ways I look for balance is on Tuesday evenings during the fall, winter, and spring.  I have been in a league for several years now and for the past four years the team I sponsored has had a great run. Two years ago we were knocking on the doorstep of the championship and we .......choked! We had fun but we definitely choked under the pressure. Second place was nice, but not where we should have been.

This year we were in a familiar place. Two weeks to go and we only have to win two games, only two games to win the championship. Last week we were crushed definitely outclassed, and left wondering whether we would fall under the weight of pressure again.

Tuesday night arrived, and there was definitely a sense of urgency. One of our bowlers couldn't make it and we made a decision to put me in. I was working until 7 when bowling begins. I was a little late but just in time to be the lead off player. Strike!!! That was a good start.

The game was back and forth and going into the tenth we were down like last week. We had set ourselves up in the ninth nicely for a possible big finish. It happened. I hit a spare and then a strike, and the rest of the team stepped up. We won the first by a measly 26 pins. One down one more to go.

The second game would almost be a carbon copy of the first. Going into the tenth frame we set ourselves up nicely for the tenth even though we were down in pin count. Again I started off with 2 strikes and a 7 count. The team was on a roll and we ending up winning by 22 pins.

Experience, patience, focus, was the key. Our top bowler mentioned his tempo. He shared that he worked on it all night. It kept him balanced and he really produced for us bowling a strong 230 in the first game and a 581 series.

Tempo, hmmmmmmmmmm! I thought about it, and still do. An even tempo, not rushing into anything, not trying to do too much, just a nice tempo. Sounds like a possible homily coming up and a guide to life.

Find your balance and enjoy life!

Image result for bowling champions

Monday, April 4, 2016

Divine Mercy Sunday with a twist!

For a change of pace, a chance to be visible, our parish celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday. This time Father chose four centers of prayer throughout our parishes. I happens to get the East Side, where I grew up. This was the first service since closing Guardian Angel, and also my first time vesting there. It was bitterly cold and we had low expectations. Normally we get 40 or 50 people inside the Church. 
We had about 250 people at all locations! I know we were all shocked! We were all ecstatic to gather, pray and take back our community! Check out these brave and faithful souls...

Monday, March 28, 2016

And more....

The other day I posted on our parish's sweet sixteen! It definitely resounded in my heart that evening. Honestly, at times I had to focus on the flame coming from the Paschal Candle in order to maintain my composure. The Litany of the Saints got me going and just seeing all those people, all their smiles, all that effort they put into their studies, for that moment to be recognized as Catholics.

Yesterday, the joy continued. The 10 am Mass was filled with so much emotion. I had an opportunity to share a moment with a parishioner who lost her husband at Easter before Mass. I was drawn to be just a minister of presence. To allow the Holy Spirit to touch her and fill her with Peace.

Then the moments of joy continued. At Mass we began with three families bringing their children forward to be Baptized. The smiles, the eyes of the children, it was absolutely precious. One child was soundly sleeping until being baptized, good morning little one!!

The joy continues, as we had two children making their First Communion. Again, this just can't get any better??? Or can it?

The attendance at this Mass was incredible. We had about 800 to 900 people in attendance. Capacity is about 1,200 in St. Anne's Church. It was so beautiful to see so many people come. We had parishioners who attended the Vigil and still cam the next day!

What's next for our parishes?????

Obviously through the Holy Spirit.....More!!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Sweet Sixteen

Pardon the expression, but I can't hide the excitement of having 16 individuals coming into the Church this evening. We had a practice this morning and the sight of all these beautiful people together was to behold. Tonight we share in their joy, our joy, and the Glory of Christ's Ressurection. 

Praise God

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Thriving and Surving....Bucket Sale Week

First I begin by apologizing for not posting anything in the last week. It's Bucket Sale week and one thing that I drill into my staff is that everybody makes a difference, and everybody has to be all in! The Bucket Sale is a huge event for our company, and my store has a high reputation for excelling at this event. For several weeks before the event we start preparing and planning for the big week. We communicate to one other, share ideas, take notes, and then we start sharing the good news about how we can help them on their projects and future projects. Each day is exciting and exhausting as we put every ounce of energy that we have. Amazingly though, the energy exhibited surprises even me. 

So, how is Lent going for you? Have we all put in the energy needed? This is the big week beginning today. How would Holy Week be for all of us if we put in every ounce of energy into this truly amazing and glorious week, and how much Grace will we receive by being all in? My challenge to all of us this week is to be all in! Let's take our prayer life to another level in that quiet place in your home, Let's all attend every single event offered by our parishes! Reconciliation, any special speakers, and of course the The Triduum. I believe that by doing so we will all be amazed about how much energy we truly have, and we will have Grace upon Grace poured upon us. Lastly, invite people to the Easter Vigil. Yes, that Mass. The Easter Vigil is the most beautiful, and Joyous, Mass we have in the Catholic Faith. For many years I believe what keeps people away is that it is called by the faithful the long Mass. If we all attended, and were all in, we would discover that it is the most beautiful and would want all of our friends and acquaintances to come. Go, share the Good News, and be all in!

May the Grace of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you All!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Did you hear that?

Well, it happened again at Sunday Mass this week. This time, however I wasn't caught off guard. I was ready, I was listening intently. This week Fr. Andrew used Eucharistic Prayer for Reconciliation II. I strongly suggest that everyone googles this and reads them.The Prayers are absolutely beautiful. This is what caught my attention this week.......
" Holy Father, we humbly beseech you to accept us also, together with your Son, and in this saving banquet graciously to endow us with his very Spirit, who takes away everything that estranges us from one another."  At this time in Lent, let us reflect on those parts of our lives that estrange us from loving, from being merciful. bring them to the Altar. Offering them up that the Holy Spirit will take all of that away, and allow us to be loving, and merciful like the Father.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Prayers for Fr Jeff

On Saturday March 5th, Rev. Jeffrey Paveglio (Chaplain), CPT USARMY NG NHARNG will be deploying along with the HHB 197th Field Artillery Brigade for a period of one year.  Prior to heading to the Middle East in undisclosed areas as support of Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherent Resolve, they all will be at Fort Bliss in Texas, and at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.  

We thank Fr. Jeffrey for his service to the Church and to our country!  We pray for his safety and for all of our brave men and women serving in our military.



Thursday, March 3, 2016

Road Trip

6) Plan a mini pilgrimage to a local shrine; make an effort along the way to live the corporal work of mercy of “welcoming the stranger” as Christ.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mercy for all

5) Learn to say this prayer: "Dear Lord, bless [annoying persons name] and have mercy on me!

Now I know that after I mentioned this number you all have someone in mind, don't you? With that said let's all say a prayer for them this evening.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Write a letter

4]Write a letter of forgiveness to someone. If you cannot send it, sprinkle it with holy water, ask Christ Jesus to have mercy on you both and then burn or bury it.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Throw him a curveball

In baseball a pitcher will throw different things at you to keep you guessing, to be less predictable, and to shake you up. Father Kyle  did this to me yesterday at Mass. Every time you think you heard it all, and when you least expect it, something wonderful happens. He Used a different Eucharistic prayer, One that is used for penance. It tied in so well with his homily. There is one line in it that got my attention immediately……"Help us to work together for the coming of your Kingdom, until the hour when we stand before you, Saints among the Saints in the halls of heaven." That line touch me incredibly! How can anybody not be moved by hearing that. Saints among saints in the halls of heaven, be a saint!

Mercy in the City

Please check out this video http://youtu.be/TZkfdHRAudw

The power of a smile,

In the last two weeks I've been reminded what a difference a smile, what a difference it is to be joyful people. As I was preparing a young couple with a child for baptism on Easter Sunday an
elderly parishioner caught my attention. I excused myself and went to talk to her for just a moment. She shared with me her thoughts  how much you she loved that I was serving at the Altar. She commented mostly all my smile. She told me you're always smiling and I love seeing that. She shared that at times when she comes to mass she may not be in the best of moods but seeing my smille can turn her around.  I shared with her how much I love being a deacon,  butmost of all how we are called to be joyful people.  She suggested that I should keep on smiling, I promised her I would.

Yesterday morning, father Kyle mentioned about the holy father Pope Francis' smile.  He shared with us the secret behind that wonderful smile. For he is a man who loves the sacrament of reconciliation. He shared that the holy father receives Great joy and grace from going to reconciliation. Isn't  it amazing what a small can do.
During this Lenten season, I have two challenges for you.  Smile, be joyful, after all you are a child of Christ! Secondly, take advantage of the sacrament of reconciliation, and maybe you two will have a smile the changes the world at least around you.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Call Someone

3) Call someone who you know is lonely, even if you understand why they're lonely. Especially if you do!

Ironically today Father reminded me of a parishioner who is lonely that I forgot to touch base with. Tomorrow I'm off, tomorrow I call. Tomorrow I think of someone else who is lonely too!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

#2 Possessions

Good morning everyone. Isn't there a little bit of a packrat or hoarder in all of us. As I reflect on my life there are times when I wonder who's in control. Am I in control of my possessions, or is it the other way around? Today's reflection obviously deals with possessions, and how much do we really need to own in this life. Here is #2......Pare down possessions: share your  things with the needy.

Terry and I've been thinking about this for quite some time. We have so many things that just sit there. Some of it obviously just needs to be disposed of. We actually donated three bags of clothing that neither one of us were using recently. There is much more that needs to be done. I have lots of soul-searching to do on this one. You may want to consider time is a possession also. Are we making good use of it? The challenge for all of us as Christians is to share our time, talent, and treasures. God bless all of you

Friday, February 26, 2016

This time we start from the top

In the past few days I've been sharing a list of items I found that all of us "myself included" need to address during Lent, in this Year of Mercy, and actually everyday. Here is #1....1) Resist sarcasm; it is the antithesis of mercy: "Set, O Lord, a guard over my mouth; keep watch, O Lord, at the door of my lips!" (Psalm 141:3) From the Anchoress

This is a hot button for me. I have a deep desire to argue and win. I'm working hard  on this one. Only through Grace do I succeed.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

33) When mercy for others is difficult, pray Cardinal Merry del Val’s Litany of Humility.

In a series of challenges this and every day.....HUMILITY.....
O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, 
Deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.