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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 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