I hope and pray you enjoyed the past week. My life had much to be grateful for with First Communion celebrations at Saint Catherine's, being with dear friends on Mother's Day and gathering at Sacred Heart Cathedral for the Confirmation of our young people from both faith communities! You've heard that phrase, "God is great" and I knew that in several moments this past week.
On May 16th through May 18th, I will participate in the annual Diocesan Convocation. The last one took place in 2019. We have had a pause like so many other events because of the Covid pandemic.
This year we will be gathering at the Elmira/Corning Hilton Garden Inn in Horseheads, New York.
Father Carter H. Griffin will be the keynote speaker. He is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D. C. He was raised as a Presbyterian. He entered into full communion with the Catholic Church while attending Princeton University. After graduating in 1994, he served four years as a line officer in the United States Navy prior to entering the seminary. He attended Mount Saint Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, for two years of philosophy followed by theological formation and studies at the Pontifical North American College in Rome for five years. Father Griffin was ordained to the priesthood in 2004 and served as priest-secretary for three years before beginning doctoral studies in Rome in 2008. After completing his doctorate and serving as parochial vicar at Saint Peter's Parish on Capitol Hill, in 2011 he was appointed Director of Priestly Vocations for the Archdiocese of Washington and Vice-Rector of Saint John Paul II Seminary, where he now serves as Rector. Father Griffin has written several books. His presence at the Convocation will be enlightening and I look forward to meeting him and hearing his presentations.
Please keep those of us gathering for the Convocation in your prayers. You certainly will be remembered by us.
The weekend of May 20th I will be away. I am returning to my "second home" in Beverly, Massachusetts to celebrate the funeral of my friend Claire Powell. This will be the third funeral of my dear "family" who have died in the past year and a half. I am so appreciative of how quickly time goes and for the blessings I have received from my friends over the last forty-two years.
Claire grew up in Chelsea, Massachusetts and had a strong New England accent. One of her many rememberable quotes was "Aren't we fortunate". Claire appreciated life. It wasn't always easy for her. She had many trials and tribulations but Claire always appreciated the present moment and the God given gifts around her. I treasure that witness and her strong faith in the Lord. Family and friends will gather to celebrate Claire and thank the Risen Lord for the gift of her life among us.
May moves along quickly. Before I know it I will be presiding on June 4th with the first of twelve weddings this year between our two parishes. Please join me in prayer as these couples come before the Lord to ask His blessing on the Sacrament of their Marriages.
So much to be grateful for! As Claire said, "Aren't we fortunate".
Blessings to all,
May 15, 2022