Sunday, January 22, 2017
Jan 19, 2017
You know I love my priesthood and one of my many inspirations for loving what I am called to do was my parents, Al and Margaret. Mom and dad were married just short one week of 41 years, we had a glorious celebration on their 40th which took place on August 1, 1976. My dad died unexpectedly on Monday, July 25, 1977.
They were constant companions and they had their own interests. Their separate interests were not a threat to their relationship, but rather complemented and strengthened their marriage bond . I believe among their finest gift to me was their freedom to say to one another “I love you!” and not be embarrassed about expressing their affection for each other. Be assured it wasn’t soupy, just real! In any case, they obviously loved their vocation of marriage, in good times and bad; which there was plenty of both with 5 sons and a family business.
So, back to my original point, I love my vocation of priesthood. I love being your pastor, despite some of the difficulties that come with being in my position, the benefits far outweigh any difficulties.
I love being part of your family. Some people are shocked that I will accept an invitation to their home for a meal. I love sitting around the dinner table, especially when no airs are put on, just being in the middle of the ordinary stuff of life. The interactions of families gives me energy and, in most homes, the interaction results in laughter allows your family to “just be”.
I love hearing from you, both the compliments and constructive criticism; both are good for my soul as I continue to grow as a human being who is love with my God. Please do sign anything you send me, unsigned letters go directly to the shredder. Your observations are important for the good of the parish and me personally……thanks!
I love being with you when you are in the midst of difficulties and celebrations. Not that I love your difficulties, but I take great satisfaction is just being with you, being present to one another is a great gift. I believe this is what being the Body of Christ all is about. Being present does not necessarily mean lots of talk or words, just silently being present is a great gift we can give to one another. I recently sat at the bedside of a dying parishioner, there wasn’t much to say, but after being there for almost an hour I got up to leave and the dying person lifted their head up and said, “What’s your rush, can you stay a little longer?” I did and the person died a few minutes later.
I love being your priest and your friend to whatever level that may or may not happen. Please do me a favor, do not put me on the infamous priest pedestal. Respect me for whom I am and I promise to respect you for being the gift you are in my life.
Let us continue to pray for peace and for the end of terrorism in our world!
In peace and courage,