June 30, 2019

THE NEW PASTOR MAKER

The toddler is carrying his toy hammer across the room with a determined gait. His uncle asks “Kenny, what are you going to make?” The boy rolls his eyes as if his uncle isn’t quite bright and says emphatically, “Noise!”

Asking each other questions is the way we share and understand relationships and lives. In recent days I have been asked many questions by medical professionals, family, friends and parishioners.

You may know that last Sunday morning I was admitted to the hospital for what I later learned was a heart attack. The next day I had four stents placed in my LAD artery which had a 99% blockage. God has blessed us all in this time in which we live, with great medical knowledge and skill. I was told that the situation was called “The Widow Maker”. Well that is not true in my case; it would have been “The New Pastor Maker”. Funny, yes and I am deeply grateful for all those God sent to help me.

To answer some of the questions I am getting, “Yes it was scary”, “Yes, my faith and prayer helped”, and I have no answer to this email question that came a few minutes before the procedure “Father, will you be able to celebrate my daughter’s wedding in 2021 as planned or should we start looking for another priest now?” If I had a hammer . . .

Because this incident happened less that one week ago, I have not processed my experience fully but when I read this weekend’s first reading I recognized how God’s grace was working and what the Good News was for me and for you –

The prophet Elijah calls Elisha to leave his home and work and follow him in the Lord’s work. Elisha asks, “May I go home and kiss my father and mother goodbye?” The older prophet says, “Go – of course”. The older prophet understood the need to speak, hold, kiss and express love. I know in a profound way that the Good News in my situation was the compassion, understanding of human emotions and human frailty, empathetic listening, care, service and the difference that another person can make in being good news through love in action.

My deepest thanks for your prayer for me. Please continue as I am still in the process of achieving optimum healing.

Last weekend Fr. Kevin received a much deserved celebration of his Anniversary. The festivities added multiple layers of activities which Fr. Matt handled with the leadership, skill, pastoral care and true ministerial gifts which were first evidenced in his handling of the first day after the fire. He is another answer to the question, “Ok God, what’s the good news?”

Through our experiences God speaks and teaches us so I know that we will all gather some wisdom from this part of our story.

Trusting in providence, I celebrate our mission which is Christ’s Work. I am grateful to be here to work together with you using the Keys of the Kingdom to be Love in Action.

God has given each of us a hammer – let’s make some “noise” in praising God for the gift of each day.

INDEPENDENCE DAY – A TIME TO GIVE THANKS
As we celebrate this Independence Day, we as Americans are mindful of the gift of freedom which God has given us. We are thankful for the gift of our nation who defends and values our God given freedoms. As Catholics we are particularly grateful for the religious liberty that we enjoy in the United States. As people of faith and proud Americans let us remember to take time this weekend to give thanks to God for the freedoms we enjoy and for those men and women who have sacrificed much, even their own lives, to uphold those freedoms. Included is a prayer that can be used to give thanks to God and to ask his continued blessing and strengthening of our country.

INDEPENDENCE DAY PRAYER

God, source of all freedom,

This day is bright with the memory

Of those who declared that life and liberty

Are your gift to every human being.

Help us to continue a good work begun long ago.

Make our vision clear and our will strong;

That only in human solidarity will we find liberty,

And justice only in the honor that belongs

To every life on earth.

Turn our hearts toward the family of nations:

To understand the ways of others,

To offer friendship,

And to find safety only in the common good of all.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

Catholic Household Prayers & Blessings

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