Archive for February, 2008

February 23, 2008 – Unsung Heroes

February 23, 2008

I hope everyone made it through another week of winter weather.  It doesn’t seem possible that next week it will be March, and the week after that we will begin daylight savings time – we still seem stuck in the depths of winter.  What a wonderful sight the green grass and flowers and buds on the trees will be this year.

This past week I had the opportunity to lead the communion service that was held on Wednesday evening.  Part of the service is to give a brief reflection on the scripture readings of the day.  The gospel reading that particular day was from Matthew, and it contained a particular verse that I focused my reflection on: “Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant, whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave  … The son of man did not come to be served, but to serve.”  As I read this, it reminded me of a news show I watched years ago.  It had a segment called “unsung heroes”, and the focus of the segment was on people who did good deeds without seeking recognition for them – people who found happiness in helping others.

I’m sure we all have our own “unsung heroes” in our lives.  I know that I certainly do.  Even though these people seek no attention for their good deeds, they are deserving of our praise and respect.  As I read in an article a few days ago, “Don’t save your tributes for the funeral.”  So the next time your “unsung hero” does something for you out of the blue, whether it be having dinner ready and waiting when you get home, or offering you a ride to work in bad weather, or just calling to see how things are going, be sure to let them know that they are appreciated.

I would also like to acknowledge some “unsung”, dedicated people in our parish – our catechists in our parish school of religion.  Every Sunday morning these folks take valuable time away from their homes and families for no pay to provide a quality religious education for our children.  Most of these folks have done this for many years, and they truly do it because they find happiness in helping others.  So a big thank you to Layla Kaspar, Sharon Misuraca, Stacey Fedderke, Mary Hurst, Jill Waller, our substitute catechists, and our director of religious education, Cheryl Gross for their dedication and generosity.

As I did a little surfing of the internet today, I read through a few other blogs.  There are all kinds of blogs out there now, but it seems that the majority of blogs are there to post about negative things, or to complain about this or that.  This is part of the reason why I decided to begin my own blog, not just to share my thoughts on St. Mary’s and the church, but to show that blogs can offer a positive spin on things as well.  I hope I have done that to this point, and I hope to continue to do it.

Thanks again for reading my blog.  As always, your comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.  Peace. 

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February 16, 2008 – Late Night with the Webmaster

February 16, 2008

We have all had “one of those days”, and today was my turn to have “one of those days”.  You know the type of day when you wake up in the morning and you have your day neatly planned out in your mind, only to see your entire plan unravel.  It has become kind of my Saturday tradition to update the web site and make an entry into my blog, but because this day turned into “one of those days”, these tasks are being completed at a much later hour than normal.  My computer station is in my bedroom, and as I peer over at my bed and think how good it looks, I continue to trudge on and pound the keyboard (OK, the dramatics are over).

Actually, my “one of those days” is certainly minor compared to many people.  Our weather was not great this past week, but at least we did not have the ice storm folks just to the south of us had, and we still had our electricity and our other ammenities.  And of course, there was another mindless shooting on a university campus.  Much of the talk on the news was in trying to figure out the “motive” for the shootings.  Even if a so-called reason is found, it would still not come close to explaining why this person felt he needed to take human lives before taking his own.

Incidents such as this are a reminder to us that mental illness is very real, and should be treated as seriously as any other illness.  Pope Benedict XVI has asked us to focus our prayer intentions on this issue during the month of February, asking us to pray “that the mentally handicapped may not be marginalised, but respected and lovingly helped to live in a way worthy of their physical and social condition.”

As we focus on prayer during this Lent, I invite you to visit our prayer intentions page at www.maryhoc.org (click on the prayer intentions tab).  There are intentions that people have sent to me to be prayed for, and there are also a couple of links to web pages that focus on prayer.  I also encourage you to submit your own prayer intentions at this page so they can be prayed for.

Speaking of those needing prayer, my St. Louis Cardinals have begun spring training (ouch, cheap shot)!  Stranger things have happened, but in looking at the team, a lot of things will have to fall into place for this season to be successful, but that is why they play the games.  This is actually one of my favorite sports times of year – spring training is starting and college basketball is really getting interesting.  Spring can’t be far away (can it?).

It is now late, late night with the webmaster, and the bed to my right is looking even better.  Thanks again for reading my blog and for supporting our website.  Peace to all. (YAWN).

February 8, 2008 – Not The Week I Had Planned

February 8, 2008

First and foremost, I offer my prayers for the victims and families of the mindless shootings in Kirkwood, MO.  I listened to the radio some today and people were calling in trying to offer explanations of why such a tragic event would happen, and I don’t think there is a good explanation.  It is a tragedy beyond our efforts to figure out.  All I feel I can do is to pray that such a horrific event doesn’t happen again.

My week didn’t go quite as I had planned.  Sunday, I could feel a cold coming on, and by the time Sunday evening came, I knew I had the full-blown flu.  I missed a couple days of work (always a bright side), and didn’t get to a lot of things I had planned to do, so my apologies for not getting the website updated and not getting to other things I meant to do.  I’m still not quite back to my old self, but at least I am functioning again.

Next weekend is commitment weekend in our diocese for the Catholic Services and Ministries Appeal (CSMA).  As in the past, you will be receiving a commitment card in the mail that you are asked to fill out and to pledge your donation to this important campaign.  I’m sure many people will be questioning whether they should donate as much, if at all, to the appeal due to the recent events concerning spending of funds by our Bishop.  Let me assure you that your donations are needed and will be used wisely.

The donations to the appeal do not go to the Bishop’ office, nor are they used for the Bishop’s salary, etc.  These funds go to the office of development and are distributed to the services and ministries that they are intended for.  We here at St. Mary’s, in fact, have received grant monies in the past from this appeal for our help-a-student program and for our parish library.  Ultimately, it is your decision to make in regards to the dollar amount you wish to pledge, but I felt that this information was important to share with you.

Finally, I hope you have the opportunity this Lent to do something “extra” for your faith life.  Besides all we have to offer in our parish, I have also posted a few links on our homepage at www.maryhoc.org to Lenten resources and devotionals for your family.  I had my first real “test” of Lent today – going to Reid’s on a Friday with a salesman and having to look at the fried chicken, roast beef, etc. and passing on by, although I still couldn’t resist a scoop of bread pudding!

Thanks again for reading my blog.  Feel free to leave a comment.  Peace.

February 2, 2008 – It’s Decision Time Again

February 2, 2008

Well ,we got a dose of winter weather, but not quite as bad as the forecasters predicted.  Actually, have you noticed now that the TV meterologists always say  “Here is what the computer models are telling us is going to happen”?  Kind of defeats the purpose of actually needing a meterologist to do the weather broadcasts, don’t you think?  There is my Andy Rooney thought of the day.  We have actually lived a pretty charmed life in these parts in terms of not seeing a lot of deep snow, ice, etc. over the last couple of years.  We’ll see how long the trend lasts.

A lot of the talk on TV this past week has focused on the Super Bowl, and the hype surrounding the game.  However, I don’t think the hype of that event can come anywhere close to the hype that the campaign for President has received over the last year.  Despite the monumental coverage that this race has received, I personally am still struggling with who to vote for on Tuesday when we have our primary election, and I have a hunch that many of you feel the same way, especially as Catholics when it seems that all of the candidates share some of our core beliefs, but none of them share all of our core beliefs.  Allow me to offer a couple pieces of advice:

1) Visit the web site www.faithfulcitizenship.org.  It contains documents from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops concerning being a responsible Catholic citizen.

2)  Follow the guidance of our former bishop, now Archbishop Wilton Gregory, who told us in a meeting I attended years ago to “Take your faith into the voting booth, and let it be your guide.”

Finally, a couple of church happenings:

We have another rite with our Confirmation class this Sunday called the Rite of Election.  Our class has been working very hard in preparation for the sacrament and will continue to do so as they approach their big day on April 28.  Please pray for them as they continue on their journey.

This weekend is renewal weekend for our diocesan newspaper, The Messenger.  Use the packet in your envelope to renew your subscription, or to start a new subscription.  I encourage you if you do not receive The Messenger to begin doing so.  It is widely recognized as one of the best diocesan newspapers in the country.  It contains many good stories about our local church, and also has many features about our national and international church.

Ready or not, Lent is on the doorstep!  Lent begins This week on Ash Wednesday.  Masses that day are at 8:15AM and 7:00PM in church.  Fr. Gene and Jan are once again putting together a lenten flyer which has all of the information about what is being offered by our parish during this season.  You can also check the monthly calendar on www.maryhoc.org to see when our Lenten offerings are taking place.

One more thing: Patriots 31, Giants 19 (please, no wagering!).

Peace.