June 21, 2008 – Slow Can Be Good

Hi again.  This week was pretty uneventful on my end.  Summertime usually is a little slower time for me – fewer meetings, no religion classes to teach.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it is a boring time, because there is always something I can find to keep myself busy (a webmaster’s work is never done, you know – ha,ha), but a little slower pace is welcome at times.  Some people I know seem to enjoy keeping life going at 100 miles per hour and always staying on the go, but I like to savor and enjoy the “slower” times.  Life seems to go so fast as it is, and I think we owe it to ourselves to take a moment at least on occasion and let life go at its own pace.

Last week we were on edge about the potential flooding that may occur in our area.  Thankfully, it appears that we have dodged this bullet, at least for now.  Unfortunately, this has come at the expense of folks to the north where many of the levees have not held or were not sufficient.  We know what this experience is like, and we owe our prayers and support to those who have lost their homes, possessions, crops, etc.

As of today we will have another parishioner who will become a fully trained lay leader of prayer.  Mr. Larry Gross has completed all of the requirements for this and is now qualified to lead a Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest.  He is the fourth individual in our parish to be trained for this, the others being Linda Smith, Neil Birchler and myself.  We have talked for a couple years now about the process of what would happen in an emergency situation when a priest can not be found to have weekend Mass, but this still may need some clarification:

If a situation arises where no priest is available for Mass, one of the trained lay leaders of prayer would come out at the time Mass is supposed to begin and make an announcement that the priest is unable to say Mass.  The leader would then give the congregation two options: to attend Mass at another church in the area (locations and times would be given), or to stay and participate in a Sunday Celebration in the Absence of a Priest led by the trained leader.  This celebration is NOT a Mass, and does not include many of the rites said within the Mass, but it does fulfill your obligation to attend church on the Sabbath.  We are obligated to do three things to honor the Sabbath: attend Mass, pray together, and rest.  So if the first one is not possible, we still have the means to come together as a family of faith in prayer.

Again, we have been very fortunate not to have been in this situation as of yet, but many parishes have.  Those I have talked to who have led one of these services said they get remarks like “I didn’t know what was going on during the service” or “I liked this Mass better than Father’s because it was shorter!”.  So obviously some education still is needed about this process.  If you have any questions about it, I or one of the other trained leaders of prayer would be more than happy to answer them.

Finally, can anyone on the Cardinals stay healthy?  I remember Whitey Herzog saying one time that players need to eat more red meat and drink more beer and they wouldn’t have so many pulled muscles, etc.  Far from me to argue with this.  Hopefully we can keep our head above water until some of our guys get back.  The Cubs fans have rejoiced enough for one year!



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