September 13, 2008 – Prayers and More Prayers

As there always seems to be, we have much to pray for this coming week.  We of course pray for all of those affected by Hurricane Ike that the Lord keep them safe and that they receive what they need in the recovery effort.  When the storm started coming ashore last night it seems that all you saw on TV was those reporters hanging on to bushes, trees, poles, and whatever else was nearby so they didn’t get blown away by the wind and so they could report to you from the “eye of the storm.”  I’m not sure whether these people are really brave or just plain nuts.  Hopefully this will be the last major hurricane that we see for awhile, though there is still time in the hurricane season.

We also pray for the priests of our diocese this week as they will be gathering for their annual convocation in St. Louis.  This is always an important week for our priests as it gives them a chance to have time together that they normally wouldn’t be able to have.  Also, the focus of the convocation is to continue the process of what has been termed the “dialogue of renewal”.  This is the process that is being mediated by the Reid Group with the goal of hopefully bridging the gap of communication between the Bishop and the priests.  As I have stated before, much time and money is being invested into this process, and the only way that it will bring a positive outcome is if both sides are willing to be forthright and open to ideas – not just the clergy but the hierarchy of our Diocese as well.  It is a shame that we even refer to the term “the two sides” when we talk about the relationship between the clergy and Bishop.  I hope that as this process continues that we can once again become “one body, one spirit in Christ.”  Our Diocese has faced many challenges over the last 15 years and the only way that we will persevere and grow is as one family of faith.

I also ask for your prayers as our parish school of religion (PSR) program begins its new year this weekend.  Pray that our children will be receptive to the teachings that we bring forth and for our teachers that God bless them with strength and creativity.  Our enrollment in PSR has declined over the last few years, though this is not necessarily a bad thing.  More of our families are deciding to enroll their children in our parish school, which ultimately is the long-term goal.  However, circumstances are such that we will probably always need to provide some sort of a PSR program for our children.  Our teachers are all volunteers and have all put in many years of dedicated work into providing religious education for the children of our parish.

Finally, please pray for all in our parish who are sick, for Fr. Gene’s Mom and our other loved ones in need of our prayers, those who are shut-in and in the nursing homes, and all others in need of our prayers.  The old saying is that there are only two things in life that are certain – death and taxes.  I think we may have to add prayer intentions as a third one on the list.  Don’t forget that you can go to the prayer intentions page on our website, www.maryhoc.org, where you will find a list of things to pray for.  Also, there is a box on the page where you can submit your own intentions.  It goes straight to my e-mail and then I post it on the page where others can see it and pray for it.

On to the lighter side of things: it was a rough week for this St. Louis sports fan.  Someone must not have bothered to tell the Rams that they were going to Philadelphia for a football game, because they sure weren’t prepared to play a game. If they do not look better this week, I’m going to have to seriously question how much of my time on a Sunday afternoon is spent watching this stuff (meanwhile, Kurt Warner won his start last week).  And it appears that all hope is lost for our Cardinals this year, though they gave us some exciting moments this year (along with some frustrating ones).  Hopefully they will add a few players in the off-season (they have the money to do it) and will contend in ’09.

Finally, I heard a cute little joke to share.  It involves Catholics and food (my kind of joke).  A monestary in England held an annual fish and chips supper to raisde money for their order.  A lady who ate there for the first time thought it was the best fish she had ever eaten.  So she went over to where the food was being prepared to offer her compliments.  She approached one of the gentleman and asked him “Excuse me, would you happen to be the fish fryer?”  “No Miss,”, he replied, “I’m the chip monk.”

Peace. 

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