Archive for April, 2009

April 24, 2009 – A Little of This, A Little of That

April 24, 2009

As I have done from time to time with the blog, I don’t really have one thing to focus on, so I’m just going to throw out some random thoughts (in other words, my brain is on overdrive and I can’t seem to come up with anything else!).

– A few days ago we had frost in the morning, now today close to 90 degrees?  Is there such a thing as spring and fall anymore?  It seems we go from winter straight to summer and straight to winter again.  My favorite time of the year is fall, but a few days of sunny, calm 70 degree days would sure hit the spot right now.

– This weekend we have nominations for our Parish Council.  If you have not served on the Council before, or if it has been a number of years since you have done so, I hope you will consider doing so if you are nominated (you can always nominate yourself!).  We had a meeting this past Wednesday – if you were outside the door and did not know what was going on, you probably would never guess it was a church meeting.  We discuss serious issues, but we are also a group that gets along very well and can see the lighter side of things also.  And the food after the meetings – oooh the food.  I am so thankful to be part of such a group, and I know the next group will serve us well also.

– The subject of much discussion at the last meeting was our upcoming Parish Mission on September 27 – October 1.  I had a chance to put up a web page about the Mission which includes a tentative schedule, our Mission prayer, what a Mission is, and ways in which people can help.  Here is a link to the page:

www.maryhoc.org/Mission2009.html

Or just go to the homepage of our website and click on the link at the top of the page.

– I can’t believe that our last PSR class for the year is this Sunday, and I can’t believe I will be fnishing my 10th year as a catechist.  The years keep rolling by.  One of the things we traditionally do on the last day of class is to have a prayer service outside in which each grade plants a flower in the planter outside of the Parish House.  Weather permitting, I will try to get some photos of this neat little service and post them on the website.  As always, if you have any photos from church or school events I am happy to post them on the website.  I can take them in all forms – the pictures themselves, or on a media card, or a CD, etc.

– I am a self-admitted computer geek, but one thing I have not taken part in on the internet is these social-networking websites.  First there was “MySpace”, then there was “Facebook”, and now there is “Twitter”, a website in which you set up an account and you post short updates about what you are doing.  When you post one of these entries, the lingo is that you “tweeted”.  Who comes up with this stuff?  I thought about setting up a Twitter account, but what do I really have to post about?  “Well today, I bought a razor and I made the switch to the 4-blade razor.”  Or “the barbecue at the Monday lunch was particularly delicious.”  Don’t see myself as a part of this in the near future – but you never know.    

 – I’m glad I’m finishing my blog tonight.  Tomorrow I have work in the morning, then I go to church to prepare for the nominations, and then I try to catch some of the Cardinal-Cub game and the NFL draft before Mass.  The Blues made it to the playoffs, and the Cardinals are in first place, so it’s time for the Rams to step up and get things back on track.  The Cardinal-Cub game is going into the 9th inning, so I think it’s time to file this blog.

Please pray for our parishioners who are ill at this time and in need of healing and comfort.

Peace.

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April 18, 2009 – Embracing Our Doubts

April 18, 2009

Well I’m back to the blog after a one week hiatus.  I hope you had a great Easter celebration with your family, and I hope you had a chance to take part in at least some of the inspirational Holy Week services.  I attended Mass on the Easter Vigil, but I heard that the “lilies” were in full bloom on Easter Sunday morning.  If only they would bloom year-round.

As much as I enjoyed the Easter Vigil and seeing our 3 new parishioners come into full communion into the church, I also look forward to the Sunday after Easter, because I know that I will be hearing what I think is my favorite gospel account – the story of Jesus appearing to the disciples after the resurrection and proving to Thomas that He indeed was alive.  When Jesus tells Thomas that “You believe in me because you saw me.  Blessed are those who have not seen and still believe,” I think this really puts out into the open the challenge we face as Christians, to put our entire faith in a God that we have never actually seen with our own eyes or have actually heard speak.

This challenge I think is even more difficult in today’s society, where we can get on our computer or cell phone and get all kinds of information and see all kinds of things in the blink of an eye.  It is easy to develop an “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude.  Yet the entire message of the church revolves around putting our lives into the hands of a God that we can’t bring up on our i-pod or call on the phone.  It is easy for doubt to creep into our faith life, and many of us believe that doubt will hurt our relationship with God.  But what I have found, and what I always try to relate to the kids in my religion class, is that doubt does not have to be a bad thing.  In fact, doubt can be a good thing, because it can make us want to find out more about something.  It can make us ask questions and seek answers.  So instead of being embarrassed by our doubts, we should embrace them and bring them into the open – that is how we will find the answers that we are seeking.

On to a little church business – I will be doing a lot of begging and pleading over the next few weeks.  Next weekend (April 25/26) we will once again have our nomination process for our Parish Council.  You will have the opportunity to nominate someone you feel would represent you well on our Parish Council.  If you are nominated, I hope you will consider serving a term on the council.  It is a great group to work with – we discuss many issues and bring forth many good ideas.  And there is a reward at the end of each meeting – FOOD!

One of the things we will be working on as a council over the next few months is our Parish Mission which will be taking place from September 27th – October 1st.  This may seem to be some time off, but as time flies, it will be upon us quickly.  We will be asking for folks to help with things such as mailings and phone calling before the Mission, and child care and refreshments during the Mission.  If you can help us out, it would be greatly appreciated.  I have agreed to be the chairperson of the mission committee, so if you can help, please contact me by phone (826-4178) or by e-mail at webmaster@maryhoc.org.  Fr. Peter Schavitz, who will be preaching the Mission, will be here for a planning meeting on Wednesday, May 6 from 6:30-8:00PM.  If you can help us, we would also ask of you to attend this meeting if possible.  The more folks we have volunteer, the easier the burden will be, and the more enjoyable the mission experience will be.

And you thought things would slow down after Easter!  Anyway, in the midst of all of this activity I hope to catch a little sports on the tube.  The Blues are off to a tough start in their playoff series, but they have been resilient all year, and I still think they can pull it out.  And of course we have the Cards-Cubs series this weekend and next weekend.  My Cards dropped a tough one yesterday, but they are off to an encouraging 8-4 start.  Going without Carpenter will be tough, but again, we should be positive about our doubts.

Let’s pray that we can finally declare that spring has arrived in full force, and for favorable weather for the farmers and gardeners who need to get their spring crops and produce planted.  Peace. 

April 3, 2009 – Focusing on Holy Week

April 3, 2009

Hello again.  Well I was doing some work on the website this evening and thought well, as long as I’m parked in front of my computer, I’ll go ahead and crank out a blog.  Not sure if this Friday night blog thing will become permanent from now on – I’m not sure what I’m doing tomorrow let alone planning that far ahead!  We’ll see how it goes.

I can’t believe we have already reached Holy Week.  Time continues to go so fast.  Of course when many of us think of Holy Week we think of LOTS OF TIME IN CHURCH.  But to me, Holy Week is more about putting things in focus, and a time to remember the intrigue of this week.  Starting on Palm Sunday, when Jesus entered triumphantly into Jerusalem – hailed as a King, only to see in a brief time the situation completely change – and  Jesus put on trial as a tyrant and blasphemer.  And then, when the situation is at is bleakest, to see it completely turn again as Jesus rises from the dead and gives us all hope of our own resurrection when our time here on earth is done.  The entire premise of our Christian faith comes to the forefront this week.

It is times such as this week that I am not only grateful to be a Catholic Christian, but proud to be a Catholic Christian.  I am proud that this incredible tale of salvation has been passed down from generation to generation for almost 2000 years, and that it is now our generation’s turn to do the same.  I am proud that no matter what happens, no matter what obstacles I face, that the hope of the resurrection will always prevail.  And I am proud that I am part of a wonderful group of fellow Catholic Christians who profess and live the same convictions.  I look forward to our celebrations this week, especially the Easter Vigil when I have the opportunity to see our group of 3 RCIA candidates receive their great reward for their study and dedication – becoming full members of the Catholic faith – of OUR Catholic faith.  The Easter Vigil Mass is a little longer than most, but in the grand scheme of things, I think it is worth it.

Easter is a special holiday for many reasons.  In addition to those mentioned above, I’m sure your family has its own Easter traditions and memories, whether it be an Easter egg hunt, or the traditional Easter ham, etc.  In our house the tradition that is a must every year is the bunny cake.  It’s a regular cake that we cut into a bunny with ears and a bowtie, then decorate with licorice and M & M’s.  In all honesty I have never figured out the allure of this tradition, (with the exception of the fact that the decorators, who are myself and my niece, can sneak some M & M’s and licorice during the process), but it’s just one of those things that we have to do, or it wouldn’t be Easter without it.  My nephews, who are both in their 20’s, still light up at the mention of the “bunny cake”.  I hope you and your family can repeat those traditions again this year.  We continue to be bombarded with bad news, and traditions such as these offer us a reprieve and hope for the future.

Well speaking of hope, another rite of spring comes Monday, when the baseball season opens.  The forecast for Monday is not promising – temperatures in the 30’s, but just the fact that it’s baseball season brings its own sense of excitement and hope.  Cubs fans, of course, have been hoping now for 101 years, but hope springs eternal as they say.  My Cardinals did not make as many moves in the off season as I had hoped, but if they can avoid too many major injuries, I think they can compete for a playoff spot.  I’m still waiting in my lifetime for the ultimate playoff series –  Cardinals vs. Cubs.  Will it happen this year?  Who knows.  The Cards and Cubs play 7 games in April, so we should find out some things about both clubs fairly early on.

Just a quick blurb from the world wide web – our diocese has done something for years called the Monthly Mailing.  This mailing contains memos and announcements from the various offices and ministries of the diocese.  This packet of information was mailed to pastors, parish leaders, council members, etc.  This mailing is now available on the web – go to the Diocesan website, www.diobelle.org, click on the “resources” tab on the left-hand side, and scroll to the bottom of the page and click on “monthly mailings”.  You can then access this information electronically, and keep up with the happenings in the diocese.

Well with next week being Holy Week and all of the activities surrounding it, I plan to take a week off from the blog (is that cheering I hear? STOP THAT!).  Seriously, I hope this coming week for you is truly one of spiritual renewal, and I wish you a very Happy Easter!  May the risen Lord provide you with many abundant blessings and grant you peace.  See you in church.

Peace.