October 30, 2010 – All Over the Place

Normally the challenge for me when it comes time to make a blog entry is to come up with something to write about.  But this week there are a lot of things I have to touch on, so I think it’s time for one of my “miscellaneous” blogs, and we’ll see how it goes.

This weekend among other things we recognize Priesthood Sunday, a day set aside to honor and thank those men who have devoted their lives to serving God and to delivering Jesus’ message to their fellow Christians.  Last week Fr. Gene heaped praise upon me for my work with the website, so this weekend I’m turning the tables.  There are many qualities that I admire about Fr. Gene – his vast knowledge of church history, his thoughtful yet easy to understand homilies, his devotion to Catholic education, and of course his love of the St. Louis Cardinals and his wide selection of jokes.  But the quality I think I admire the most is his ability to interact with people.  Whether they be old or young, male or female, married or single, or a self-professed large computer geekoid, Fr. Gene is comfortable in any situation and can relate to what people are going through.  We are truly fortunate to have Fr. Gene as our pastor.  He has certainly fallen in line with the lieage of devoted priests that have served our parish over the years.  Please pray for Fr. Gene and for all priests that the Lord will continue to watch over them and strengthen them in their ministries.

As we approach the month of November we have reached the time in the Catholic church when we remember in a special way those dear to us who have passed away and pray that God grant them eternal life with Him in heaven.  Like many things, as I have gotten older my perspective on life and death has changed over the years.  When I was younger my view of death was that it was this very morbid and depressing event that I didn’t even want to think about, and I could really not see any positive aspects to it, especially in the more tragic situations such as with the Notre Dame football employee who was killed when the tower he was filming practice from was toppled over by the wind.  How in the world can anything positive be gleaned from something like this?  But as I have gotten older I have realized that 1) life, in whatever form and in whatever time frame, is something to be celebrated, and 2) we don’t just recognize the person’s life here on earth, but we also celebrate the actions of Jesus in the life of the person, and we celebrate the hope that the person will have eternal life in the kingdom of heaven.  We are certainly free to mourn the loss of those whom we love, but God gives us a great gift of hope and light and life with Him.  Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  May they rest in peace.

We also have another important November event this Tuesday with election day.  I don’t know if it is just me but my observations of the campaign/election season have been the following: 1) I have never received more landfill filler in my mailbox than I have this year, 2) I have never seen commercials that have been so tasteless, immature, and well, just plain stupid, and 3) I have never talked to so many people who are plain fed up with the direction of government and what its priorities are.  Election day should be something citizens should look forward to, our chance to have an equal say in who will represent us and make and uphold our laws.  However, I honestly have to admit that when I walk into the booth on Tuesday, I will walk in with many more questions than answers.  I will still exercise my right to vote as I feel it is our duty as citizens, but I do it with little confidence in my final decisions.  I pray that I will vote for those who will represent us well and that our government officials will work for the common good instead of their own interests.

The final thing I wanted to talk about is a subject that I wasn’t sure I wanted to broach or not, but I feel that I need to.  A lot of our discussion at our Parish Council meeting the other night was about the current state of the finances in our parish.  Many weeks we are not receiving the needed funds to pay our bills, forcing us to put off needed projects, repairs, etc. and to dip into our investments and other accounts to pay the bills.  This is hard to talk about because the economy, despite what we are being told by our President and our government, is still stagnant, and also I recognize that many of our parishioners are extremely generous in sharing their treasure.  However, due to our older population dying off and also more and more people not attending church on a regular basis, our number of donors continues to decrease.  We are discussing many alternatives and ways to boost contributions, including the possibility of beginning a means to donate in more convenient ways (debit or credit card, etc.).  To improve the situation, we need the help of everyone, so if you can find it in your heart to give a little more of your treasure to keep our parish operational without having to make some critical decisions, it would be so appreciated.  And also, please keep encouraging those who have drifted away from their faith to come back and experience the forgiveness and welcoming touch of God.

Well other than that, not much else going on.  I again am grateful for the continued compliments I receive about our website and how valuable it can be as an evangelization tool.  It is a labor of love, and something I hope to continue to expand and improve upon.  And again as always, your comments and suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.  God Bless!  Peace.

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