August 17, 2012 – 200 and Counting

I have mentioned in this space before that I don’t get the chance very often to celebrate milestones, so when one comes along I like to acknowledge it.  Through the ability of technology to compute statistics, I am happy to acknowledge that this is my 200th blog entry.  When I began this blog back in late 2007 I had no idea what direction it would take or how long I would do it.  It was basically just a matter of seeing that blogs at that time were becoming very popular and wanting to throw my 2 cents worth in.  Little did I know that almost 5 years later I would still be doing this on pretty much a weekly basis and that at least a few people would still find it worthwhile reading.  So I have to say thank you for your support and for your continued interest in what I have to say.  It means so much to me.

When I wrote my 100th blog, I looked back at some things I had written previously and commented on them.  Since I have always felt that originality was overrated, I’m going to do the same thing for this blog.  So here’s another little trip down memory lane with the date the item was written and then a little current commentary following each one:

10/30/10 – “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.”  Well the economy still is not in the best shape, especially considering that we now have to face the effects of the extreme drought.  But the generosity of our parishioners has not wavered.  If anything, it has gotten stronger.  We just completed the capital campaign for our steeple renovation that surpassed our goal, and any other time a need arises, our parishioners rise to the occasion.

12/22/10 – “To our President and Congressional leaders – a new found attitude of compromise and a real effort to work for the common good.”  This was part of my Christmas “wish” list a couple years ago.  Obviously this still remains on the wish list.

2/4/11 – “There is also a program that will be taking place next year as a part of the Diocesan celebration of its 125th anniversary called “Fanning the Flame”.  It will be a great opportunity for us to renew our knowledge of our faith, and likewise we will be more prepared to instruct those who lack the proper knowledge about our faith.”  Boy, has it ever been.  Our weekly discussion group has been a wonderful learning experience, and I know others are participating in other ways.

8/6/11 – “Have you joined our Facebook page yet?  Go to our website,, and click the Facebook tab and go from there.  We have 46 members now.  I post death notices and other tidbits on this page, and it’s a chance to stay in touch with current and former parishioners.”  Now a year later we’re up yo 63 members of our Facebook page, and the Facebook group I recently started to gather memories from our school is over 100 members strong.  It certainly isn’t our fault that Facebook stock has been plummeting.

9/9/11 – “Gov. Quinn has proposed to close 7 state facilities and lay off over 1900 state workers in a money-saving move.  One of the facilities proposed for closure is the Chester Mental Health Center, which employees almost 500 people.  If this facility were to close, it obviously would have a devastating effect on our area, particularly in a time when the economy is already in a fragile state.  Some think that this is just a political ploy by the governor in order to persuade the legislature to add to the state budget.  If it is, then he should be ashamed for using people’s jobs and livelihoods as bargaining chips.  If this is a serious proposal, then obviously he does not realize that so much of what fuels the economy of our town and our area is the prison and the mental health center.”  Fortunately this proposal had to go through the general assembly and did not pass, so the facility has been spared at least for the time being.  Unfortunately other facilities were not so lucky, including the youth camp in Murphysboro.  We continue to pray that the jobs in our area will be spared.

11/18/11 – “In about a week, we will begin using the 3rd edition of the Roman Missal for our responses during Mass.  I have heard concern from some people saying that they are afraid that they will still blurt out the old responses, even though we will have pew cards with the new translation.  My piece of advice is not to be concerned.  it will take all of us some time to get used to the new translation.  And if during the first few weeks, some of us still say “The Lord be with you” instead of “And with your Spirit”, well that’s just part of the process.”  I must say that the transition has gone as smoothly as anyone could have hoped, at least in our parish.  “And with your spirit” is now indelibly engrained in all of our minds.

2/10/12 – “The national news continues to surround the recent mandate by the Obama administration that non-profit employers, which would include entities such as Catholic hospitals and Catholic universities, must include coverage of contraception and sterilization procedures in their health care plans.  This of course goes against Catholic teaching, and would force many individuals to not only violate their conscience, but to also pay more to cover the cost of providing these procedures and medications free of charge.”  There of course has been a huge backlash against this mandate.  Our U.S. Bishops have mobilized against this, and leaders of other faiths have spoken out against this.  Unfortunately, the mandate still stands, and work and prayer must continue to see that it is overturned.

I’m sure that there were other excerpts I could have picked out, but these were the ones that stuck out to me.  What will the next 100 blogs bring?  Well, let’s just shoot for #201 and go from there.

Again, thank you for continuing to read the blog.  Have a great week.  Peace.


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