January 12, 2013 – Milestones

I spent the beginning and the end of the week marking a couple of milestones, so to speak.  This past Sunday I attend the ecumenical service at the Cathedral in Belleville which officially brought to a close the celebration of the 125th anniversary of the establishment of the Diocese of Belleville.  It was a simple yet very nice ceremony.  The main speaker, Dr. Michael Kinnamon, who recently served as the general secretary of the National Council of Catholic Churches, gave a very nice sermon on how the Catholic Church has improved their relations with churches of other denominations, particularly since Vatican II.  He spoke of growing up in Iowa and living only about 3 blocks from the Catholic Church, yet he didn’t even see the inside of the church until he was a teenager because his parents discouraged him from associating with “those people.”  He complimented the Catholic Church, particularly Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI for their efforts in improving ecumenical relations.  Certainly there is much more progress to make in this area, but we have come a long way in a relatively short time.  January 18 – 25 marks the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Let us pray during this time that we as God’s servants can continue to come together to spread His message and work together in harmony.

OK, the other milestone I observed this week was a little more personal in nature, and one that I was not looking forward too.  In the Christmas letter that I sent to my relatives last month, I joked that one of my Mom’s pet peeves is when she goes to the doctor and expresses a complaint about something, and the answer comes back as “well, Mrs. Niermann, you are in your 80’s now” or “things like that are a part of getting older.”  CURSES!  Well, joking time for me came to an end yesterday.  As I briefly mentioned last time, I had an appointment with my physician this past Monday, and as I feared some of my numbers were at the point that I’m going to have to put some restrictions on my diet.  OK, not great news, but I can deal with it.  So yesterday I go to see the nutritionist for some “counseling.”  Keep in mind I have absolutely no animosity toward the nutritionist, and she did an excellent job with her presentation.  She told me many of the things I expected to hear (carbs are the enemy, broccoli is our friend, etc.).  Then it hit, the dreaded milestone, the point where I realized that I have officially crossed the threshold from youth to middle age.  My nutritionist uttered these words: “You know Brian, you are in your 40’s now, and our bodies don’t do the same job of breaking down our food as they used to.”  ECGADS!  There it was.  The dreaded “You are now in your 40’s” line, as if it were some sort of curse or death sentence.  I say most of this in jest, and after having a day to think about this I realize that I should be grateful for having been on this earth to this point, and that it is my responsibility to take care of myself so I can stick around a while longer.  I just wish that there was a more subtle way of putting things like this.  Like “you know Brian, you have gained a lot of experience in your life, and it’s time to experience something else – this delicious, non-fat yogurt!.”  Nope, doesn’t work.  Might as well tell it like it is!

Speaking of a much more important milestone, January is the month we particularly focus on pro – life issues because January 22 marks the anniversary of the historical Roe vs. Wade decision which legalized abortion procedures in this country.  This year marks the 40th anniversary of this decision.  As you know, many activities take place to voice support for reversing this decision around this time, including many rallies and the March for Life in Washington, D.C.  This year, our U.S. Bishops are asking all of us to participate in some way in support of this cause, whether we attend a rally or participate in some other way.  This year our Bishops have established “Nine Days of Prayer, Penance and Pilgrimage” which will take place from January 19 – 27.  All of us during these nine days can participate in a simple novena.  Here are the details of the novena:

During the 9-day period between January 19 and 27, a simple novena will be made available with daily prayer intentions for the healing and conversion of our nation, for elected officials who support abortion, and for all people whose lives have forever been changed by an abortion, including the children whose lives were ended, their mothers and fathers, their grandparents and siblings and the spouses of those who’ve been involved in an abortion in the past. The youth-friendly Novena will assist both pilgrims and those participating in their parishes and homes via social media/text messages/emails with a web-link to the day’s prayers and activities:

a) An intercession of the day

b) Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, Glory Be

c) A very brief reflection on the saint of the day or a lesson from the daily readings

d) Daily suggestions for concrete acts of prayer, penance and charity, which would help to introduce students to traditional prayers and personal sacrifices

e) One powerful abortion-related myth/reality fact

I will of course be providing links to access this information.  You can also use you cell phone and text “9DAYS” to 99000 and you will receive a text message each of the 9 days with information.

Finally, if all goes well, I hope to this week finish preparing information for putting together a new parish directory.  It will of course utilize online tools.  I don’t want to give too much away yet, but I think it will be cool (that’s my attempt at a 40-something trying to stay hip to the times).  Aw, forget it.  I think it will be good.

Have a groovy (great) week.  Peace.


One Response to “January 12, 2013 – Milestones”

  1. Fr. Gene Says:

    Wonderful Blog as usual. I could not help, but think that you should divide your time doing P.R. copy for the Church and moonlighting writing sitcom scripts for ,movies and T.V. Some great copy for both in this blog. Merci! Thanks for the faith sharing and the humor. God Bless!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: