Archive for January, 2006
This October will take me to the above four countries. I have been traveling with my younger brother and enjoying it. Last year we went on a cruise. It was a last minute deal because he was called up to guard the innauguration (He is a cop in Texas). He said he could cancel it but I told him no way because he would never get the chance to do it again. So we changed our original plans and went on a cruise. It was an interesting experience.
This year was scuba diving or Rome. Rome it was. I asked him if there was anything else he wanted to see in Europe and like the Good patriotic Catholic Man he was he wanted to go to Normandy to see the beaches. I had never been there but am really looking forward to it myself. Hopefully they will let me say Mass at the cemetery. That is the main reason I want to visit. Anzio was a very moving experience for me and I swore when I became a priest I would return to say Mass there. I don’t know if it will happen this trip but it will some day: the Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise.
So I asked him if he would be interested in England or Ireland while we were over there. He would like both but we don’t have enough time so we will spend a coupld days in London.
So it looks like 2.5-3 days in Rome. 1 Day in Paris(Have to see Notre Dame and Rue de Bac) 2.5 days in Normandy and 3-4 days in London.
Hopefully he won’t mind me dragging him to a bunch of churches but he lives in the United States so he has never really seen a things on the level of the Cathedrals of Europe.
Planning it out consumes a bunch of Energy. Rome is easy.. I lived there 4 years. I know where to stay, where to eat, how to get around and what to see in a few days.
Normandy is a bit more challenging because I don’t think we will rent a car which means I have to wait until 2 months before we leave to book trains. Also I got an email this morning from the B&B I want to stay in. They told me the room was available but they didn’t take reservations that far out (October). I should write back in April. Who knows maybe French Calendars don’t go January to December. But then again I am a bit different than most people when it comes to time. It absolutely mystifies me how some people deal with it. I ask people if they want to go to World Youth Day in 2008 and some people say I don’t know what I am doing then……(scratches head)…If you say you’re going then you know what you’re doing. Of course I am the priest that stands in the back of the church with his atomic watch and announces to the altar servers 1 minute 37 seconds. Mass begins on time.
Anyway.. I digress. I am pretty familiar with London as well so that should be a nice visit. This time I am writing the Govenor of the Tower of London and asking permission to say Mass in St. Thomas More’s cell. Please pray that that will come about. He is such a hero of mine. Hopefully the sisters at Tyburn Convent might allow me to say Mass for them as well.
All in all it is shaping up to be a good trip.
The funny thing is in the last 24 hours two people mentioned to me that they want to go to Rome. Many people have asked me if I would lead a pilgrimage… perhaps I need to think about that. If I did would any of you guys be interested? It would have to be in 2007 or early 2008. It would probably be Italy only. But within I would certainly be open to Naples (Amalfi Coast is one of God’s truely great geographical masterpieces) Turin (Blessed Pier Giorgio, Assis, and San Giovani Rotunda. We shall see if there is interest.
Enough for today. I know I still owe you some homilies. I just got my laptop back from the shop after 6 weeks of it being gone so I hope to catch up soon. It has my audio processing stuff on it.
Wow one update every two weeks isn’t going to cut it. I am sorry it has been very busy. We have had a lot of activities going on and there was a small post Christmas liturgy break I took in order to recover. Of course I still feel tired but heh that means I won’t go to hell for laziness.
In the last week we have had a concert by Angel Dean (a friend of mine who did a great job) and two talks by Fr. Jim Mason. He is our vocations director and I posted an article of his on the website about seminary vocation. He did a talk on vocations of course and the second one was concerning end of life issues. I am encouraging people to think about doing a bit of preplanning for a number of reasons.
First, I think we all need to be ready spiritually and we have to keep it in our minds that we know not the day nor the hour. I have been thinking a lot about death personally and I want to teach people more about it.
Second, having dealth with an number of funerals in my short time as a priest I think it is a difficult time for family memebers to worry about really big decisions and many time small ones. Often times in the mix of emotions they can make decisions they might not make otherwise (Like spending a hideous amount of money on a casket). It seems easier to make those decisions in advance, spare your family the difficulty and ensure it reflects your wishes. The last point is important because I have seen a number of problems develop over it. One is siblings fighting over what mom and dad would have wanted. I am sure mom and dad would not have wanted the fight. A little preplanning can go a long way to stem this off.
So with these thoughts I have been working on my own funeral. I have my casket picked out. You can find it at TrappistCaskets
. I am going for a simple oak casket in the traditional shape rather thant he rectangular one. I am getting all the legal documents ready. I am going to prepare a letter or a video for my family. Finally I am going to prepare my liturgy in advance.
I am going to be working with my parishioners to encouarage them to think about these things as well. Here are some of the things I want to encourage them to have.
1. A durable power of attorney (this is much better than a living will because you can’t handle ever situation with a living will. It is better to have someone you trust to make the decisions. I will put up a sample form later of this for download.)
2. A will (Again the state can do all sorts of weird things with your estate if you don’t leave a will. It saves the family a lot of pain and suffering if this document is carefully prepared and in place)
3. A Codice to the will expressing your desires for your funeral.
4. A funeral liturgy plan ( this should be worked out in conjunction with your priest and kept on file at the parish. If your priest changes then you should review it with your new pastor. It is important that you don’t leave this step out because you don’t want to plan stuff the priest can’t do or that isn’t in accordance with the liturgy. If someone presented me with one of these that I hadn’t seen I would try to honor it as much as possible but if I couldn’t then I would have to delcline parts of it. It also is a beautiful way to speak to your family one last time through your selection of the funeral readings.)
So that is what I am working on and hopefully I will be back to regular posting once my notebook returns from the shop. I have been without it for 4 weeks and am starting to get a bit frustrated.