March 17, 2006
Happy St. Patrick’s day. It was two years ago today that I was in New York for the festivities myself. I fondly remember those times and am hopeful to return to New York some time soon. I stayed in St. Patrick’s Cathedral Rectory which was quite a treat and got to vist a friend/mentor of mine by the name of Msgr. James Cassidy. He really is quite a priest.
I have been watching with some amusement the number of indults granted to avoid the Lenten Fast for today’s commemoration (that is how it is listed in the Liturgy of the Hours). Short of being your patronal feast day I can’t imagine why a Catholic would have to eat corned beef and cabbage on this day and be angry if they still had to observe the fast. It is a plate of food. It is astounding to me how we tend to worship our culture.
Now I am a big fan of culture and see it as a good thing. I grew up in a place with very strong cultural identities. But Ethnic Heritage seems to have become a new altar many people choose to worship at. I’m this… or I’m that… I have even been told by someone “Fr. were German so as long as you do what we want everything will be fine.” That was the first thing that person had ever said to me.
We all have our different “cultures” we belong to: ethnic, national, state, university etc… It would seem to me the most important culture should be our religious culture, and Catholics don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent.
March 11, 2006
We just finished up having Carl Olson give his talk “The DaVinci Hoax” at the parish. He did a good job and I think people learned a lot. I also snagged some copies of his books for our local library.
March 2, 2006
Here’s a little event that made my month… a nice little reflection if you don’t mind some symbolism:
After the 7 PM Ash Wednesday Mass, I announced that I’d be moving in to the new rectory and sleeping in there for the first time as of last night (night of Ash Wednesday). Around 30 adults and children helped me pack out of the condo (the converted tool shed I’ve been living in the last few years), and into the mansion (the new 3 bedroom house which finally went up two months ago).
By 10 PM we were finished. At 9:30 PM, Ken Karabanoff called me from INSIDE the Westbound train and asked if he could stop on the tracks by St. Michael’s in order to receive Ashes. He said he would be honking the train horn from farther away than usual, since he has to start slowing down miles and miles in advance. It was the first time I was happy to hear that obnoxious train horn, since it always blows only 60 yards from the condo and shakes everything around! The train pulled up and stopped about 30 yards from the Church, and Kenneth jumped out of the train, with another conductor. They pulled off their caps and asked for the ashes.
We then prayed an Our Father, and then they jumped back in the train, headed West. Sometimes I look for too much symbolism in things, but this is what crossed my mind: The first day of Lent… night time (symbol of darkness and the desert, St. Theresa’s Dark Night), a West Bound train (meditation on the East focuses on the Resurrection, meditation on the West focuses on the suffering, Passion and Death. A good theme for Lent.).
And the train…. well, that’s just cool.
February 24, 2006
These people won’t be satisfied until they control every aspect of your life according to their agenda.
February 14, 2006
A priest friend of mine is very seriously ill. I would ask your prayers on his behalf.
February 9, 2006
That is the title of a television show on HGTV I have been recording. My rectory is filled with 50 years of accumulated junk. Closets are full of all sorts of stuff and there is general clutter.
Inspired by the show, I have slowly begun going through drawers and what not with the idea of getting the place in shape. I don’t have quick access to the nifty boxes and things they use on the show but the basic sorting skills I have.
I achieved a small victory the other night when I got this big cabinet in my office empty and sorted.
When it gets warmer I will be hauling a lot of stuff to the dump.. worthy stuff I will donate or sell in a parish garage sale.
It is a huge project but it should be very satisfying once a lot of the stuff is gone.
January 25, 2006
This is a talk given by Fr. Jim Mason at my parish. It is a talk on end of life issues. I had some problems with the speaker system at first so the first 2 minutes are hard to hear. You can hear them if you listen carefully. I finally get the microphone figured out and it gets better.