Friday, May 25, 2012


On behalf of my parents, younger brother and godmother I thank everyone who was able to participate at my Mass of Thanksgiving celebrating my 25 years of priesthood last weekend. May the Holy Spirit continue to bless you.

We began the Easter season by setting a fire at the entrance of the church symbolizing the light of Christ. Today we end this great season by celebratingthe fire that God lights in us through his Spirit. Fire both fascinates and frightens us. It warms us and burns us. It draws us and makes us want to run away. It is a fitting image of the love of God – a love that we both long for and fear. And it is a fitting image of our baptismal vocation – to set the world on fire with love.

Today we also pray that the Holy Spirit will guide our graduates as they head off to the next stage in their lives. Besides honoring our graduating high school seniors we also remember the 23 young people who will complete our Eighth Grade, as well as the 17 Kindergarten youngsters who will be entering First Grade. We call upon the Holy Spirit to help these young people, especially to be their guide in faith and truth.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Easter 7

As I reflect about my 25 years of the priesthood, many thoughts pass through my mind and the journey that God has led me before and after ordination. I have been a priest almost half of my life. You sometimes wonder what God has in mind for us. I think back of myself as that quiet, shy, inquisitive, little boy who played all kinds of sports and played with Legos, erector sets and built dams in a creek. God had a plan and over time he unveiled what he had in mind. I thank God above all – he has truly blest me throughout my 51 years of life. I thank my parents for their faithfulness and their example – it is through them that I learned about God and how to serve the Church. My two brothers, Jim and Dave, my grandparents, my teachers, my friends and girl friends all shaped me in some way also – especially the bruises I received from my brothers. That was the time before my ordination. During my priesthood I thank the pastors that I have served under. In my first five years of priesthood and two parish assignments I had four pastors – all unique and brilliant in their own ways. But most of all it has been from the parishioners that I have served that I have received so much. In parish ministry there are so many ways that I serve God’s people – from the womb to the tomb. At times you have no idea what to say and you pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance and wisdom. At other times you put your foot in your mouth. There have been those moments that I have helped and there were those moments that I have hurt. That is the humanity that I deal with, my brokenness, my imperfections. Fortunately God is bigger than all of us and he knows each and everyone of us better than we know ourselves. Thank you and may God continue to bless all of us.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Easter 6

Jesus tells us in our Gospel this Sunday, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Jesus is basically talking about self-sacrificing love. Other than Jesus himself, what better example of this agape, this unconditional love, do we have than that of a mother? Mothers have gone without sleep or food, changed their own plans, or given up something new for themselves, all to take care of the needs of a child. Monks and nuns may stay up late or rise early in the morning to pray, but no one knows more about the concept of a vigil than a mother staying up with a colicky baby, or the mother of a teenager who lies awake in bed waiting to hear the sound of the garage door to know her child has come home safely from an evening’s event.

On this Mother’s Day we thank our mothers and those who have acted in a motherly manner for all their love that they have shared with us. May God continue to bless our mothers.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Easter 5

Businesses grow through networking, making connections with individuals and other businesses that lead to referrals. Faith communities grow in much the same way by individuals connecting to one another through a common love for Jesus. The image Jesus uses for it is the vine. Like branches, we are connected to him and then through him to one another. As the saying goes, “it is not what you know, but who you know.” Knowing Jesus and obeying his word, we make steady progress as a community of faith and enjoy the consolation of his Holy Spirit. None of us can do what we do unless we remain connected to Jesus. Let us ask Jesus to make our connection to him stronger. With that stronger connection we can continue to draw our life from him, so that in faith, we can make our faith community stronger.

This Sunday, 62 of our young people will receive Jesus in Holy Communion for the first time. This is a special time of grace, a special time for the child, a special time for the family and a special time for our parish. This time is special because Holy Communion is Jesus’ sign of love for us. Jesus was willing to give his life on the cross and he was willing to give his very self in Holy Communion for us. Jesus is truly merciful. We are called to follow Jesus’ example by being merciful to one another. To recite Jesus’ law of love means nothing; to live it is everything. What sacrifice of love are we willing to show one another?