All posts by D

Fr. Terry’s March 17th Bulletin Article

Fr. Terry’s Sharing…

I remember visiting a student of mine who lived in Florida while I was there to visit a priest from our Diocese who had moved there.  I was just looking to visit, but this student wanted to do something special for me.  He had arranged a fishing trip in the ocean.  Not being very experienced himself, he had hired a guide.  The guide was exceptional and kind.  He knew where to go for the good fishing.  He knew what equipment to use and prepared us on what to do when a fish grabbed our line.  He would make suggestions along the way and not once did he call us dumb.  Like I say, he was a kind man who wanted us to have the best experience possible.  It was hard work, but a very fun day.  It was productive because we had a wonderful time visiting to catch up on each other’s lives.  It was productive because we accomplished catching some fish that we enjoyed in a meal together that evening.  Those were the things that made the trip memorable.

We are headed into the days of uncharted waters called Lent.  It is a Journey worth taking.  It has a way for us to follow.  It has a guide who wants us to have the best experience possible (God).  It has companions to journey with us in caring and support.  It has a goal/destination.  We learn along the way.  We are given chances to learn and to be forgiven for mistakes.  With each experience along the way we grow, individually and together.  Our weaknesses are turned into strengths.  We are blessed with the things that are most important to us.  We are fed with nourishment, bodily and spiritually.  Everything becomes right in our lives and the world around us.  We become grateful.  And everything is how it should be.  It leads us to a time of celebration in the midst of that gratitude.  And we develop a memory to last a lifetime and beyond.  I invite you to a marriage, yes a marriage!  In prayer and reflection, take my experience and connect it to the journey of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter.  That is what we should be about:  connecting our experiences of life to the God who gave us that life.

May your prayer and reflection be fruitful to your life and journey of faith. 

 

Fr. Terry’s February 17th Bulletin Article

Fr. Terry’s Sharing…

 We just celebrated Valentine’s Day.  “Love is a short word but it contains everything” is a quote by Guy De Maupassant.  I have often thought that if God were to give that quote, he would add these three words at the end – for an eternity.  In other words, God would tell us that love is meant to never have an end.

 God is love; and he that dwells in love, dwells in God. (1 John 4:16)

 An early Christian Mystic offered this:  God is the presence, warm, all-enfolding, touching the drab world into brilliance, lifting the sad heart into song, indescribable, beyond understanding, yet by a bird’s note, a chord of music, a light at sunset, a sudden movement of rapt insight, a touch of love, making the whole universe a safe home for the soul.

St. Augustine wrote:  He loves each of us, as if there were only one of us.

 Desire Joseph Mercier once reflected about our relationship with God and each other in this way:  “To unite we must love one another; to love one another we must know one another; to know one another we must meet one another.”

Greater love has no one than this, that one lays down one’s life for a friend. (John 15:13)

I leave you two scripture passages…

Earnestly desire the greater gifts.  And I show you a still more excellent way.  If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 12:31 to 13:8)

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.  For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge—God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you.  Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.  He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:3-9)

 

Fr. Terry’s February 3rd Bulletin Article

Fr. Terry’s Sharing…

Memory – what a treasure God gave us.  In relationship to funerals, I have often reflected on how out of all of God’s creation, that is one complex gift God gave to human beings.  I am watching everyday right in front of my eyes, my Mom struggling and her frustration with remembering people, events, and things.  It is a little scary because as I age, I find myself having days or moments of memory loss.  I wonder if I could ask for early retirement (lol)?  And yet throughout my life to this point, I have always considered God’s gift of memory one of my greatest treasures.  It has enriched my priesthood and my life in powerful ways.

Memory can be broken down to many areas, one of which is communication.  Communication in a parish is necessary for so many reasons…especially in building us up as the Family of God, the Church.  It was recently shared with me that present day parishes are made up with five generations of people.  It is roughly:

  1. 9% the Greatest Generation
  2. 24% the Baby Boomers
  3. 20% Generation X
  4. 22% the Millenniums (Generation Y)
  5. 26% the I-Gens (Generation Z)

Because of all the technology, never has there been such a diversity of how we communicate.  As a parish, we need to learn and grow in how we communicate to meet everyone’s needs.  An example is our information screens before Mass to share what is going on in our parish.  Naturally there were a few people who questioned why, what to them was a distraction.  Yet I also had some parents tell me that their high schoolers mentioned something that was happening in the parish.  This surprised them and they asked their children where they got the information.  It was from the screens.  That is why to try to reach out to all five generations, we need to have several different ways to get information about the parish out.

With this in mind, I have set two goals for myself and the parish.  It will be the start of what I hope will be a growth in our parish in this area of communication.

The first one is our bulletin.  The most frequent feedback I receive is that it is too busy…too full of information overload.  Also, how often the same thing gets conveyed over several weeks.  It is my intention to reformat the bulletin in the weeks ahead.

The second one is our newsletter.  I really feel it should be devoted to telling the Good News of what is happening in our parish.

Please feel free to give feedback or tar and feather your pastor.  If you chose the latter, I will ask Fr. Tom to stand by to sacramentally forgive you in case I cannot talk (Ha).  While I might not be able to implement all your ideas and feedback, I do welcome it because St. Michael is our parish and all of us should be actively involved in forming who we are in service to God.