Monthly Archives: December 2011

Preparing for the New Year!

HELP!

One of the things that has dogged me since moving to this new rectory is cleaning my garage. I’m still throwing stuff out from my last 4 moves. I am determined to get this done not just to know I am not a hoarder but so that I can park my car into the garage. AND, if I am so blessed, I am hoping to have an associate assigned to me this summer and it would be nice if there was space for his car too! After perusing my junk I feel compelled now to get rid of all stuff….sentimental and all!

Not only am I going to get rid of my junk but I would also like to paint the walls and floor this summer. This morning I cleaned out my pantry and made a huge pile in the garage and just looked around and thought I was in an old episode of Sanford and Son. There are so many chemicals in my garage too which means I’m going to have to find a recycling drop off for paint and sprays that range from adhesives to only God knows what.

I am hoping that the Altar & Rosary girls are going to change their minds this spring about a Rummage sale because I am ready to help them make thousands of dollars with the sale of my stuff. Well, in fairness, it may be thousands of dollars that was paid for this no good pile of junk but they may make a few bucks out of it.

By the way, the picture I have posted next to this is not my garage but it’s a close call. The other thing I may have to do is clean out my spiritual house. It wouldn’t hurt to clean out all the junk that weighs me down, namely my own sin. A clean house and a clean soul can do great things for the whole package. This coming year is going to meet me with new challenges which means new joys and new sorrows.

Happy New Year everyone. God Bless You All!

Blessed indeed!

I have to admit that Christmas has never been one of my most favorite holidays. I could probably tell you why but some things I prefer to keep to myself. On the spiritual plane, that’s a different story. The Scriptures are full and rich with the wonder and mystery of the incarnation of Christ. I think some of my displeasure comes from the secularism of the holiday but I also feel that this season brings out the “ug” in ugly.

But despite my past differences, I must admit that this was probably one of the best Christmas’ I have enjoyed in years.  I think the number one thing I noticed was how happy people seemed to be. there is certainly a lot of stress related to this holiday and I went through a good portion of this but it was completed in a satisfactory manner that made it all worth it. The church looked great. I’m very happy with the design that was implemented. I just wish new people with imagination would come forward to add a little more drama to the design. When I say drama, I don’t mean human drama but rather a creative drama. I believe the Arts & Environment of a church should be simple….less is more. We are certainly challenged with the drab color of the bricks and carpet that makes many things clash but but with inspiration anything can happen.

The other good thing was meeting my two new great-nephews who were born this summer. It’s hard to believe our family is growing with the birth of the grandkids having kids. this was much to the delight of my parents who enjoy the new title of “Great”. My dad got to meet the new munchkins and I’m not truly sure if he comprehends the whole situation. But he certainly was ll smiles as he was able to see the new ones face to face.

I also made tamales by myself. I only made 12 dozen from 12 pounds of masa. It was enjoyable to do it on some spare time. My mom said she thought they were better than Danny’s. Of course, i say that freely because I know he never reads this blog.

The one shadow that hung over all of the holiday was the number of funerals I presided. It is always so sad to assist families in the holiday season. My heart is with them in a very special way.

Lastly, my people were so very generous to me. It is so nice to be remembered this way. Whether it was a monetary gift, a baked good, a gift card, a card or a curious little gift….all was appreciated!

It’s now on to another year. I wonder what 2012 will bring us?

You Better Watch Out….

I’m tired!

There, I said it!

This week I had a funeral every day except for Wednesday. It is so sad for any family who has to go through this experience right before and after a major holiday. I really don’t give any comfort by telling people that “at least they’ll spend christmas with the Lord“!

It comes off as kind of lame.

My heart truly goes out to these families after going through this same thing back in 1962 when my sister died on Thanksgiving Day. It was always a difficult holiday to celebrate with that memory looming over our heads. It took decades before I (we) were able to enjoy this holiday again.  I wonder what it is like for those who celebrate their birthday on December 25th. Or, every so many years, my birthday falls on Mother’s Day!

Huh! Do I hear whining before Christmas?

Okay, now I’m whining. I better stop because Santa may be zeroing in on me. I’ve been pretty good this year. Or maybe I should say I haven’t been AS naughty as I have been in the past.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Humbug!

Oh noooooo!

It seems I’m having trouble with my house internet which I hope to resolve today! My best writing comes early in the morning, especially when I am in my pajamas and fuzzy slippers. My wireless connection has not been working. So, I thought maybe it was my router which has served me so well for a few years now. My first thought was that perhaps it was time to replace it. Luckily, I already had a brand new one in the wings. I hooked it up but to my dismay it doesn’t seem to work. My only other logical explanation is that the internet that runs to the rectory from the parish office is not working correctly. When I looked at the system this morning it was obvious from the starting point that the signal is NOT coming to the house.

It behooves me that I along with so many others rely so completely on our gadgets. Technology is a wonderful thing but I rely on it so much. When it doesn’t work properly then I become an animal ready to rip off heads. Is this what I’ve become. Simply….yes. I clearly recall when CD music disks came out and I swore I would never buy into that technology. HA! Before I knew it I had four CD players in various locations. Today I look at the boxes of CD’s that I never play and now CD’s are going out of style. With the coming of downloaded music, why should I buy CD’s. More cost efficient for sure. But now I’m hearing that LP’s are coming back because the richer, fuller and deeper quality sound they create is not duplicated by my high technological digital music.

With the boom of computers, I swore I would never own one. And now, looking back I have had several. I’ve settled with my Mac, which I really enjoy. But with the Mac I also have the iPad, iPhone and iPod. So when the internet goes out I’m screwed. Everything I do is through my computer. I may have to learn how to write again because besides my signature, I’m not sure if i still can.

One thing that is constant is my religious beliefs and convictions. This always pulls me away from all the distractions that I’ve created. the secular world is something I complain about but I am just as much to blame too!

My Aching Heart!

You gotta have heart!

Okay….so here it goes. I went to a new doctor and I went into his office feeling pretty good and when I left I felt like I was falling apart. I had made the appointment two weeks prior to my visit but 2 days before I had this sharp pain in my chest. When I complained about this my new doctor began to focus on this. His intensity was pretty darn good and his bedside manner was completely professional. He was actually very thorough and listened to me. That is the trade mark of a good doctor. He had his nurse do an EKG on me and lo and behold he comes back to tell me that the test shows I may have suffered a heart attack. Yikes! I began to panic because I know what this means. Yesterday I spent the whole day in the hospital for tests. I had X-Rays, dopplers, blood work and my sleep study people came to the house to test my oxygen level during my sleep.

The one bright spot was when my sister “Dr. Susie” called me and asked me if they tested my gall bladder! Since my doctor is an internist I figured that may have crossed his mind. So now I’m hoping that what I suffered is a gall bladder attack. It beats the heart attack thing hands down. If they have to take out the gall bladder then so be it.

Was I scared? You bet! If tests come back with something different…more serious , then I will deal with that. But I got news fer ya….my Disney trip is still on. Nothing will stop that.

Pray for my nervous side. The unknown stinks!

Hmmmm….

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for Us!

I think my blog is a huge hit in Poland!

You read that correctly. I just happened to look over in my spam file and there were over 112 spam comments. My best guess is that it was written in Polish. I was clearly able to identify a few words as being recognizably Polish. But then again, I receive some spam in the form of Latin!

Of course, there were a few notes in there about how I can increase my readerships with different software. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that there were a few pieces that promised to increase the longevity of my “software”. Geesh! I guess it takes all kinds.

Yesterday was one of those days where I just wanted to sleep and eat. I had a funeral mass for a young man and then I took care of a minimal amount of paperwork. I am so grateful that Fr. Lawrence (Dutch) Heeg was able to come in and take two masses for me. I will still wind up doing three masses. Tonight at 5:00 PM I have the mass for Our Lady of Guadalupe. It’s a mass that I enjoy doing very much. It was one of the first wonders I had as a child. I will never forget the first time I became aware of her image. Who was this beautiful lady who resembled “my people”. It was obvious that she was revered as I recall sitting in the church of OLG in East Chicago.

The first time I went to visit the tilma of St. Juan Diego in Mexico City, it was like truly seeing our Blessed Mother for the first time. I wanted to fall on my knees. I wanted to cry. There she was…..on the back wall of the church above the sanctuary. The mysterious woman who made herself known to me as a little boy. You could not hide from her. I had the beautiful fortune of celebrating mass in one of the capillas of the Basilica. Tonight, I will once again remind my special lady of the prayer that I hold in my heart. There are two things I am praying for: the first is that my sister moves back to this area and that the bishop will assign me an associate pastor. I don’t feel that I am jinxing myself by declaring this but just making my prayer known in hopes that it may be granted. Would you pray these for me too?

No roaming Catholic!

I have been a steadfast Roman Catholic all my life. When God chose me in this vocation as a priest I really didn’t think I had what it took to be God’s steward. How wrong I was. I embrace my faith. I have always believed that the church is never wrong. I still maintain that. I can never understand the good Christian people who question my beliefs and theology,  or feel they want to convert me to their brand of Christianity. The apostolic tradition that has been set and is well grounded and founded. As Christians our mission is to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ and not to question their brothers and sisters who believe in these same principles. We were given instruction to fed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the prisoners and take care of the sick. Despite our differences in theology, the only difference we are to make are to those who are the lost, lonely and forgotten.

Let us Pray for One Another!

It’s beginning to look a lot like……….

Mexican Wedding Cake cookies....YUM!

I got bit by the Christmas spirit! Yep, all it took was this dusting of snow to tickle my inner child. Right now I’m dealing with some personal issues that have kind of held me back but the first snowfall is like that magic inner button that turns on the Christmas Spirit. My two Yorkies were in heaven as I watched them playfully bouncing in the snow. My experienced veteran, Gus the 2nd has always loved the snow and he was in heaven! Gus is all black and he loves to furrow his face in the snow. He comes out looking like a man with a grey beard. All four of the pups are high spirited this morning. I am heaving a sigh of relief with my foster dog. He is officially housebroken. Any “accidents” happen on the newspaper in an area of the house that is out of the way. It took Scruffy a while to “get it” but he does and I think he has learned the joy of doing his business outdoors without any guilt or fear of being admonished. I just give him the praise and it just makes the circle of trust tighter.

The Spirit of the season hit me as I turned on Donna Summer’s Greatest Hits. All heavy duty disco! I had it on loud while making my cookie dough for baking later on in the day. I’m making Mexican Wedding Cakes. As I was dancing and singing I looked down at my kids and they were all staring at me like a crazy man. Guess I need to show them more of this side of me. The bottom line is that it made me feel good. A simple pleasure. there’s a lesson here. When I untangle it and process it, I will post it for another day. Stay tuned!

Peace!

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

One of things I said I was going to adhere to this pre-Christmas season was not to get caught in the flurry of craziness. So far I’m doing very well but there’s always this human vortex that’s trying to suck me into where I don’t want to be! As you can imagine, running a ship with so many personalities I cannot help but get caught up in the someone else’s craziness. The trick is to sidestep or to meet it head-on. When you meet it head-on, then feelings get hurt. But what about my feelings? What about my concerns? My utmost concerns about the way I run this parish is how does it benefit the people who worship here? I cannot bow to one person and I will not. I only bow to God! I only boast in Him!

Today is a day where I am hoping to find a little peace. I am taking time today to invite our Blessed Mother into the season and let her peace speak to my heart. I ask her, who is without sin, to enlighten me and offer me courage and hope just as she did with her Son. She understands my mission as a servant to God. She understood her Son’s mission and she understands the mission of all those who wish to walk the true path to heaven.

Even with my imperfections, and I have many, I bow to our Blessed Mother and her Holy Incarnation into the world. Hail Mary, Full of grace, Blessed are thee amongst women!

Tee-Hee….I’ve been naughty!

Shame, shame , shame!

I’m not kidding either. I found a lump of coal in my mailbox this morning COMMANDING me to write in my blog! It worked! Sadly, I have not made time to write in my blog. In all honesty, I forget that I have a blog and I have readers who are hungry for all sorts of tidbits of useless information. That may be so but as I stated when I first started this blog that it was for my mental health and not necessarily anything more than that. With the lack of my submissions, you may assume my mental health has been crazy.

It started with putting up my damn Christmas tree. Oh yea,….life was going to be so much easier with a pre-lit tree! NOT! Now that it is four years old that tree has had a few strands go out. thinking that it was only a loose bulb, I meticulously turned each one and checked it. When that failed. I ran out to Menard’s and bought one of those light fix guns. Total waste of money! In the end, I ripped out the lights that didn’t work and restrung new lights. At the end of this season, I am going to take of my lights and throw this tree out. I’m going back to a real tree!

I’ve also been fostering a fourth dog. Yes, your eyes aren’t tricking you. I’m fostering another dog and it is a Yorkie! I already adopted a Yorkie back in April and that worked really good. I have had to work with the new dog (Scruffy) with an intense reinforcement program. Bottom line: he was not housebroken. Finally, after three weeks, we have made progress and he is ready to go to his forever home. When it comes to critters, I am a sap. Those who know me will verify! (Hi Mike!). It just behooves me that people adopt critters and then don’t treat them well.

Good ol' St. Nick!

The next two weeks will be intensifying as I start rounds for Penance Services and then the big feast day of Christmas. So far I am doing well in not getting caught up in the Christmas craziness. I have bought all my Christmas gifts. Mainly they were for me. I’m the only one who knows what I like and I am happy to keep it that way. The parade of baked goods will start marching towards the rectory door as people will want to send me goodies. Thank goodness I have a lot of friends. They’ll snap them all up!