The Holly and the Ivy

Holly Berries along the old property line

Walking around our Mission Church territory, I’ve noticed many things. One is the beautiful wild holly that grows along the property lines.

The other is the sheer neglect of the 5 acres we own behind our mission church. We ourselves appear to be using it to dump trash. We’re not doing that institutionally, but it’s happening. And while walking around the other day, someone was hunting on it. What poor stewards are we?

Anyway, it will come together. There’s no rush with things, just lists of things that can be addressed in the next few years. And so may ideas.

We want to be good neighbors, after all, good stewards, and a Faithful people.

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Advent II

“My soul magnifies the Lord; my spirit has found joy in God, who is my Saviour, because he has looked graciously upon the lowliness of his handmaid. Behold, from this day forward all generations will count me blessed; because he who is mighty, he whose name is holy, has wrought for me his wonders.

“He has mercy upon those who fear him, from generation to generation; he has done valiantly with the strength of his arm, driving the proud astray in the conceit of their hearts; he has put down the mighty from their seat, and exalted the lowly;

he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty-handed.

“He has protected his servant Israel, keeping his merciful design in remembrance, according to the promise which he made to our forefathers, Abraham and his posterity for evermore.”

Luke 1:46-55  [Knox trans.] 

The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is not obliged as a holy day this year, as it is transferred to Monday. In the 1962 Calendar it is celebrated on this Sunday, so it will be observed at the Noon Mass. Our Masses Monday are at 6:00 and 8:00 AM, with Adoration in between. 

Fra Anthony Serviam, of the Marian Friars Minor is a friend of our Parish and will be in the area starting 12/12/20, through 12/19/20. During that time he will offer a series of talks with a Marian theme: the total consecration to Mary, and reflections on the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Part of his work in the Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, which his Bishop has specifically asked him to do, is to give talks and presentations on the differences between the new rite of the Mass and the old rite of the Mass. So he will be presenting a topic on that as well. We’ll have that schedule posted next week, and it will be on our website and social accounts prior to that. 

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Last Sunday – Christ the King

Mont Ste. Michel

Bulletin Letter from 11/27/19

I’m often asked what I think of the current trials and tribulations of the Church. While everyone wants to blame everyone else for everything, and Priests are a lightning rod for controversy and polemic discussions, the fact is that in the grand scheme of things we know that the story of the Church ends well. And classically speaking, if a story ends well it’s a comedy. 

So we can look at the Church as an unfortunate comedy of errors in our time.  This is why Dante Alighieri wrote “The Divine Comedy”, and not “The Divine Tragedy”. It fell to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow to write the latter, and his story – a trilogy – ends in the modern period of the 1800s in protestant New England. If we only look at the present, we’ll never see what the Lord has in store for us. We live in the present, with the hope of a glorious future. 

The story of the church isn’t a tragedy, but personal histories can be. I’m bothered by the trials of the Church, but I’m more concerned with souls falling away from Jesus Christ and from the Faith. The trials of the Church are affecting people’s faith and their lives in very negative ways. If someone falls away and decides that they are Buddhist, new age, agnostic, or whatever – why should anyone be glad about that? If the Church promotes that in any way, why should a priest be glad about that? 

Several years ago the nun who was president of a national assembly of women religious, said that they were moving beyond Jesus Christ. Many priests thought this was a wonderful statement in our enlightened times. But they also had a noted new age thought leader speak at the same assembly, who promoted moving beyond Jesus Christ into territories once abandoned by the enemy of our souls, who is far more subtle and deceptive than most realize. Such things are horrifying and should be to everyone who knows and loves Jesus Christ. 

Jesus Christ is Lord, or He isn’t. Each person has to decide that for a fact, take up their cross and follow Him. Or they need to move on and see if the grass is truly greener on the other side. People fall away from the Church all the time. But when push comes to shove, they want Holy Communion on demand, they want a Catholic burial, they want the “Last Rites”, they want the spiritual help and consolations that ritual worship offers, they want a priest present, they want to know how to pray, they want Faith, they want a relationship with God and to know how God truly is. They want to earnestly search for the fruit of the divine work, so they may receive more abundantly of the healing effects of the Lord’s goodness.

Make up your minds to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic. It’s my own challenge as well. But let your yes be yes, and your no be no. It’s never really the time for waffling.  

Well that’s a Fine How do Y’do.

As anyone who’s ever been to this site can tell you, clearly things have changed.

I had been getting into a sort of groove, and getting things going when, all of a sudden, the website disappeared again.

To be fair I did change hosting servers twice in the process. The first time I had to re-do a lot of things and set course in a new direction, which was taking shape and getting there. But the second time, everything disappeared (again) and when it re-appeared, the wonder workers at Kinsta had put my entire blogging history online together in one single spot.

And in the meantime, everything I had blogged about while taking a new direction disappeared. It’s still there somewhere, and I’ll find it. But I have a lot to do in the meantime aside from blogging, and that’s what’s taking precedence.

To catch anyone up:

-My Niece died in 2017 – Cassie was my only niece, and I’m obviously single, and she was a lot like a daughter.

-A lot of other issues had to be dealt with.

-The Rectory had a rat infestation and subsequent gutting and renovation ( It was truly horrible.)

-The Church here was starting a historic renovation, with everything that entails.

-As things were settling down our manager retired.

-We’ve had a lot going on in general.

I eventually realized I had to be well also and had to spend some time regrouping. So many beloved here are ill or have died. It’s a wonderful, brilliant, energetic, and poignant place. And then I was asked to chair a committee for the Archdiocese. Realistically, nothing is going to stop so I can keep a weblog.

But with that said. God is great, and hope springs eternal. The world needs hope above all, and I do believe that we have much in which to place our hope.

As for this site, I guess we’ll see. So much is going on, isn’t it?

Stay tuned.

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Mid the Bleak Midwinter

oranges

In the middle of winter, when the sky is dark and the rain is falling all around so that it feels like you’re in the middle of an ocean – life is perfect. I am just nuts about winter weather here in Louisiana. If I lived in Wisconsin I doubt I could take it, though. I mean, I have my limits. And we have oranges.

True, winter has only just started.

Rain is a good thing and you’ll never – well, rarely – hear me complain about it. If it never rained, the place wouldn’t be so green.

That being said, I’m not quite sure why I’m not cozy in bed with a good book on this rainy morning, and am instead jittery with caffeine posting pictures of oranges – unedited at that because photoshop is not responding to my promptings – on my strange little website.

It has to do with prayer. Because in the last few weeks I’ve become aware of the need to reorient my life ever more towards Jesus Christ. And it has to do with Faith, because I’ve come to consider that the Church is very confused right now. For a time I’ve let that confusion cloud my mind. But, in respect to the integrity of my state in life, and my station here, there can be no confusion.

We (the clergy of the Archdiocese,) took a workshop awhile ago which focussed on the differences amongst the various generations of clergy. Which are huge. It’s obvious to any observer that the differences are huge between someone ordained to the Priesthood in, say, 2004, and someone ordained to the Priesthood in, say, 1978. So, we have one priest saying one thing, one saying another – one bishop saying one thing, one saying something completely different – one Pope saying one thing and one saying something another.

Priests here have said that a reason Deacons were so avidly introduced back in the day was to pave the way for married clergy. Some have said “We’re not going back! If you don’t like what we’re doing you’ll just have to wait until we die!”

I mean, this is crazy talk. No one can dwell seriously on it. Except for the fact that they’re deadly serious when they say it and it affects all of us.

So. I do what I can out here on the peripheries at our sprawling ruralish parish, filled with the full breadth of human experience on any given day. And I’m filled with wonder when considering the scriptures, the sacraments, the promises of life itself.

I’m certainly not waiting for anyone to die. That’s crazy talk.

I’m off to listen to the rain, though. And to give thanks for so many blessing in this life.