Sunday, September 27, 2015

Feelings on the Pope's visit:

proud. joyous. gratitude. humbled. elated. inspired. peaceful. empowered. compassionate. friendly. loving. engrossed. entranced. fascinated. intrigued. stimulated. amazed. awed. wonder. animated. astonished. enthusiastic. giddy. invigorated. passionate. lively. vibrant. exhilarated. thrilled. exuberant. enthralled. blissful. appreciative. moved. thankful. touched. hopeful. expectant. encouraged. optimistic. delighted. glad. jubilant. pleased. tickled. centered. equanimous. quiet. relieved. satisfied. serene. tranquil. trusting. refreshed. enlivened. rejuvenated. renewed. restored. revived. happy. content.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Conversations Do Matter

Since boyhood, I've always enjoyed all things Dutch. I did reports on Holland, Belgium, and Luxembourg for class projects in grade school. I was fascinated with their empire-building and maritime history and the development of reclaimed lands. I paid special attention to the ways the Dutch were involved in World Wars I and II and their colonization of East Asia. The Dutch settled Manhattan and sold it for $24.00 to the English. Windmills seemed to be part of my consciousness as photographic subjects and engineering marvels. I have rooted for the Dutch in their World Cup soccer competitions and I love the color orange. I've alway been curious and proud of my Dutch heritage.

Well, tonight, my father was talking about his parents and grandparents. He told me of my grandfather's death in a mining accident in Montana and his involvement in the military skirmishes in 1914, a century ago. Then he said that his mother, a woman of red hair, compare from the Pennsylvania Dutch Amish region. I asked him to repeat what he said. Yes, she is Pennsylvania Dutch, which is not Dutch at all, but German. Deutch is the name for German, but as it became Anglocized, it was easier to pronounce it Dutch. Oh, no. My whole life's belief about my origins is changed in the slip of the tongue. What do I belief now?

Monday, September 14, 2015

The year is underway

The new academic year is underway and it has opened very well. Free time is elusive. I have come to appreciate the tremendous dedication of so many faculty and staff members to their faith and to Catholic education.

I find myself repeatedly saying, "Priesthood keeps getting better and better." People are sincerely searching for the divine in their lives and they continue to seek the love of God within the church. It is quite awesome.

Tonight we celebrated a mass for liturgical musicians. I was very pleased with the quality and volume of singing. Over one hundred people came to the liturgy and reception. It is always great to recognize that many parents truly appreciate the formation experience that Jesuits and our colleagues offer.

I baked over 80 cookies for the Spanish-speaking parish on Sunday. They were eaten within five minutes. Typically, they only have white bread after mass, so I replaced empty carbohydrates with tasty carbohydrates.

The parishes speak to me in long sentences in Spanish. I can hear the language better, but they often drop their voice in volume to me and they are inaudible. I guess I'm improving in my language pronunciation, but my comprehension is still lacking. They have very many requests for the sacrament of reconciliation.

I laughed when two young girls asked me if I could speak in English once in while as they know no Spanish whatsoever. What a relief.

Pope Francis is welcoming people back to the church and to the sacraments. Many in the Spanish speaking community do not come forward for communion, so I invited them to come for a blessing. Nearly everyone in the church came forward. I was so happy.

We blessed a baby and presented her to the church this week. She was two weeks and a few days old. I asked her is she wanted a blessing. She stretched out her two hands and covered her eyes. The congregation roared.

Priestly life is sacred and rather fun.