Friday, May 23, 2014

The Day Before...

The day before the Pope's visit was pleasant and full. Day began with daily mass followed by the fuller Sunday mass on a Friday. Then I heard several confessions, which always make me glad I'm a priest, because I get to hear of the suffering of many people. This sacrament is where a priest can be most helpful to a person who seeks God. The memories of grace endure.

After mass, I set up for the parish picnic, which has designed (1.) to help parishioners enjoy each other's company and to lessen anxieties about the Pope's visit, and (2.) to let people know where we are located in case they have to catch one of the buses to the stadium.

It was an unexpected source of grace for me. I was able to dance, sing, sit with and listen to many parishioners. It was just an easy day of being with parishioners, though I'm exhausted from cooking, setup, clean-up, and organizing the event. We even were able to talk some theology and about prayer experiences. Many people were able to contribute to the conversations. My hearts just warmed to the fact that these good people were connecting in profound ways. It was a very nice day.

Just as I was able to start the cleanup, it was time to attend a concert. Two of my parishioners and two parishioners' children who will receive First Communion tomorrow performed in the concert. I was very proud of each of them. They were beaming with pride as they sang their hearts out. I'm touched that many parishioners want to come to my concert in two weeks, Handel's Messiah with three songs in Arabic.

When we engage in life, our hearts expand. Though I'm exhausted from my work, it was an easy, pleasurable day. Now, it is time for my prayers, and most of my prayers will go towards the Bishop of Rome who visits us tomorrow.


  1. My heart is touched by the way in which you have become such an integral part of the lives of your parishioners. This post is evidence of the love you have for them and how that love is reciprocated. My prayer is that Pope Francis' visit brings joy and peace and love to the hearts of the people. Blessings.

    1. Cooking for people and sharing a meal together does wonders for the community's spirits.

  2. You make me want to move to Jordan :-)