1992 Dec 13 – 3rd Sun Advent (Bulletin Letters)
Advent Greetings! Msgr. Ed asked me to write this week’s bulletin letter. From now on I will be writing a bulletin letter once a month. This will give Msgr. Ed a break and give me a chance to share with you on a regular basis.
Sunday marks my first full month of freedom. I have been swamped with the culture shock of re-entree. At first I was feeling over whelmed and anxious with the task of starting up in a new town and in a new assignment. I was mostly concern with how well I would be accepted by you. I have discovered to my great pleasure that my initial concerns have been dispel. The people of St. Patrick’s have been most welcoming. I’ve been taken back by the warm and receptive reception I have received. Many of the people I have met have made a point of expressing their pleasure with my joining the community.
I’m especially grateful to Msgr. Ed for his generous spirit and supportive backing. I can’t tell you how good it feels to be working for a ‘boss’ who sees me as an assist and a plus and who is willing to say so publicly! I could not ask for a better situation to be working.
Most of my initial energy has been taken up with the ‘nesting’ instinct, trying to get some control of my ‘stuff’ and my personal space. I’m living in a two-room apartment at St. Francis Center, the priest residence here in C.B. I’ve now got my computer set up in my bed room, my books on book shelves and all my wall space covered with posters and ‘stuff’. I’m living with Msgr. Bob Chamberlin and Fr. Bud Grant who are both working at St. Albert’s H.S. There is also the “Common Cup” – an evening meal four nights a week for priest in the area – that takes place here at St. Francis. Its a good time for priestly fellowship and catching up on what is happening in town.
My task at the parish have been mostly sacramental and ministerial; celebrating the Eucharist, preaching, visiting the sick and ‘shut ins’, participating in the Communal Reconciliation services and attending parish programs. Every day I’m meeting and getting to know more and more people in the parish.
After six months of captivity and back in parish ministry, I feel like a the parched desert the prophet Isaiah writes about in this weeks first reading:
“The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom.
The will bloom with abundant flowers and rejoice with joyful song!”
I wish to thank you all for the generous and welcoming spirit in which you have received me into your faith community. It is my hope and prayer that in the months ahead we can build on this bountiful beginning and come to know the Lord more fully in each other. In the true spirit of Advent let us be open to the surprises God has in store for us, for in every Christmas there is an element of surprise and the unexpected. This is an exciting time for me – as Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker movement use to say, “Beginnings are such fun!”
- I will be participating in this years “Feast of the Holy Innocents” gathering and witness at Offutt AFB. I will not be “crossing the line”. It is the 14th year of this observance. It has become an indispensable part of my Christmas observance. My participation in such efforts are not meant to be a put down of anyone, less of all the folks who work at Offutt. They are meant mostly to be an expression of hope and faith for the day and the time when such places are no longer needed, a way of lifting up the Reign of God not yet fulfilled in our mists.