Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Two New Priests

Sunday was a wonderful day.  I’m reading Fr. Gallagher’s book on Discernment of Spirits right now --- a very good read, especially for his examples --- and this morning I saw so many of the spiritual consolations he described reflected in my day --- and even carrying over today.
On Sunday, Holy Trinity Sunday, it seemed every word of the liturgy, every hymn, and every silence brought me peace and awareness of God’s presence and love.  I cried through virtually the entire mass, very joyful tears.  And it WAS a special mass, even beyond the feast day celebrating the Trinity.
On Saturday, two more young men from our small parish were ordained --- that makes about 5 or 6 this year.  The two guys said the parish’s two Sunday masses.  In the early mass, the one I attended, one man led the liturgy, while the other assisted and preached the sermon, while at the second mass later in the morning, they reversed their roles.  I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the young man’s first homily.  He was great!  You can listen to it here (http://ctkcc.libsyn.com/june-15-2014-homily-fr-jim-rolph ).  I don’t know of his future parish assignment, but I know the people of that parish will be very blessed.  After mass, the celebrant called up his mother and father in front of the altar, and thanked them one by one.  To his dad, he gave the vestment he wore to hear his first confession as a priest --- his dad’s confession.  He said when the time came that the vestment would be placed in his dad’s coffin, as an eternal reminder that this man was the father to a priest.  And to his mother, he gave the cloth, which was used to wipe the oil from his hands, after he had been anointed a priest.  It too would be buried with her.  It was a most touching gift he gave to them, and his parents hugged him and cried in joy --- as did much of the church, and me.
After mass, my unadopted daughter bought me brunch, and we had a delightful few hours, relaxing and talking together --- something there never seems enough time for, but Sunday we both made the time.  Back at her house, she gave me a new clothing wardrobe, “So you can toss all the shirts with stains on them,” she said.  And then I helped her with some yard work, and afterwards we watch a movie together.
I went home, cut my grass --- my usual Sunday chore --- and then stopped in the chapel for Night Prayers.  And to give thanks.  God is so good to me.  And as I saw with Him, as with my friend earlier, I felt a great peace.
I know love.
Today, reading Fr. Gallagher’s book, I was reminded of how great a day yesterday was, and as the sun showed through the church windows, on this day predicted to have showers all day, I felt His presence.  And tears just can’t stop.  I am so blessed.
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I wrote the above on Monday, but it was a busy day for me and friends, and so I could not post it.  We attended a golf outing for the benefit of a new Catholic girl’s high school.  As I said, rain and thundershowers were forecast all day, and even as we drove the 45 minutes to the golf course, some wondered if we would get to play.
But it was blue skies and puffy white clouds all day long.  It was an absolutely beautiful day.  Doing God’s work, He watches over us.  How often have I seen this to be true.  How I wish more had faith, when dark clouds seem inevitable.   


  1. Dear Tom,

    Thank you so much for sharing this inspiring post and homily. You are blessed indeed to have two new priests at your parish! I think I must have told you that my son left the seminary before he finished his first semester. It was difficult and heartbreaking to say the least. He's back home and working full time at a printing company. Thank you for praying for him. It means a great deal! Thank you for sharing your faith here. Reading your words is a grace I appreciate. Thank you for blessing and may you be blessed in return.

  2. "Difficult and heartbreaking?" Anne, you are so blessed to have a son who would first be sure that the priesthood was not his calling before choosing otherwise! I have no shortage of would-be-priests to pray for; one, a former stranger, just whispered to me a couple of weeks ago before mass of his intentions.

    And as for blessings, the rain I mentioned was forecast for all day Monday thru Wednesday, but on my two charity golf outing days, Mon. and Tues., not a drop fell. Today has been a deluge of rain, and I am exhausted with sunburn, so it will be a nap day. I was in church saying Morning Prayers earlier today when the lights went out, and so Father John Riccardo said "move up close, so you can hear me," and he said mass in the dark by candlelight at 6:30A. God is always there, even in the darkness.