Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Auxiliary Bishop

The archdiocese of Atlanta is getting an Auxiliary Bishop next week. Monsignor Luis Zarama will become the second auxiliary in archdiocesan history. Our last auxiliary was the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin (archbishop of Chicago). A native of Columbia, Bishop-elect Zarama will bring much needed help to Archbishop Gregory. You can find our more about him here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

M.Mitchell: Stained Glass, Ste Mere Eglise
Catholic Church, Normandy
, France

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Difficult Week

Where do I start? Monday morning, we got news that one of our priests with cancer (we have two) has become inoperable. As a result, he was scheduled to travel to his home in Argentina to be with his family. What resulted was a flurry of e-mails and ended with ~1,000 parishioners lining both sides of the driveway to see him off to the airport. The crowd grew so large that his car had to go up and down several sections of the parking lot to see everyone. Of course those at the beginning of the procession ran to a place where they could see him again. The crowd was several "people deep" when his car finally left the parking lot. It was both a beautiful and tragic scene.

While waiting for Father's car, we got word that
  1. Our priest in residence, Fr Leo, had just lost his battle with diabetes (one of our priests was seen leaving the the parking lot in a hurry, which was not easy with the crowd); and
  2. A dear friend's wife had taken a dramatic turn in her battle with cancer and was not expected to live much longer.
For many in the crowd, it was just too much bad news at one time.

As soon as we left the church, my wife and I went to see our friend's at the rehab center. She was lying in her bed; her eyes were open but she was not responsive and had labored breathing. Her husband, sat in a chair next to her, holding her hand and making sure she did not drop her rosary. The fatigue and hurt in his face was almost more than I could take. Their two daughters were there as well.

When we walked in, he looked up to me and one of the first things he said was "So you really want to be a Deacon?" knowing that this would be one of my ministries. He then spoke about their trip to Rome, Italy last month and how she did not deserve to suffer the way she had over the last few years. After about half an hour of visiting with the family, we left so that they could keep vigil as a family. She passed away at 11:00 last night.

It is hard to describe my feelings about all of this. It makes all of our personal difficulties seem irrelevant. And there is a need for someone to be there for people who are suffering. I pray for the strength and wisdom to help, what little I can, those who need that someone.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Formation Classes Begin Again

We begin the second semester of formation classes this Saturday. I am really looking forward to seeing my brothers in formation as well as my teachers. This semester we have:

Patristics (Church Fathers)
Scripture Prophets
Moral Theology

The only change from last semester is our Liturgy class.

I will also be taking a Pastoral Care Class at St Josephs Hospital in Sandy Springs, Georgia which will meet every week for 10 weeks. This class is to prepare us for visits to the sick and dying. That class will really be where the "rubber meets the road".

That, on top of a trip to Rome to see the ordination of a friend to the transitional diaconate, will make this a very busy autumn.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Nativity of Mary

Alte Pinakothek, Munich, St Ursele, Koln, Germany

Today we celebrate the nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As usual in Church celebrations, this feast comes exactly nine months since the Feast of the Immaculate conception (December 8th). There is a great meditation of this event here.

This also seems like good time to pray the Litany of St Mary, which can be found here.

Friday, September 4, 2009

High Mountain Lakes - M.Mitchell

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It is not by faith that you will come to know [God] but by love; not by mere conviction, but by action.

St Gregory the Great