Long time listeners of public radio broadcasting might recognize the name of Garrison Keillor and his weekly homespun humorous stories around the fictional Lake Woe-be-Gone in Minnesota. Spiced with a whole bunch of humor, his narrative often was built upon reflections of true stories in human life, and his subtle efforts to promote the best of mid-West moral and spiritual values was almost never lost on his audience, albeit with a lot of laughs in between. His delightful Father’s Day specials, always done in front of a live audience, were especially mindful of the men in our lives who are often overlooked and under-loved. Last week, we honored such men – many who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of our country and left behind young wives and small children. When we think of our Dads, let’s also think of Our Father in heaven, who sets the tone of real fatherhood and love and concern for his children. I hope we call upon Him daily to bless our fathers and keep them from the ultimate harm – the one that can kill the soul. If your Dad has already gone before God, may he rest in the arms of our loving Father in heaven.
Last week, we were honored to host one of a two-man rowing team that is rowing its way to New York City from Miami along the Intracoastal Waterway, in order to promote true devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. Since our parish was consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima this past May 13th, as part of the worldwide celebration of the centennial observance of the Virgin Mary’s apparitions in Fatima, Portugal, it’s no mere coincidence that Greg Dougherty, a middle-aged athlete from northern Kentucky and part of the team, had stopped here (and at a few of our local parishes along the waterway) to rest and pray. I hope and pray that he and his teammate will have a successful conclusion to their efforts in promoting the daily Rosary and devotion to Our Lady of Fatima so that peace may reign in our world, according to one of Our Lady’s promises a century ago.
It’s hard to believe, but in a month’s time fourteen men will join me in our annual trip to our mission in Guatemala. In preparation for that trip with members of our Knights of Columbus, several teen volunteers from our Life Teen program recently volunteered their time to sort out bags and cartons of donated hotel room-sized soaps, shampoos, lotions and other assorted toiletries and first-aid materials and arrange them in small packets in order to transport them to Guatemala. These teens wanted to help support the work of the Knights of Columbus in our mission in some significant way, even though they are unable to go on the trip with us. What a ray of hope we have for the future of the Catholic Church with teens like these!
Along with several Life Teen members of our parish who also helped in June with our youngsters in the annual Vacation Bible School program, I wish to thank the following leading ladies for their assistance with our weeklong stint. These include the Director, Amy Sexton, and her associates: Carrie Socha, Heather Hackett, Katie Fischer, Tracy Nixon, Lisa Murphy, Emily Roberts, Dawn Transleau, Frances Sharon, Heidi Guevarra, Stephanie Sexton, Jennifer Maymon, Carol Brisson, Tina Badame and Courtney Rowling. These cheerful women and 49 teen additional volunteers set up and conducted a great program that reached out to nearly 100 youngsters in a fun-filled faith experience. We’re sure blessed in this parish with such good souls!
Our Sisters Romana and Maria are enjoying their summer vacations right now – in New Jersey (S. Romana) and Poland (S. Maria). I’ve asked them to remember us in their prayer, and they told me they always do, for you don’t take a vacation from God just because its summer vacation time. I hope you enjoy your summer, too, but always keeping God in the forefront of your mind and heart.