While it is summer, I have been busy with the various activities that go with normal parish life. I have also been busy preparing for my presentation next week, Praying the Rosary From the Heart, on Thursday, August 25th, available via webinar at 6:30 pm (If you haven’t already registered, you can still register at https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_l42WwS1KSficHuCC4YVTEA). Rather than being a how-to pray the rosary, this presentation will look the origin of the rosary, why we pray the rosary, and reflect on the words in the prayers and mysteries of the rosary.
I’ve also been busy working on a new series of presentations for the fall. I’m still working on the details but what I can say is that this series is directly inspired by what people have written on evaluations for previous presentations for ideas on new topics. Potential topics include the idea of “spiritual warfare”, understanding the magisterium (teaching office) of the church and do we need to listen to everything the pope says. It will also likely offer some thoughts on divisions and schisms in the church. I have yet to give a title to this series but the scheduled dates are September 22nd , October 27th and November 17th.
My current reading also centers on possible topics for the fall series. So, I find myself without inspiration for a specific topic today (Please feel free to comment offers some ideas for the future). So, I simply offer the updates above and the following musing.
Ten years ago, when I started my time as Pastor at Immaculate Conception Church in Ithaca, I wrote a blog article, “It’s a Small World.” That article talked about how I was meeting new people with connections to people I knew in other parishes. We are not isolated parishes. Our connections extend beyond our local community.
When I left Immaculate to go to St. Michael’s in Newark, I met one parishioner who was the son of a couple in Ithaca who were daily Mass communicants. I met another couple who were friends with a couple of families in Ithaca through Cursillo.
Moving to St. Luke’s in Livingston County, I ran into a person I used to work with at the New York State Department of Transportation. I met another couple who were friends with a couple I met in my seminary days. Later I met a woman there who was a college roommate of someone here at St. Benedict’s that I know from my days here as a parishioner before seminary.
Moving from St. Luke’s to St. Mary’s of the Lake and St. Benedict’s where I serve now, one of our parishioners here is related to a family at St. Luke’s.
Why are I writing this? Here, with Seneca Lake drawing many weekend visitors, it is not uncommon for me to see people I know from Elmira, Penn Yan, and Ithaca. Last Thursday or Friday I was out for a walk. As I walked, ahead of me, I saw a couple who looked familiar but I could not place where I remembered them from (I was thinking local). When I passed them, they said they knew me. They are parishioners of St. Luke’s where they attend Holy Angels church in Nunda. That’s around 70 miles away. As soon as they said, “Nunda,” I knew who they were.
It all interconnects and does so on God’s timing. God’s timing is perfect. This Sunday, after our 10 am Mass, I was talking with one of our parishioners. She said she was interested in becoming a lay Carmelite and wondered if I knew anything about them. The timing was perfect because sitting in the pews were people who had come up from Elmira to see me. The mother has been a lay Carmelite for years. So, I connected the parishioner here with them. God provides.
That’s it for now.