Sunday, May 20, 2012

Some of What this Priest Saw Today

The beautiful things that I was part of today:
This morning, I offered the 8:15 Mass.  At that Mass was a man whose wife I buried this past week.

 At that Mass was an Anglican priest whom I hope will soon be received into the Catholic Church and be ordained a Catholic priest.  We had breakfast together afterwards.

At the 10:30 Mass, there were at least 10 members of the congregation who either are current Episcopalians or who were Episcopalians who became Catholic.  One of them also was an Anglican priest at one time.

After the 10:30 Mass, one attendee asked if she could speak with me for a minute.  Although I was rushing to get inside for the baptisms, she told me that several years ago she became upset with me about something.  Quite honestly, I have no recollection about any of it.  But, she was obviously bothered by it.  She wasn't telling me to complain.  She said that she didn't want to carry this resentment around anymore.  I apologized numerous times (even though I don't recall it) and she seemed genuinely relieved.  She doesn't live in this parish, but she comes occasionally.  I'm glad for that moment of grace today.  After fifteen years of being a priest, i know that I can say or not say, do or not do the right thing at any given moment.  I'm glad that this woman didn't carry that around any longer and I'm glad I had the opportunity to apologize. 

Also after that Mass was a great young family whose father was baptized Catholic but who never received any of the other Sacraments.  He is there at Mass every week with his family.  We talked today about getting him squared away.  I'm happy about that.

After the 10:30 Mass, I baptized three children.  I met the parents of two of the children when I was called to the hospital late one night several years ago.  They were a very young couple who had lost their unborn baby.  I immediately loved this young--yet to be married--couple.  I offered a funeral Mass for their little baby, prepared them for marriage, and have since baptized their three children.  I don't see them quite as often as I would like and they always look sheepish when they show up for Mass.  "Father Barnes, we promise we will try harder to get here."  I really love them and they know that.  And I know that through me, they know that the Church loves them.

The parents of the other baby that I baptized were also a couple that I married.  And, I baptized the mother of that child too.  I am grateful that our parish always has converts and newly received Catholics.

After the baptisms, I stopped by quickly to the first birthday party of one of my parishioners.  I married his parents, baptized his mother, and baptized him.

And now, I'm off to Confirmations for our high school students.  I haven't been here long enough to have baptized these students, but I likely gave them all their First Communion. 

When I think of all of these things that I've seen just today, I feel greatly privileged to be a priest.

1 comment:

  1. We count ourselves privileged to have you as our Pastor!!