Sunday, March 17, 2013

Parishes, Priests, and People

Parish priesthood is lived among the people. 

On the night before St. Patrick's, I gathered with one of my parish families for an Irish sing-a-long.  There was probably an attendance of about 75 folks singing rebel songs for quite some time.  Priest and people.  It's a beautiful thing.

Middle Secton at 10:30 Mass Today
During the 10:30 Mass this morning (another priest had the Mass), I snuck up to the choir loft to snap a picture of the crowd below.  Present at Mass were members of the Knights of Columbus who have busily been establishing a council in the parish, members of the high school youth group who are preparing for a trip to Rome and for a service project for the homeless, and a great group of RCIA catechumens and candidates who are preparing for baptism, confirmation, and/or reception into full communion with the Catholic Church.  I looked down at that crowd and was very pleased.  Priest and people. It's a beautiful thing.

After the morning Masses, I went to the home of a family in the parish and the husband and father of the family, who is from Ireland cooked a full Irish breakfast for us all.  I baptized his youngest son in an emergency just about one year ago.  The young boy was the center of attention and is really coming along.  It was great to sit at their table, share stories, and have a lot of laughs.  Priest and people.  It's a beautiful thing.

Later in the afternoon, I had the great privilege to baptize an infant named Elijah Thomas.  Great name!  His family lived here until a year or two ago when the father's job took them elsewhere.  We do not know each other all that well, but I've baptized their other children and am always just so happy to see them.  I was delighted when they called and sought to come back for this newest baby's baptism.  It's a funny thing, but although I only know them a little bit, whenever I see them, I am filled with happiness for them.  I'm proud of how well they are doing as a family.  They're raising good kids.  Priest and people.  It's a beautiful thing.

And then tonight, St. Patrick's Day, it was off to a parish family's home for a delicious boiled dinner.  I've sat at their dinner table more times than I could ever count.  At the table were the two parents, seven kids, two grandmothers, and me.  The oldest boy who is graduating high school looks down at me now when he speaks to me.  I gave him his first communion when he was in second grade.  Somewhere along the way, they welcomed me into their family.  Priest and people.  It's a beautiful thing.

Parishes are priests and people. And that is a beautiful thing.

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