If you don’t yet know about the terrible persecution of Christians in Iraq, it may be good to read around the various Catholic blogs and see the updates to things that are going on right now to our fellow believers.
Today was the deadline in Iraq, issued by ISIS, for Christians to convert, leave or be executed. What happens next is anyone’s guess – though the recent actions of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria leave little to the imagination.
Pray for our brother Christians – in Iraq as well as all of the countries where faith in Jesus Christ has become a capital crime. The fact of the matter is that when it comes to powers & principalities, we know ourselves to be powerless – Christ alone is the source of our strength and hope. Let us together place our faith in Him:
Jesus, I trust in you.
Mr. and Mrs. Franklin Maurer!
Today I had the distinct pleasure and joy of witnessing the marriage of my brother Frankie and his wife Sarah (formerly Corneil). God bless them was they begin their life together!
Five years ago today, by the grace of God & laying on of hands by Archbishop Brunett I was ordained a priest for the archdiocese of Seattle. In a neat twist, I get to share this day with Saint Anthony, who is a particular inspiration.
I keep wanting to post something profound (I’ve been typing & deleting for about an hour now!), but I’ll settle for just one simple, sometimes surprising truth: it’s a joy to be a priest and celebrating the Sacraments, especially the Mass, is the greatest gift I’ve been privileged to receive. It is wonderful to be a priest for Christ’s people.
A common mistake made in the care & feeding of the common parish priest is improperly identifying the most important thing about him. Is he a liturgist? Will he focus on social justice? Does he value the work of the pro-life movement? Is he a good preacher? Does he listen well? Will he focus on the youth? What does he think about starting this new valuable project? These questions, and many others, become a litmus test as to the quality of the priest in question.
Though all very valuable – to various degrees essential to parish life, even – these miss the first and most important thing one need to know about a parish priest. It is the filter through which his entire ministry flows and the lens by which you may most clearly see & understand him:
Your parish priest became a priest first and foremost because he could not stand by in a world torn by sin & suffering. That sentiment led him to be the person he is today, to the vocation of priesthood and the position as your priest. The form that caring takes is unique to him, but underneath his individual preferences, nuances and foci is a foundation that forms the bedrock of his priestly identity.
Many have found themselves terrifically disappointed in their parish priest – which could have been avoided with the simple awareness that liturgy, preaching, social justice, pro-life, youth (et cetera) are in fact not the most important thing.
If one can see & acknowledge this one thing, a parish priest will be recognizable as the ally he aspires to be.