It isn’t easy being ordinary. The music, decorations and liturgical expressions of Advent/Christmas somehow make it easier to just fall into prayer. Now we are in the beginning of a new Ordinary Time...meaning everyday life in the liturgical year. Please offer an everyday prayer for all who gave so much of their heart and time to provide for us to enter more deeply into this past Advent and Christmas: the Liturgy Commission (Music Ministry, Art & Environment Committee), our Altar Servers (and the parents who diligently sacrifice for them to be here), Lectors/Readers and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist who serve us, Ushers and Greeters, Counters and Maintenance crew (especially those who plow and salt for us from Naragon Irrigation-Brrrrrr), our Sacristans, Church Mice and Sanctuary Cleaners...so many who lead us into realizing Emmanuel. Also a special thank you to the benefactors who helped offer outstanding financial support for our parish in their Christmas giving—amazing! Thank you for your continual sacrifices.
For the past eleven years, January always brings me back to remembering how vital it is for people to become donors in other ways than money...organ, tissue, blood donors. It was eleven years ago my sister, Ellen, was in palliative care as we awaited what we were told was her inevitable death due to her need for a liver transplant...but, through the sacrifice of an unknown family when their loved one died and the intercession of so many people (thanks Padre Pio), my sister is doing well and even helps with cooking and shopping for the rectory. Also, it was three years ago this week my father was diagnosed with MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome) which eventually developed into leukemia five months later. I realize how hard it is to consider becoming one, but the need for donors is great. Some needs come from live donors (like blood/platelets, marrow, kidney, etc.), and others can be planned to be shared after a person dies.
This is truly a "gift of life.” At any given time, it seems we always have needs within our own parish. One such person is a parishioner and 5:00 p.m. usher, Jim Mesko. Jim was diagnosed with kidney failure as a result of his exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam and is awaiting a kidney transplant. Any adult can become a registered donor via our State of Ohio license renewal, or check out https://organdonor.gov/index.html. Jim said you can also find out more about organ donations through "DONATE LIFE" at University Hospital Transplants at 1-216-983-5138. Pray, discern, love.
Pax, Fr. Bline