How to Be A Good Shepherd 101:
It seems that my definition of being a good shepherd has changed a lot over the years. When I was young, I figured it had to do something with my Aunt Jacqueline who lived as a farmer: let 'em eat and make sure they take care of their business in a field you don't have to walk through too much (same approach many use for teens). Then when I got older, I figured it was knowing the difference between the sound of my parents' voice when they were happy or when they were hunting me down for something I did. As I grew older in my first career as a Child Life Specialist, I thought it had to do with my voice bringing strength and peace in the midst of painful and fearful times of a child in crisis. As a newly ordained, I shepherded by running from Sacrament to Sacrament and preaching homilies that I thought would teach something profound to the flock (ah, so very young). Now that I am approaching my eighth year anniversary here this week (a length of time that is double anything I have done before), I feel the whole idea of being the good shepherd has less to do with all those things getting done and just talking at people. For now I think it is more about listening to what the flock isn't saying and spending more time finding those who are separated from the flock.
Pray that your priests might continue to seek the way of The Good Shepherd's love and mercy. Keep John Mulhollan close in your prayers as he returns to seminary following his eight-month internship with us. He has been a refreshing gift to our parish and her priests...he has helped lead us closer to knowing the Kingdom is at hand! Perhaps during this weekend of the Good Shepherd you can pray for the hearts of the single men in our parish who might be open to responding to God's call.
Some good news to share with the flock! First, this week we received another check from Rooted in Faith for $9,160. That means we have already received over $193,000 from your pledges and commitment.
Next…it seems the idea brought up by our Parish Pastoral Council to have pew cushions available for people to use during Mass has been a big hit. If you are yet to see them, they are located in the main entrance/narthex near the St. Francis de Sales statue. We had them specially made by an Amish upholsterer so that those who are in need might be made more comfortable during Mass or Adoration. Help yourself to one if you need it, and kindly return it after you use it.
Please remember to pray for our brother, Stephen Makara, who will be ordained as a permanent deacon May 2nd at 10:00 a.m. He will have his Mass of Thanksgiving with us on May 3rd at 9:00 a.m. Thanks be to God for your fiat and willingness to serve, Stephen!
Pax, Fr. Bline