I had a chance today to visit with an elderly priest who has lived in an apartment since his retirement. He was offering his help at a local old age home, but his own health took a turn for the worse while on a recent trip. *He* now needs to move into a home, and I could tell the whole experience has left him somewhat rattled.
I was invited by the Pastoral Council of Saint Mary parish on the South Shore to be a resource person for their discussions regarding adult faith enrichment. This is the same parish where I preached a parish mission last fall, so of course I went to this meeting to see what kind of follow-up might be planned.
My suggestion was to keep in mind that there are three types of follow-up action involved:
Saturday was been a long, sad, and yet wonderful day. (Yes, this is a back post.)
I was up at 4:45 am to get ready for my flight to Toronto for the funeral. I got a great deal on the ticket, too…$60 to get there, and $80 to get back. Still, it meant taking the 6:30 am plane.
No, the correct response is not “gesundheit”!
Today I visited the Institut de formation humaine intégrale de Montréal, otherwise known as the Jeanine-Guindon institute. Jeanine Guindon was a Quebec psychotherapist who developed a model/theory of human maturity, and proposed a particular psychoeducational path to follow in order to attain the fullness of maturity. In a nutshell, it involves becoming perfectly aware of one’s states of being, both physical and psychological.
A friend of mine sent me an email this morning. His younger brother, whom I have known for over 25 years, killed himself early in the morning. The young man was a former Army man, who was deployed at various times to some really troubled places (Bosnia, for example), and who later became a police officer in Toronto. Please pray for the whole family, and especially for the repose of the soul of Lou.
Feel free to post prayers and/or words of encouragement in the comments, and I’ll pass them on to the family.
I visited with Fr. John Zhong-hui Zhang of the Chinese Catholic Mission today. The Mission is conveniently located 15 minutes walk from my house, so I just showed up for the 11 am mass to pay him a brotherly visit. He invited me over to the house for lunch afterwards, where I also got a chance to meet the choir and the youth group. (Apparently the housekeeper was very impressed when she saw me eating with chopsticks!)
Or should I spell that “Board”? :-)
Yes, I am on *another* charitable Board of Directors, this time for a family foundation. The family decided to wind this one up, and has turned over operating control (and the money) to the Archdiocese for the sake of the education of future priests. It’s not a big foundation, but you know how it is — a hundred thousand here, a hundred thousand there, and pretty soon you’re talking real money…… :-)
(bonus points to those who get the reference in that last remark)
Some priest friends of mine and I have decided to start getting together on a bi-weekly basis to play a fantasy RPG. I’ll be the GM (gamesmaster), and I plan on drawing from different gaming sources (principally the System Reference Document produced by Wizards of the Coast, but other OGL sources as well) to create a unique storytelling environment. I’ve plotted out a major 7-part story arc (the epic saga), each of which contains its own minor 7 part story arc (the adventures, grouped into campaigns).
I was out for lunch with a brother priest from Mexico, and we discussed some plans of mine to study Spanish. He suggested I go to Cuernavaca in Mexico, where he has many friends who would be happy to welcome me. If I can get the time off I’d like to travel in May, as I can do so on my Air Miles points (these become less useful in the high season, which starts June 1). I could spend a month in a Spanish language school, and I’m hoping that with my experience learning other languages like French and German and Italian, I could learn Spanish even more quickly.
As I have mentioned previously, part of my responsibilities is to help look after some of our priests who have become weakened by sickness or old age. One of my “clients” has had his things in a storage depot, but I’ve been working at clearing it out, selling some things and giving away others (all with his permission, of course — after all, it is his stuff). Today I hauled the last items out and put them in my office downtown, for temporary storage until I find a permanent solution.
Some years ago the Montreal Challenge Movement was in need of a spiritual director for one of its retreat weekends. Fr. Tom McEntee, a well-known local priest, stepped up to the plate and just loved his experience. His stint as spiritual director, originally meant to be for a weekend, lasted several years. The experience and stability he brought helped the movement mature and grow.
This evening I decided to give myself a break and went out into the blowing snow to see the movie Juno, which has been creating quite a buzz as a “pro-life” film. It is the story of a 16-year-old girl who gets pregnant and decides to carry the baby to term.
I found Juno very touching, sad at times and laugh-out-loud funny at other times, and generally very *human*. The script was very smartly written — almost too smart some times — and the film had good acting and good pacing.