Monday, September 14, 2009


It still amazes me how many people think that when the Sunday Mass schedule is over that their parish shuts down. Perhaps some places do but for many parishes it is just a change in activity after the last minister walks out of the sanctuary.

This past weekend I had the last Mass and shaking hands in the back of the church there was a person who asked for prayers because she was nervous and would be going in for surgery that week. But surgery deserves more than prayer alone, we have a sacrament for such things and so we celebrated the sacrament of the sick.

After this there was the celebration of baptism as we welcomed a new member into the Church. Father and I had a short break to eat and freshen up and then we headed out to a picnic for our grounds crew. This is the group of people who volunteer a couple of times a week to come out and keep our grounds looking spectacular. They work hard and it was a pleasure to celebrate the close-to-the-end of another season with them. There was the mandatory game of corn hole – a game that I am ashamed to say that I completely fail at. I was a little leery of the score keeping skills of the person against whom I played however but the humiliation was bearable.

That done we headed back to the rectory to prepare to go out to a youth group meeting. We prayed Evening Prayer together, got changed, and headed out with Sebastian (who is far more popular than the two of us put together) to make it to the meeting. As we began our hike a large number of cars were pulling out of the church parking lot. They were about to begin a meeting in the church meeting room but were asked to move their cars because the patching of the parking lot was about to begin.
The walk to the youth group meeting provided the evidence needed to support the statement that Sebastian is far more popular than we are. In fact, I forgot to mention that a young couple registered earlier in the day – the decided factor that this was going to be their parish was that we had such a great dog.

As we walked a car pulled over with a dog and asked if they could visit with Sebastian for a moment. Another lady came out of her house with her dog. A local Episcopal priest pulled over with her dog and then the neighbors came out to meet him causing in impromptu street party. But we had to press on! As we did we were obliged to (happily) stop by a couple of more houses of people who wanted to see the dog (and, oh yes, the priests too.) We passed a gentleman who said he was in his way to a sports boosters meeting at the parish. And then finally we made it to our destination. “It’s Sebastian!” came the call. Then only after the “Hi Fathers” came.

This is not unusual for a parish to keep busy like this all day long – every day. Not listed here were the sporting events, PSR, Children’s Liturgy of the Word, and other parish meetings that took place just this particular day. If one goes home after Mass, it does not mean that the parish does not continue buzzing throughout the day – even a day of “rest.” That is one reason Catholics have full time priests. It is also why there are employees working even on Sunday. It is why your involvement and generosity are so important to the community. Without you the beehive loses its buzz.

1 comment:

Friend of Sebastian said...

Father, Sebastian is a wonderful dog, indeed, he is The Wonder Dog. But it was your loving care, training and discipline that brought out the best in a dog who came to our parish a little "out of sorts" in his new residence. Now, Sebastian knows that he has a loving master, which makes him happy, friendly and secure--and free to be the best dog he can be.