Category Archives: Weekly Column

The Right to Have Life

I continue to be amazed at the simple fact that you and I exist. There are some simple moments of awareness that, when you pause over them, bring out the wonder of our being here.

A young mother was having a dish of ice cream as her 9 month old sat quietly next to her. “Watch this”, she said. Putting her little finger into the ice cream, she put it to Sarah’s mouth. The baby took mom’s creamy finger and her face became a picture of unbridled joy. “Sarah loves the taste of vanilla!”, mom said. I swear the angels in heaven were jealous at that moment.

That was over 20 years ago. By now I’m sure Sarah is not quite so ga-ga over her ice cream; like the rest of us she’s grown, no longer a child. We change but we’re still the same person who thrilled at vanilla.

Science tells us the human body generates a total renewal of cells every ten years . . . yet we are still who we are . . . we are still that unique person who was born into the world. Such a mystery we are! We hunger to know, “Who am I? Why am I here? Why am I the way that I am?!”

No understanding of ourselves seems to go deep enough to touch these wonderings. To our parents we are “son/daughter”. Siblings call us “brother/sister”. I am “priest” to you and our bishop. You are “husband/wife” perhaps. But ultimately there is one relationship that finally defines all of us – – – We are a Child of God. God created us to be a person like God. We owe our total existence to Him.

Now happily, God uses people to bring us into the world. People who knew nothing of me till I was born. Mom told me I kept everybody waiting. “You were a week late” she said, “We thought you were a girl.”

All this my mother had to tell me; for how would I know by myself? That I would exist and be held and changed and tossed up in the air by my dad and not remember it one bit, tells me that life is something that happened to me, something given. Thanks mom, thanks dad, thanks God.

We don’t invent ourselves. We are given to ourselves. God didn’t consult with you whether you wanted to exist. He wanted you. Because He loved you and your possibility made him smile.

The Catholic faith community of this country has dedicated the month of October to the principle of the sanctity of human life from the womb to the moment of death. We’ve all seen those amazing pictures of a child in the mother’s womb, that tiny little face yet to take their first breath . . . that child is you!! We were all there at one point, in our entirety. Smaller? Of course. But that is YOU – – – all of you.

Please be aware of all the Respect Life issues that affect children (the right to be born, the right to food, clothing, and shelter, the right to education, work, and health care). Respect Life means to be equally concerned with the poor, sick and elderly. Watch how our candidates describe their plans to help life in all its stages.

A note to young people: working to secure these life enhancing concerns is a great way to spend your life. Young people!!! Consider these matters as possible careers worthy of your time and talents.

God bless you, and together let us work for a society that treats every person as a Child of God.

Be in peace. God’s got his plan.

Fr. Tim


The Reunion.

By now you know where I was last week. Fr. John spilled the beans, of course. I traveled back to Akron, Ohio for my 50th high school reunion.

Archbishop Hoban High School was an all-boys Catholic high school (since become co-ed) taught by the Brothers of the Holy Cross (Think Aquinas only a bit smaller). We had 252 graduating seniors. There were about 80 classmates at the reunion with their wives.

I took the tour of the building before mass to see all the improvements that have been made. The school, after some tough years, has made a wonderful comeback thanks to the efforts of administration and alumni.

At the school’s request I presided at Saturday evening mass in the school chapel. The singing and prayer responses were every bit as strong as ours at Holy Trinity. Dinner followed at a local party house.

I wondered if there would be some big “life lesson” awaiting me that weekend . . . some dramatic news about a former rival, some hugely successful person, a headline story of fortune gained or lost. Nothing like that happened. It was all very simple and real – – –

** We had gotten older. Some fellows (good friends 50 years ago) I didn’t recognize, others brought immediate memories . . . Wayne Hopp, a little cheery guy, would turn back to me each morning in homeroom to share some class news.

** We all got t-shirts with our class motto (“Who Cares?!”) printed on the sleeve. We were at the beginning of the turbulent ’60’s and ’70’s. We thought ourselves oh so clever back then. Many of us had dabbled in Hippiedom and its various excesses. Since then I’d say most of us had in fact learned “to care”. The wives and the children were instrumental in our transformation.

** Someone who cared from the beginning was Mike Kempel. He was a Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class in Viet Nam. He was killed as he carried three fallen soldiers to safe cover and was awarded the Silver Star.

Mike and I had made our First Communion together at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. He was a quiet, kindly fellow who never called attention to himself . . . until he died saving his brothers.

** Another classmate, Steven Bligh had just lost his wife of 45 years. Their 3 children were raised and living far away. Steve was somewhat lost as he wandered the party by himself. Finally, some of our “Who Cares?” classmates grabbed him and sat him down with a beer and some conversation.

** As I said, it used to be a blue collar all-boys school. So we weren’t the smoothest guys when it came to girls. Those with their own cars (only a few of us) were fast starters on the dating scene back then. But it seems the boys got their courage up and found their partners in life. The wives seemed genuinely happy to be a part of the evening.


As we filtered out there were no promises to “meet up again”, just handshakes, smiles, and “great to see you’s”.

I’m blessed to have 4 or 5 friends from high school that I still see when I travel back “home”. But I’ll never see most of those people again. That, in itself, is a thought worthy to reflect on.

Terry’s killer smile. John T’s gift of getting us together. Wayne’s excitement over the Cleveland Indians, Steve’s sadness without his wife, Dave’s quiet helping hand, Roland loud with too much beer . . . guys, it’s been quite a ride. I’m privileged to have known you.

Dear God. You made each one of us as a unique expression of your glory. You put us on the earth to share your joy in the beautiful world you created. You call us to be like you in the way you love. You gave us your Son to be one of us and show us the way. Jesus told us we are your children and you are our Father. And we will be with you in the great mystery called heaven.

Thank you so much!!

Fr. Tim


On Call. A Lesson.

Two or three times a month each parish on the east side of Rochester is on call at Rochester General Hospital. Eight in the morning to 8 the next morning; we respond to any calls for the Anointing of the Sick or the Sacrament of Confession. Sometimes I forget I’m on call. This was one of those nights. . . .

So it was Sunday night about 9:15. I’d just settled in to watch the closing ceremonies for the Rio Olympics. The chaplain at Rochester General calls to ask for an anointing. A woman, 93, in a coma . . . her son was asking for a priest. So you go right? Of course. It’s what we do.

On the way I try to spiritualize my frustration at missing the Olympics. “Lord, this is for you. I offer this up. Let this bring me closer to you and your Sacred Heart.” I silently patted myself on the back for responding quickly and calmly to the chaplain’s request. “I’m a dutiful priest”, I tell myself.

Her name was Ruth. She was curled up in a semi-fetal position. With eyes closed, her head was tilted back as if expecting a knock at the window. Tom, her son, greeted me with a kindly smile and extended his hand.

He told me his mother had come to the hospital with a lung infection but I soon learned this was simply the last in a litany of health problems that went back decades; back to when Tom and his sister were told their mother had Alzheimers and special care would be needed for her 24/7.

For 22 years they watched their mother’s growing dementia as Tom cared for her in his home. It had been years since Ruth even recognized him as her son.

“We just wanted to be ready Father. She’s been through so much.” Briefly he fills me in on what the recent past had been and the numerous trips to emergency rooms. I was struck by the tender way he spoke of his mother and the total absence of any reference to what these years had cost him and his sister.

(It set me thinking of my sisters who each cared for our mom and dad in their final days. Like little children, our sickly parents needed constant care and attention which both of my sisters gave so readily.)

And here he was, bent over his mother’s bed stroking her hair. I wondered if I was kind enough, generous enough, selfless enough, to do what this man had done for so many years for his demented mother.

Suddenly my frustration over missing the Olympic closing seemed so small and petty. My prayer of “offering up” seemed less heroic, and my secret estimate of myself suddenly paled when compared to Tom’s undivided devotion.

So what’s my point? We’ve all been witness in our priest- hood to persons of great charity and holiness. For me, the people I hold to be in the state of great sanctity (who knows these things?) . . . most are simple everyday people . . . few are priests. The point is we priests have it pretty easy. The great love of God’s people for the priest paves the way for a smooth landing in so many life situations.

Most people do the hard, thankless, every day carrying of their burden with no fanfare. We priests hear “thank you Father” almost daily. Most people get gifts on their birthday; we often get little candies on our desk “for just being you”. Most people pay for their meal; how many times has someone across the restaurant picked Father’s check up? Their moods don’t get pampered like Father’s when he’s “having a bad day.”

So I guess I’m urging us priests to see ourselves as Jesus did, “It is the same with you; when you have done all you have been told to do, say, ‘We are but servants; we have only done our duty.'” Lk. 17:10

We stand humbled by the hidden souls whose brilliant charity daily sow the seeds of God’s Kingdom.

Your brother,
Fr. Tim


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Mercy: More than You Deserve

So I say to you “I’ll give you $50 to wash and wax my car.” And you say, “Deal”. You finish the job but, contrary to our agreement, I only give you $30. “Hey, you owe me $20!” you cry. “I changed my mind”, I say, “and be- sides, you used my bucket and soap!”

Besides never washing my car again, you’ll continue to remind me that I owe you 20 bucks. Why? Because we made a deal, recognized by law. I was legally obliged to pay you $50 for services rendered (in a larger case you’d take me to small claims court).

So knowing you’d probably tell everyone in Webster that I’d stiffed you, I finally decide to pay you the full amount. Our friendship will still need repair but at least JUSTICE IS SERVED. Justice is giving to another what they deserve or have a “right” to.

We get the idea sometime that justice is the highest form of human relationship . . . to give everyone what they deserve makes for a happy well ordered society. An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth. But in the Christian perspective justice is the MINIMUM that is expected of us. It’s no big deal to be “just”.

We are called to a higher level of relationship. We are to be a people of Mercy. Webster’s dictionary defines mercy as “kindness in excess of what is deserved or demanded by fairness”.

We see it everywhere in the Gospels. Jesus tells us:

“Love your enemies, do good to those who persecute you.” Mt. 5:44

“Father forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.” Lk. 23:34

“If someone asks for your coat give them your shirt as well, to walk a mile, walk with them for two miles.” Lk. 6:27

The father put the gold ring and royal cloak on his wastrel son because “He was lost but now he is found.”

The laborers received a full day’s wage for just one hour’s work. Mt. 20:8

And St. Paul marvels at the mercy of God when he declares “that while we were still sinners and enemies of God, Christ died for us.” Rm. 5:5


Think back. When have you received mercy? Here are some examples.

  • You totaled the family car with a careless turn into a tree. Your father’s first words are, “are you alright? That’s all that matters.”
  • You were caught cheating on an exam. University rules call for your expulsion. The professor arranges for you to take a different exam under his supervision.
  • Your “job performance review” was terrible. Your boss tells you not to be discouraged, he says he’ll work with you. He says he thinks you’ve got the “right stuff”.
  • You went to confession and told the same sin you’ve committed 100’s of times before. You feel like a total failure. You feel like you’ll never be the person God wants you to be. The priest tells you, “God is using this weakness to grow the beautiful flower of humility deep in your heart. How beautiful you are to God!”
  • Your wife tells you in tears, that no matter how hard it is sometimes to live with you . . . she will never stop loving you.
  • You’ve said a terrible thing about someone quite close to you. You would cut your arm off if you could just take back those words. Your friend/sibling says, “I forgive you. But please don’t talk to me like that again.” You burst into tears. You’ve just received that precious gem . . . mercy.

We are called to acknowledge God’s mercy in our own lives (the countless times I’ve received more from life and God than I ever deserved). And in the joy of the Resurrection we have the grace to offer mercy to those who have offended us in some way.

It’s Labor Day already. Oh dear.

Fr. Tim


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The Joy of Our Youth . . . Remember?

There was a beautiful “Prayer at The Foot of The Altar” at the beginning of mass some years ago. Translated from Latin it says, “I will go to the altar of God.” And the response of the altar server was, “To God, who restores the joy of my youth.”

I love that phrase . . . “the joy of my youth.” Some questions arise however: 1. What is that joy like? 2. What happened to it that it has to be restored? And 3. Why do I have to go to God to get it back?

1. Think back. What were the times that best captured the unique happiness you had as a kid? I think of Christmas morning (just before the presents were opened). Something new always got us, like the first snow, a new ball glove, a doll, new shoes, a bike or a sled (wow!). Maybe it was a trip to a far away place. (The Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls totally amazed me at age ten!)

But what defines “the joy of youth”? How is it different from middle age joy? I think it has something to do with the fact that there is nothing to temper it. A child has no accumulation of disappointing moments or fears of being tricked or laughed at. Happiness (like tears) comes quickly and sharply with no filters.

And one other thing (the best thing actually) . . . joy (in a young person’s head) will last forever. There’s been little experience of life’s eventual hurts and disappointments. There has yet to develop that callus we all acquire to deaden feelings and expectations of happiness. Remember summer as a kid? It’s going to last forever!

2. So what happened to this joy? Well, life happened. Tricks were played, lies told, promises broken, bicycles stolen, plans abandoned. You know, life here on earth. Welcome to the world kids. This is life after that mysterious fall of Adam and Eve.

We cover up, we hide our feelings, sarcasm becomes the adult form of humor. Being “on guard” is how we live now because, as “The Who” sings, “we won’t get fooled again”. And on guard we should be . . . there’s tough things out there.

3. So how does God, and only God, restore the joy of our youth? Quite simply God has provided the remedy for the dashed hopes of the human heart. The remedy does not turn us back into children hoping for a new pony. It points us to the original plan, the one lost so long ago.

God redirects our faulty longing . . . toward Him. All the false joys and counterfeit happiness fade away in the intense light of what God has given us in His Son Jesus Christ. Hear what St. Paul (the former cynic known as Saul) says of this new thing that God has done.

“We have peace now with God through our Lord Jesus Christ . . . and we boast in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we boast of our afflictions, knowing that they produce endurance, and endurance proven character, and character proven, hope.”

Paul goes on . . . “And this hope does not disappoint, be- cause the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” Romans 5:5

It is this Hope that restores the joy of our youth. It made Paul say elsewhere, “there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rm 8:38

So the joy of our youth is restored. That’s right children; we’re going to be with God in His Kingdom . . . forever and ever. Yay!!!

Spread the good news.


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Out of Alignment.

Pictures, as the saying goes, are worth a thousand words. Whether it’s about “a feeling” or “an idea” or “something we believe in”, it helps to get a picture in our mind that captures the essence of what we’re thinking about.

So, I was thinking the other day of what the faith teaches about “the effects of Original Sin”. You remember Original Sin, right? In the mythic story, Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command to refrain from eating the fruit of that tree. It’s the God inspired picture of an event no one was there to record. It is a great mystery.

The catechism tells us that one of the effects of Original Sin has been the wounding of our human nature. That means the creature, man, made in God’s image, has forfeited his original holiness and justice and “is wounded in the natural powers proper to it.” (reason and will) (Catholic Catechesis #405). In short, we suffer ignorance about who we are, and in this ignorance we are inclined to sin. This leaning toward sin is called “concupiscence”.

So, here’s MY picture. See if this makes any sense. . . . I had an old VW “bug” way back in college. Great little vehicle – started up every time. One problem, it was out of alignment. Driving down the road, if you let go of the wheel, before long it would pull left and take you into the oncoming lane. It wouldn’t happen all at once, but you could feel a leaning. Like the car had a mind of its own, it pulled you into the other lane. To counteract this you had to drive with the wheel pegged to the right. This would keep the car in the proper lane heading straight.

It is the same with us humans. If we let go of the wheel, if we don’t take control over the direction of our lives, we eventually “pull into the wrong lane”.

Each of us experience this pull in our own way. (The classic “pulls” are called the Capital Sins – pride, envy, anger, gluttony, lust, jealousy and sloth). What’s yours?!! The church’s teaching about the effects of Original Sin makes great sense. It’s a pull, an inclination. Going our own way, without God’s will to guide us, sooner or later we fall. Everyone sins.

Don’t be shocked that you have this tendency to sin – – – everybody has it (except Jesus and Mary – but that’s another story!) We’re in a battle. Be ready to fight. Some battles we win; some we lose. But, we don’t give up the fight.

The good news is that we’ve got the power to overcome this misalignment. Be aware of the pull “and keep our hands on the wheel”!!

Pray and recognize your tendency, and ask God to help correct your alignment. Ask for the strength and avoid the places and things that approach you with the familiar enticements that sin brings with it.

Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to keep in the proper lane. A priest might be able to help you here. Certainly the Sacrament of Penance/Reconciliation (Confession) is a great source of strength and realignment.

Lastly, do really fun things. The devil hates it when people can laugh at themselves and share friendship with others who are keeping their hands on the wheel.

Please enjoy this summer. God will be pleased if we celebrate this wonderful gift.

Fr. Tim


SAVE THE DATE

SEPTEMBER 18 – PARISH PICNIC

Food, Fun and lots of Friendship!!!


Candyland?

I’m sure you know people (good people) who have opted to leave organized religion or see the teachings of the Church as irrelevant. “I believe in God, just not all the things we read in the Bible or gets taught in church. Science is my guide to what’s real in the universe. God is a spiritual feeling no one can explain.”

Reflecting on God and science, it seems they describe two different worlds. The world of science and nature is the one that roots us in our daily lives. Religion on the other hand, is about a world we cannot see.

When discussing religion we often feel our knowledge of this world (astronomy for example) gets placed on the shelf. Religion describes a different world. For example, the Creed says Jesus “came down from heaven”, “he suffered death and was buried . . . and rose again”, then he “ascended into heaven”, and “is seated at the right hand of the Father.”

The words seem to indicate a heaven situated a few miles above us, from which he “came down” and then “ascended” back. It’s like a palace in the air with two chairs set side by side. One chair is for God the Father (he’s the older looking one with the silver hair); the other for the Son (who’s a youngish man (33) wearing sandals and a beard. This is Heaven.

Add to this Jesus saying, “in my Father’s house there are many mansions. . . I am going to prepare a place for you.” Jn. 14:2 and one can imagine a place not unlike Candyland. There’s the Candy Castle and there on his throne is King Candy.

I’m not trying to be a smart aleck here. This is what the words of the Bible can cause us to imagine about God and Jesus and heaven. And these imaginings can seem childish next to the hard and scary facts about the limitless cosmos. Many rightfully reject the Candy Castle Religion, see religion as irrelevant and trust their own instincts to show them the way.

What can we say to help here? I think the first thing to remember is the difference between believing and imagining. “I believe in God the Father Almighty maker of heaven and earth.” This is a statement of faith . . . there is one God, and all that is, comes from God.

But then we imagine. “What did making the earth look like?” Michelangelo tried his brilliant best in the Sistine Chapel. Remember that painting of God the Father on the cloud reaching out with his divine finger to touch the finger of the sleeping Adam? Did it really look like that? No. But does it convey a truth? Of course. God created us.

Or the story of Adam and Eve, the Serpent and the Apple. Did the “Fall of humanity” look like that? No. But is it true? Was there a moment, when, by the actions of the first human couple, we have become strangers to God and to ourselves? Absolutely true!! (Read St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans Ch. 7). Think about it the next time you feel life is some huge accident or you are anxious to lock your door at night.

*** The WHAT? . . . God the Eternal has come into our world from outside time and space to become one with the human race in the man Jesus.

*** The IMAGINING?
. . . the Nativity scene or most any Christmas card.

The church wants us to know what is true; then artists and poets imagine the visuals. Some are helpful and inspiring. Some are silly and wrong.

There’s lots more to talk about here. Another time perhaps.

Bless your summer days.

Fr. Tim


SAVE THE DATE

SEPTEMBER 18 – PARISH PICNIC

Food, Fun and lots of Friendship!!!


Single Life.

My Mother was second born of ten children (5 girls and 5 boys). Their father died when the youngest (Ruthie) was only 2. My mother and her siblings quickly learned that life was a serious matter of finding work and putting food on their large dining room table.

The Depression added to the difficulty that all families were facing. Personal plans for marriage and children were put on hold so one could remain close to home and help pay the bills.

Mom was quite satisfied living her single life. She had found a good job as a secretary in a paper company, she had friends and all those siblings for fun and company . . . until Phil showed up. Phil is my dad. He took young Rosemary “away from her family.”

In fact all nine married . . . all except Margaret. She never married, (why I don’t know . . . that’s none of my business). But I can tell you she was my favorite among all my aunts and uncles. “Aunt Peggy” had a special way about her. She remembered you in a way that made you feel like she really cared – – not just on your birthday.

She was light hearted and fun, and laughed at her brothers and sister’s sometimes too serious approach to life. Peggy would light up a room with her happy ways.

And this is the point . . . happiness comes in many different ways. Sometimes we think “I’ll never be happy until I . . . get married, have children/grandchildren, get the job/promotion, find the dream house, retire etc.”

No, the single life can be a special calling to a lived freedom that most others, because of family obligations, can- not maintain. Properly lived, it is a freedom “for others”.

The single Christian can:

  • Be a dear friend to many (beyond the friendship hus- bands and wives can offer).
  • Keep our deepest worries and fears . . . secret.
  • Be a voice of guidance and encouragement to children/grandchildren in a way parents can’t.
  • Be a source of fun (and sometimes money!) for friends that have grown weary of life.
  • Come at a moments notice when needed.
  • Be a sign of Christ (He was single).
  • Totally devote yourself to whatever is your passion.
  • Travel.
  • Not pulled by a 1000 interruptions, you can really listen to others.
  • Go on retreat. Learn to pray. Find out “Who am I?”
  • Give your gift of time to those who need someone to be with them.
  • Read. Learn something.
  • Spend the gift of time and freedom for some “cause” that will make this a better world.

Please know how much we love and need our single brothers and sisters. You bring friendship, joy and fun to your family and friends.

God bless and keep us all.

Fr. Tim


Got to Serve Somebody.

I hope by now you know how happy Fr. John and I are being priests. I’ve told many young men that, were I given the opportunity to choose my life over again, I’d be a priest. I just like it. It fits me.

Perhaps the biggest reason it feels right is that I think God wanted me to be a priest. It was His idea first . . . and then ever respectful of my freedom, God found ways to get me thinking about this way of life. It makes me happy to think God has an opinion about what we should do with our lives.

He never forced me with fear or guilt. God used natural, human things to get my attention . . . comments of people who knew me well, watching some priests who I liked a lot (seeing their happiness and humor), feeling a desire to help people, realizing that we’re only here in this world for a while . . . all contributed to a growing feeling that God was calling me to live my life as a priest.

It wasn’t easy to hear God’s voice calling. It requires listening in prayer, a careful examination of your heart and its feelings, and hardest of all was trying to find “my heart’s desire.” In the end it came down to the Lord asking, “Tim, who will you give it all to?” And the answer – – though it took a while – – was “I want to give it all to you, Jesus. I want to be so filled up with you that all I want is to “be yours”. (I’m guessing this is how brides feel on their wedding day.) “And then, I want to share you with people, Jesus, and do the things that will help people get to heaven.” For me that said “be a priest.”


That’s my story in three paragraphs! It certainly wasn’t my mother and father’s story. It’s probably not your story either. Most people don’t have that odd appeal toward a celibate life lived for the purpose of spreading Christ’s Kingdom. I mean really, let’s face it, it’s pretty different.

But . . . . your story and my story have that most important aspect in common, “Who will you die for?” Or, to put it in a slightly milder way, what is there in your life that you would be willing to sacrifice it all for? That’s God’s invitation to you. That’s your vocation.

For my father it was a beautiful woman named Rosemary. For mom it was her husband and her children. And they did. They laid it down, for each other and for us children.

And do you know who in the end we all lay it down for? Teacher, parent, spouse, priest, musician, poet, carpenter, farmer, soldier, cop, nurse, bus driver . . . we are all called to lay it down for Christ.

Yes that’s right! You have a vocation to give your life to Christ, to be at His service each day of your life. The only problem is we don’t see Him. Know why we don’t see Him? Because He’s hiding!

He’s hiding in the face of your spouse, your students, customers, friends, enemies, your children, your parents, your neighbor, your check out person, and yes, even the cable guy! Yes, all human kind is united to Christ in the moment of the Incarnation and now in the Resurrection.

You get it, right? “Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it.” Mk. 8:35. We are the only creature made by God that comes to understand their life by giving it away. That’s all of our vocations — to lay it down in love.

Because Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. Happy summer days!

Fr. Tim


A Parable: The Twenty Dollar Bill

Deacon John Juneau at the Cathedral Parish told me this story. I think it’s a great example of a modern day parable. After reading this, see if you can summarize its meaning in a single sentence.

A famous professor, known for her ability to engage her students, began the lecture one day by holding up a crisp new $20 bill. “Anyone who would like this piece of paper raise your hand.” All hands went up.

Next she crinkled the twenty into a little ball. “Who wants this piece of paper now?” Again all hands were raised. Unfolding the wadded twenty, she wiped it across the chalk board. “Still want this?” All hands raised.

On she went, grinding it with her shoe, slamming the door on it, finally dunking it into her morning coffee. “Who wants this now?” Everyone raised their hands wanting to get this filthy, soaking, ragged $20 bill.


Two questions:

So what’s the meaning? Try saying it in one sentence.
Do you see any lesson it might have for human beings? (Think about yours. Then see mine (upside down!)


My Answers:

1. It’s not just a piece of paper; it’s a twenty dollar bill!
2. Battered, stepped on, filthy, it doesn’t matter; we never forfeit the sacred value we have as being human beings, created in God’s image.

Video Ministry

Holy Trinity Livestream

It was with great excitement that Holy Trinity broadcast our Sunday Mass to the internet (Livestream) this past weekend! You can view Mass live at the time of streaming, (Sunday’s at 10:30 am. and throughout the following week.

Livestream is a great option for those who are unable to come to Mass on a given Sunday or who would like to review Sunday’s Mass later in the week for the purposes of prayer.

If you are not someone who uses the internet on a regular basis, it can be intimidating.

So how do YOU get to enjoy this new feature at Holy Trinity?

Watching Livestream 101:

  • You will need to have internet access via computer, tablet, smart phone or smart TV.
  • Go to Holy Trinity’s website holytrinityweb.com.
  • On the left side of the home page, click on the link that says “Watch Sunday Mass LIVE”. This will take you to the Livestream website.
  • To start the video, simply press the “play arrow” in the center of the video.

If you have any questions, please contact Helen Sleeman hsleeman@dor.org / 265-1616 ext. 337.