Friday, January 19, 2007


Adoration: tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church. All are invited!! Young adults: we'll meet up after Adoration in the Gathering Space to go out to dinner.
Here are two recent stories involving parishioners at either end of the spectrum of life.

1) At the children's Christmas Eve Mass, I invited all the kids to come up to the sanctuary for the homily. At the end of the homily, I asked them to return to their pews. A few moments later, I noticed that one of the little ones wasn't going anywhere. His older brother was trying to get him to leave, but this (three year old) boy wouldn't budge. I saw this happening, and left my cordless mic on. I asked the two boys what was going on, and the older brother told me that the young one wanted to stay in the sanctuary.

So, I asked the little boy, "do you want to stay up here?" "Yes", he said, as his older brother left the sanctuary. "Ok, you can sit in any of these three chairs, except the big one. That's mine". The three year old boy proceeded to sit in the deacon's chair!

So, I sat next to him, and asked, "what is your name?" "AJ", he said. "Hi, AJ, I'm Father Greg". "Hi", he said. "So, AJ, you want to stay up here with me the rest of Mass, huh?" "Yes". "Ok, great". Seeing as how AJ wanted to actually be in the sanctuary at such a young age, I said to the crowd, "I think he will be Fr. AJ some day!"

Just then, I noticed his mortified mother approach the sanctuary. "AJ, come here, now". "Noooo!", AJ replied. "Oh, AJ, it's ok", I said. After a few moments of trying to stay where he was, AJ finally went with his mother back to his pew, saying "noooo" the whole way. "See ya later, AJ. Thanks for sitting with me!", I said, saying goodbye to my newest friend. I have seen his parents since then, and they seem to have relished the experience. Same here!

2) I visited the home of an elderly parishioner last week who may be in her last days. This is a woman of great faith with whom I've been visiting regularly since I've been here. At the urging of a close friend, I anointed the woman and gave her Holy Communion. Although she has been much less lucid recently, she was very attentive and responsive during the Rite of Anointing. At the end of the Rite, I gave her the Apostolic Blessing which removes all temporal punishment in this life and the next.

When we finished, I told she was "good to go", which carried more than one meaning. I explained that in just twenty minutes, we had done a whole lot for her soul - gave her two sacraments and a blessing that would expedite her journey to Paradise. "Twenty minutes? Wow, that's all". She summed it all up with exceptionally profound words: "twenty minutes to get to Heaven!"

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