Where have I been? Long time with no Blog – SORRY!

A Birthday                                                                                                                                                                              Thursday was my Birthday – I Turned 36! Seemed old to me a few years ago—now I’m in my late Thirties – not so old at all. I had a great day that included a great lunch with my good friends and neighbours Steve and Sandy. Thanks for everything guys it was great. Catherinanne gave me one more gift – it was a new watch – Les Canadiens – fitting since the trip we took to see them play was my Birthday present. Catherinanne and I ten went to Pillette Park on the River for Dinner. We picnicked – the main course – LOBSTER! It was fantastic. I called up Sobeys and said steam me two lobster – packed some salad and side dishes and off we went. It was great. Most of all it was time well spent with Catherinanne which was the real gift as she will be away so much soon with her work. Thanks for a great Day Catherinanne.

A Funeral                                                                                                                                                                                       On Friday we were present with Austin and Mikeala our nephew and niece from London. Our Sister-in-law Patty and Catherinanne’s Brother Mike were mourning the death of Patty’s Dad Pete Thompson – Aged 58. It was a sad occasion that was a reminder to all of just how precious life is and how we should not take it for granted.  It was sad to see a family, yet so young, saying farewell. We were present to show our love and support.

Pete was a man that I did not know well but was for certain a strong person having stayed sober for over Thirty years. I was touched to see his book “24 hours a Day” at the funeral home. He read it daily. Alcoholism is terrible disease and is tough to conquer. Pete seemed to know well that he needed to work daily at it. In and of itself, that is a tremendous spiritual discipline and journey.

Thomas Merton penned this prayer which I offered on Friday upon my return to the church for a couple of wedding rehearsals:

“My Lord, God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. The fact that I think I am following Your will, does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You, does, in fact, please You. And I know that if I do this, You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust You always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me; and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Mike, Patty, Mikeala and Austin – we are here and we are praying for you in the midst of this difficult time.

Two Weddings                                                                                                                                                                                   On Saturday I had two weddings to tend to. I had a later wedding at 4 PM that was small and intimate. At 2 PM I officiated at the Wedding Mass of Andrew Sasso and Pamela Sweeney. It was a great wedding with a good number of guest and a great sense of spirituality. I have known Pam and her family for a dozen years now and they are good people, and great friends. I have come to know Andrew and his family in the past 2-3 years and they are also such wonderful people.  The great sense of love and commitment to justice for all of God’s people is evident in both the Sweeney and Sasso families and as such it is a part of the fabric of who Pamela and Andrew are as individuals and now as a couple. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to witness their vows and to celebrate with them as they begin this new chapter in their lives together. Catherinanne and I had a great day and will forever treasure our memories of their wedding. Incidentally, Catherinanne was the photographer and she did an amazing job – and she stayed out of the way at the Wedding Liturgy – That is something that not all photographers have mastered- well done Catherinanne!

Earth Day                                                                                                                                                                                 Sunday was Earth Day. I began the day with a great cake from Janet Forster – again – les Canadiens – too bad they didn’t make the playoffs! Thanks Janet! We sang Happy Birthday to a host of people who included, Alanah Shields, Myself, John Simpson, Marian Robshaw, Agnes Juba, Vanessa Jollimore, and Reg Burt – Who Turned 87 on Monday! There are a lot of birthdays around Earth Day. Happy Birthday Everyone!

They children and youth in the parish went to Malden Park and Planted Trees – although it was bit of a letdown as they had not many trees left for planting si they all got to plant one –and they got the right idea about the importance of saving our planet and looking after what God has given us. Stewardship of the Earth is an important part of our discipleship.

They returned to the church where Brain Campbell and I BBQed Hots and Hams for the crew. Thanks a lot Brian! We had a good day and you can see the photos at www.stmarkschurch.net in the photos/video section of the menu.

A Day  Off                                                                                                                                                                                        So yesterday came and I took the day off. There were a number of things to be accomplished. Catherinanne and I spent the day reorganizing the Garage – no small task but we got a lot done together. It felt good to work away at something that we have not had time to do. And we almost got it finished – except there were a few other things that got in the way – like what, you say?

Well Alanah and the Shields Family gave me a church Birdhouse for my Birthday. It is an excellent birdhouse and will likely encourage the neigbourhood birds to pray a little more. Plus we hope that they will choose this house instead of St. Mark’s by-the-lake to hang out in! In any event it needed to be mounted somewhere in the backyard.  So Tool-Time Kevin kicked into High Gear and with his very own “Heidi” (AKA Catherinanne) he built the necessary perch for this wonderful house. You can see the photos in the photo section of this blog!

But that was not all that happened. I also received a parcel in the mail. In 1994 Cliff George, Cousin of mine from Newfoundland, who is a great Artist gave me a painting of the church I grew up in – St. George the Martyr and at the time promised a larger one of the front of the church upon my graduation. Well, 10 years have passed and God Bless Cliff – He delivered. I received the painting yesterday.  It is a stunning painting from Water side of the church and I absolutely love it. Thank you Cliff – I will treasure this forever.  Many thanks was well to Mom and Dad for getting it to us safely. This was well done indeed!

Today is another day I and look forward to it!