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Another Pandemic Reflection

I’m Not In Charge
by Megan Burdolski, Director of StewardshipI am a little bit disappointed to report that I’m not in charge. Of anything. Not really. I can be described as a take-charge individual. I can be bossy. I like to be in control. But, I am not in charge. Nor is President Trump or Doctor Fauci or Monsignor Offutt or Mayor Lucas. I hope that everyone reading this knows that God is the one who is truly in charge. In these uncertain times, we all likely wish that we could have more control over what’s next. Some of us are anxious, or lonely, or frustrated, or disappointed. Some of us are defiant, or worried, or scared, or depressed. Very few of us are truly enamored of masks or social distancing. Most of us do not prefer to stay at home most of the time or miss out on events and activities we had previously planned.Recently, my dad was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia - for the second time this year. Because of the current pandemic, we were unable to even go back with him i…

A Reflection on Self-Care during Uncertain Times

Letting Go
by Chris Sanders, Pastoral AssociateThere was a man many years ago that I got to know very well through RCIA. He was a lanky, tall man with a hearty laugh, kind eyes and a calm soul. Over the course of the year he shared bits and pieces of his faith story that mirrored many others in the class. One night during our session on prayer, I shared with them a simple prayer reflection and handed out the short poem, Let Go and Let God by Laurette P. Burns.It read:“As children bring their broken toys with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God,
Because god was my friend.
Bet then, instead of leaving God in peace, to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help,
With ways that were my own.As last, I snatched them back and cried,
“how can you be so slow?”
“My child,” God said, “What could I do? You never did let go?”There was nothing unique about this poem, it has been around forever. I had completely forgotten about it until right before the Easter Vigil when this quiet, gen…

Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene

Seven Leadership Lessons from Mary Magdalene
by Teresa R. Albright, Pastoral AssociateToday we celebrate the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene. Mary the Magdalene is a person in the New Testament worth considering; especially since she spent the greater part of the last one-thousand-four-hundred years misrepresented in the western, Catholic imagination as a penitent sex-worker. However, modern Biblical scholarship gives us the chance to rediscover this important figure of early Christianity. Mary the Magdalene is significant, in part, because she is so prominent in the Christian Testament: appearing many times and in all four gospels (Mt 27.55-56, 61; 28.1; Mk 15.40-41, 47; 16:1, 9; Lk  8.2; 24.10; Jn 19.25; 20.1, 11, 16, 18). She was a follower and close companion of Jesus, she stood by Jesus as he died on the cross, and she discovered his empty tomb on the third day. Named in all four Resurrection stories, Christians from the beginning not only recognized Mary Magdalene as an important p…

Reflection on Vocations in the Church

God Calling…
by Teresa R. Albright, Pastoral AssociateThroughout the month of July, the church memorializes the lives of several saints who were either founders of or pioneers in their respective religious communities. On July 11, we remember St. Benedict, founder of the Benedictines and father of Western monasticism. On July 15, we remember St. Bonaventure, a pioneer and reconciler among the Franciscans. On July 16, we celebrate Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the patron of the Carmelite Order that brought us Doctors of the Church such as Saints John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila and Therese of Lisieux. On July 23, we remember St. Bridget of Sweden who worked against corrupt papacies and founded the Order of the Most Holy Savior, known as the Bridgettines. And on July 31, we remember St. Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, also known as the Jesuits, who have taught and formed so many Visitation families.I remember being around thirteen years old when I told my mother that I wa…

Msgr's Little 4th of July Visitation

Hello Everyone,This is my first appearance on “the blog.”I think “the blog” was conceived as a way for the parish staff to electronically communicate with you.The rest of the staff seemed sort of unsure about penning a Fourth of July message, so I said I would give it a shot (pun intended).I am comparatively well fixed to do it because I just finished reading a 660 page book on the American Revolution.It was among the better books I have read in recent months.I decided to navigate it because my heart needs a diversion from its intensely melancholy habits and I should know more about the American Revolution.They tell me “the blog” will not admit of long discourses, so let me leap to the point:The peculiar thing about the 4th of July is that it is not the day the Declaration of Independence was written.It is certainly not the day our country’s independence was achieved.The 4th of July is merely the day the Declaration of Independence was formally adopted by the young, tender, and fracti…

COVID Discipleship

MORAL OBLIGATION? CIVIC DUTY? NEITHER . . . I’M A CHRISTIAN!by Megan Burdolski, Director of StewardshipI’d be lying if I said that I’m enjoying life amidst the pandemic. I’m not. I doubt that very many people are. I was disappointed that my youngest child didn’t get a “normal” high school senior experience – prom, honors night, graduation. I am heartbroken for my cousin’s wife who did not get to celebrate her 85th birthday with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren because she lives in a senior living center that does not allow visitors in nor her to leave. I am sad for those who’ve had to delay weddings or funerals or other celebrations because they cannot hold them in the fashion they intended.But I’m also a rule follower. I wouldn’t have wanted those things to happen in any way that could promote the spread of Covid-19. I am a mask wearer – I’ve been hyper-vigilant about doing so. I even put my mask on (alone in my car) when I’m picking up my curbside Target order or …

Reflection on Racism

I Have Your Backby Karen Miller, Pastoral AssociateI watched the video of George Floyd’s murder.I watched the video of Amy Cooper falsely accusing a black man of assault. I watched the video of Ahmaud Arbery jogging through a neighborhood and being chased and shot. I watched the videos, and on all accounts, I was sickened and stunned.I thought of my “family” member, Darryl, whose skin is as black as night.This man that my family considers our own, who would always have my back, our back, in any situation. This man who was never willing to take a bus to our house because, as he said, “walking up your street would cause the neighbors to worry.”After years of accepting his statement without question or challenge, I realize now I need to take a closer look at my heart and my actions.This time, I feel like I cannot ignore “it,” meaning the conviction I feel for my past apathy.Phrases like, “I don’t see color” or “I am not racist” have rolled off my tongue.I did not understand how not seein…