Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A New Parish Grows

November 3, 2009

Peace and Good,

This past week I was down in Fredericksburg, VA. I had given a mission at St. Jude Parish there five years ago. At that time, they had just moved from a funeral parlor to a facility in a strip mall (they are in a remodeled gym). The parish was just starting to take off.

It has grown by leaps and bounds. They are ready to begin the process of building a Church. The whole area is all but unrecognizable with all the building that has gone on. It is a commuter area for people who work in Washington D.C. (although it is some 40 miles away and the commute is a bear on interstate 95).

The sessions in the evening were centered on the Gospels, one night for each Gospel. In the morning, the sessions were on various people of the Bible: Mary, Peter, Paul, and Abraham and Sarah. As is common in my missions, the morning sessions were a bit more informal (as we drank coffee and ate some of the baked goods) while the evening sessions were a bit more formal.

The evening sessions were interrupted on Wednesday for the confirmation of the parish youth. There were over 20 confirmed, and the ceremony was incredibly well prepared. The bishop was great. He is one of the military bishops, Bishop Richard Higgins. (It was everything I could do not to call him Henry Higgins in the Eucharistic Prayer.) He knew exactly how to speak to the young people. He asked of them a promise of listening to God's call at least five minutes a day, a great idea for all of us.

I got to see the center of Fredericksburg this time (very nice and quaint) and saw the battle field ( I am a Civil War buff). Usually, when I travel, I don't like to see that many things because I am already overwhelmed with new things. Yet, this was well worth it.

I am at home this week giving a series of talks on the psalms. I am taping the talks (four of them of two hours each), so I hope to have the CD's available sometime around Christmas. I haven't finished any books, largely because I am reading about seven all at the same time. I guess I get bored easily, so I need to read a little bit from each one when I feel like it.

Today is my mom's birthday. It has been three years since mom and dad passed away in a car accident. Please keep them and my brother Gil (who died shortly before them) in your prayers.

God bless and

fr. Jude


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