Monday, May 14, 2012

Six Weeks of Easter

Our first Baptism at Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
Today is the sixth week of Easter and Mother's Day.  How did we get here so fast?

Truly since Easter, the Spirit of New Life has been blooming in these two missions.  It has kept me hopping but it has also been full of surprises and joy.  .... And lots of visitors.
The beauty of Spring in Tennessee

 Among them was a writer for the Glenmary Challenge, where a story about our mission will appear soon.  The folks were generous with their time and shared their stories with Mr. Dale Hansen.  The theme I heard over and over  was "thank you Jesus for having a church closer to home".  I am hoping that these little missions will be a home for many.
My family stops for some local ice cream

Then my sister and her husband drove my parents down for a visit.  It was terrific to spend time with them and show them what God is doing here.  Of course, at the same time, we received visitors from St. Malachy parish, the parish that has adopted us.  Then because God has a plan, all our visitors were able to enjoy "Art in the Park".  This is the second year for the town of Maynardville to host this event.  The goal is to draw more attention  to Maynardville featuring our many artists.  Our booth won the "People Choice Award".  That  picture made the paper!!  Publicity always helps.
Enjoying our company from St. Malachy
Side view of our "Art in the Park" award winning booth

Then we were blessed with Fr. Fid Levri, a Glenmary Priest sweeping in to spend a few days with us.  He lived with Br. Craig for two years, so they had a great reunion.  We enjoyed his musical talents and appreciated him sharing his mandolin playing with the people at church as well as at the local Sunday afternoon jam session at the local museum.
Every guest deserves some food

This was all followed by our first major fund raiser .... a yard sale.  Everyone pitched in and "pitched out" ... but one persons junk is another's treasurer.  Many treasurer hunters came and left very satisfied.  We made over 2,000 dollars which is just fantastic.  This will be our seed money for a building fund.  Not even ten months old, and we are dreaming of our future.
First Communion Preparation

In the midst of this, regular church life is moving along.  I conducted our first funeral since my arrival here, followed by our first wedding and then our first baptism.  Next week will be our first group for first communion.  The Lord has been working and is shining in our little community.  The sacramental graces of Jesus are blessing people in spaces never done before.  Comfort in grieve and celebration in joy is happening.
Two of our members relaxing after Mass at JP II

So here we are now as we enter into our sixth week of Easter.  We are ready for more, even if the pace keeps me hopping.

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