Since my last blog, this cycle of life has been witnessed in various ways. Fr. Aaron celebrated his first baptisms; we had our first Quinceanera (15th birthday for Latina women) at Blessed John Paul II and we had one newborn presented in church. At the same time, we have had the sad news of two parishioners being diagnosed with cancer. One for the first time and one discovering her cancer has spread despite treatment. This cycle of life beginning and life ending is the norm of parish life. Yet, going back to Jessie and Riley, we discover the "Glenmary factor" at work here.
|Flowers presented at Quinceanera|
Similarly, the story of young Riley, is another example. Here just under five months ago, Br. Craig and I drove to Knoxville just before midnight to anoint Riley's mother before the emergency delivery with her just entering her sixth month of pregnancy. Two days later, I was there to bless little Riley who was born 1 pound and 10 ounces. At that time, I gave them a Padre Pio medal that I purchased at his shrine in Italy and that was blessed by Pope Benedict XVI which they placed at the foot of his bed. Yesterday, I enjoyed my Thanksgiving day meal with his extended family. His father, Chris, who is not Catholic, assured me as I blessed Riley again, that the Padre Pio medal I gave him remains at the end of his bed where it has been since I gave it to them. The depth of Catholic devotion in miracles through the intercession of the Saints has become meaningful to this young man. God moves in His own way at His own pace. We just respond where grace, hope and mercy are needed.
|Community Thanksgiving service in Rutledge|