Where and When

Thursday, October 5, 2017 Written by

When I was in University, a friend of mine, let’s call him Johnny, posed a question to the group of us who were having lunch together and talking in the University café. He asked: “If you could live a life anywhere in the world at any time in history, where and when would you like to live?”

Well! You would have thought that someone had all given us a million dollars with the level of excitement at the table. Almost immediately, ideas were flying around.

 

Hasta Luego!

Thursday, September 28, 2017 Written by

 I have decided to resign as Youth Minister at Holy Family Cathedral. This decision has come with lots of discernment, deliberation, and dialogue; it has been a hard one to make – I really do wish I could stay longer! But, over the past few seasons, I have been realizing how much I need a different work role that will support & sustain Micah & I as we grow in our Vocation. Therefore; the time has come for me to move onward. We’ll still be around on Sunday celebrations! We’ll see you all there!

To all the youth & young adults that I had the privilege of walking alongside these past two years – thank you for your courageous yes to God! Keep on living in the truth of knowing that you are God’s beloved sons & daughters, called to greatness, sustained by grace. Turn to God with your daily living, He’s with you! Keep in touch. I will miss being your Youth Minister! 

A few years ago Jane and I were talking about our bucket lists. I named a few things, then narrowed it down to just one: experience a total solar eclipse. We checked, and saw that one was coming up nearby in 2017. We started planning.

Monday Washday, Tuesday Ironing…

Thursday, September 14, 2017 Written by

 

Recently my wife was relaying some news from her mom about an older aunt whose husband was in the hospital. The aunt was concerned that she might not be able to visit her husband the next day because it was Monday and she had to get her laundry done. Our kids looked at their mother blankly.

Why, they wondered, couldn’t she do laundry on Tuesday, or Sunday? We tried to explain to them that for many people of that generation, there was an order to life’s work and you didn’t vary from it. So much so that it was incorporated into several Victorian nursery rhymes. Quoting an article by historian Robert Wood: "In the old days, the housewife’s work week was ordered by a strict schedule: Monday, washday; Tuesday, ironing; Wednesday, mending; Thursday, market; Friday, baking; Saturday, cleaning; Sunday, church. Cleaning was done on Saturday because Sunday afternoon was visiting day. The routine was strictly adhered to by almost everyone.”

Start of a New Year

Friday, September 8, 2017 Written by

 

It's the start of a New Year!

Well, maybe not a new calendar year. But to me, the beginning of September has always felt much more like the dawn of a new year than January 1st ever did. There is a newfound energy as the lazy days of summer are put behind us. The signs of renewal are everywhere.

As a kid there was of course the start of a new school year and all of the excitement that revolved around that. We had new clothes, new shoes, new books, new crayons. Chances are you’d make some new friends depending on how your class seating plan was arranged. The school floors were freshly waxed, sometimes walls had been painted or new construction had occurred. Almost certainly you’d have a new teacher. After 2 months apart everyone looked a bit different. Some kids had grown taller, some had braces or new glasses, a few had different haircuts. The hierarchy of the hallways and playground had shifted as everyone was now one grade higher.

On Thunderstorms and Missing Dad

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 Written by

 

One of the last and most powerful things said to me by my Dad before he died was "never grow tired of being thankful." I tend to believe that I have, for the most part, always been a relatively thankful person. Many of my parishioners can quote my famous line: "the greatest sin of the first world is the sin of ingratitude." My health experience in the last few months has shown me even more the importance of the gift of gratitude. Having a heart issue and not responding real well on the hospital table has given me much reason to reflect. You see, I wasn't scared of dying. My mind, my heart, my whole being was okay with the reality of going to be with God. What I struggled with was that I had not thanked the people in my life for everything they had done for me. One of my favourite penances in the confessional is to call to mind the blessings God has given and to thank God in a special prayer. Since returning to full time work, I've made it an even more important mission to promote a message of gratitude. No gas pump jockey, no teller, no cashier and no teacher goes without a word of thanks from me. Transforming the world and changing the attitudes of people begins with a spirit of gratitude on our part. Dialogue, communication and appreciation are key to a sustainable world peace.

A Lesson Learned Many Long Years Ago

Thursday, June 15, 2017 Written by

 

Recently I heard on the news of a teenager who was charged with handling fireworks which created a grass fire on an acreage. This reminds me of an incident in my life. I think that enough time has passed now that I won’t get in trouble for admitting to the following youthful indiscretion:

When I was 13 years old, living on a farm 40 km North of Carrot River, I would sometimes go to Carrot River, stay with my Uncle Mike and play with my town friends. One summer day, I met with my friend Terry who happened to have some 2” firecrackers. We decided to light and throw some on the quiet streets of Carrot River. There happen to be some younger kids ahead of us and we lit and threw a couple firecrackers towards them. Then we heard a car approaching us from behind and a voice shouting “Stop in the name of the law!” It was the Town Police calling out from his window as he speedily approached us. Terry said, “Let’s run down the alley and empty our pockets of any firecrackers as we run.” 

Be Still and Know

Thursday, June 8, 2017 Written by

 

This month at the Cathedral, you can definitely tell that school is wrapping up for the year. Over the last week, a multitude of children and youth (and those supervising them) have made their way through the doors of our Cathedral to rehearse or to take part in Year End Masses, Farewells and other Liturgies. Many more are expected in the coming weeks. One afternoon this week, I had the pleasure of listening to one Grade 8 class go through their class list, student by student, and describe each student’s dreams and ambitions, as well as where they would study in the coming years.

I have to say, listening to the proceedings, I admired the certainty of it all. Each student had their proper path marked out. They were going to do this, go to school there, study that, become this. And frankly, I remember feeling precisely that certain at my Grade 8 farewell; I was going to move on to Holy Cross for High School like my brothers had, get my Diploma and be awesome while doing it! 

Then and Now.

Thursday, June 1, 2017 Written by

Looking back.

Jane & I came to work at Holy Family in youth ministry and faith formation six years ago. Six years. It feels like even longer, probably because so much has changed. We started out sharing an office, one which for some reason had a ridiculously huge desk. I recall running up and down the stairs to get stuff from the printer, or to use the washroom, conveniently located right beside Deacon Bob’s desk. I’m sure he loved that.

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