Personal Reflections: July 2004 Archives


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Greetings from Newark, CA. I am now sitting in the office of St. Edward Catholic Church. It may be weeks before I am moved in, but the guest room is comfortable. All the books still sit out in the storage shed in myriad boxes.

What with the whirlwind of my first weekend as Pastor, and then a 6:00am flight Monday morning back to Chicago, participation in a week long retreat dedicated to St. Gaspar del Bufalo held at St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, IN, it does not seem like I will have any time for blogging this week. Besides, I plan on leaving my computer at home and will not have access to email while on retreat.

Three years ago when I moved to Chicago, I took nine days for a drive and camping trip to get there. After I was in Chicago for a few days I flew back to Oakland for a Retrouvaille weekend.

This time I took four days for the move from Chicago to Newark and after I am here fore a few days I will fly back to Chicago for a Retreat.

Sr. Madelene used to call me a boomerang since I kept coming back. It still seems to be true.

I would appreciate it if you would keep all the priests, brothers, sisters and Companions or associates in your prayers this week. This is a National Retreat given in honor of the 50th anniversary of St. Gaspar del Bufalo's canonization.

So, the Blog will be silent until August 9th.

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I did 628 miles today, the longest day, but also the last day. I am here at the Provincial Center where I have had a second office these past three years. Tomorrow we have a Provincial Council meeting. That is one of the reasons I was in such a hurry to get here. I still have some work to do to get ready for the council meeting.

I go to my new parish on Saturday morning. It is located about 30 minutes south of here.

It was a long and boring trip, not the kind of thing that is fun to do alone. But I am grateful that I made it safely, and I look forward to the challanges and joys of being a pastor again.

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563 miles today. Well, it has been a long day. The first 50 miles took two hours because more than an hour of it was sitting in a five mile long parking lot. A big rig had caught on fire and both lanes were closed. I was about two and a half miles from the accident.

Tomorrow maybe the longest day, but tomorrow may find me at home. I can hardly wait.

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485 miles today until exhausted. I am supposed to be on vacation, but this time crunch makes the miles grueling. There are some nuts out on the road and they are driving those huge rigs.

Gas was a variety of prices, 1.87, 2.09, 1.95, and 2.25. I made nine stops today. The back will not let me sit much longer than that. Two more days until home. I am looking forward to being with people again.

The trip was a bit monastic, talking with no one and praying the various daytime hours at each stop. Bach's B minor mass was the accompaniment again. I had some chant in but it was too relaxing and was putting me to sleep. The Gloria from the Bach mass is pretty exciting. It was a good thing I have speed control.

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I drove 486 miles today, and now have turned in for the night. Gas was 2.29 in Chicago, 1.85 in Iowa, and 1.73 in Omaha.

The ride was boring enough, but I listened to the B minor Mass by Bach a couple of times and it made time go by a bit faster.

I hope to make it to Utah by tomorrow.

Blogging will depend on Internet access. I will take advantage of it when it is free.

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Okay, I am home from Cincinnati. It was a Reconciliation Conflict Management meeting with the Cincinnati/Dayton Retrouvaille community to clear up some problems they had been having. The meeting was held at a hotel in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky.

Flew into Chicago this morning, and now it is time to pack the car and head to my new home in California. I was going to start driving today but decided to get a good nights sleep before beginning.

Does anyone live close to I-80?

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I got a few things done today and even enjoyed a bit of the Arizona sunshine. One thing I did today was read a book I had picked up on a lark in a half-price book store in Cleveland.

I had seen the book before but had avoided it. Reactionary, overly conservative books are not my favorite, but this one was only $3.00 and so I thought I would check out anf see, just for fun, what this guy thought was wrong with Vatican II.

The book is titled: "What Went Wrong With Vatican II" by Ralph M. McInerney.

Well, I was surprised. It is an excellent book. It would be better titled "What Went Wrong After Vatican II." The author fully supports Vatican II and everything it proclaimed. His thesis is that there is a crisis of authority after the council and that the faithful have been forced to choose between the authority of dissident theologians and the ordinary magisterium of the church. The book was a very balanced presentation.

Another proof that you cannot judge a book by its cover.

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The Giants had a great game and I came home with a souvenir, a foul ball hit into the second deck off the bat of SF Giant Ray Durham in the top of the seventh.

One more game tomorrow night we have the treat of seeing Randy Johnson pitch.

They said it was going to be 112 degrees tomorrow, too.

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From Phoenix, AZ. Well, I get a few days of quiet here for vacation, BUT!!!!, both Province and Retrouvaille have given me work that needs to be done by the weekend. Arggghhh. Oh well, I will squeeze it in.

Tonight I see the Giants/Diamondbacks game. Go Giants!

Retrouvaille went very well. The teams were excellent. We had 30 couples. Continue praying for them as they continue their journey of healing.

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Done, finished, complete, put a fork in it, it is done. It took the better part of two whole days. The experience of putting little numbers into little boxes. Some categories got divided 50/50, some two fifths/three fifths. It all balanced in the end, and I even figured out how to divide the remaining funds between two provinces. There was one two hour period where I searched in vain for the reason why I had a missing $3000 on the report. All the numbers were there, it just did not add up the same. It was such a relief to find that one figure, put a minus sign in front of it, and finally everything balances. I promise, I will never take another position where I have to be the one to compile the financial report. I am so grateful to be going to a parish with a fulltime book-keeper.

I am so ready for vacation.

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It has been a restful couple of days. I do not follow the American League much, so I did not know that the Cleveland Indians were so dominant when it come to the Oakland A's. I enjoyed the hospitality of some Cleveland fans when their team was winning, but I experienced some drunken near hostility in the section where I was sitting on the evening that the As demolished the Cleveland Bullpen with 13 runs and eventually finished the game at 16-7.

Sunday I attended Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. The Rector was the presider and preacher. I appreciated his homily a great deal, but he was a bit loose around the edges with the text of the mass. The music was simple and beautiful. One curiosity was the communion hymn. They used the antiphon from "A Simple Command" by Peloquin, and the verses came from "No Greater Love" by Joncas. I thought it worked well, and that early morning congregation sang it very well.

I enjoyed the singing of the Gloria. It was a simple chant setting by John Lee, the same one that had been used at my ordination.

Today there are no baseball games to attend. I am just relaxing, making it a mini retreat out here in the wilds of Plainsville, Ohio. Today was spent reading some of the books I brought punctuated with th psalms of the liturgy of hours. It is a muggy rainy day, but I took a side trip to the Presidential home of James Garfield and did a little tour of Presidential politics around 1880.

Tomorrow I return to Chicago for a few days before taking off again. There I will hopefully conclude the annual summer penance of putting numbers into little boxes, otherwise known as annual Financial Reports.

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Blogging will continue as Internet access is available

I leave in the morning (7/9/04) for Cleveland for a bit of vacation which includes three games with the Oakland A's and the Cleveland Indians. From Cleveland I head to Houston where I will be doing their Retrouvaille weekend. From Houston I go to Phoenix for more vacation, this time with a bunch of friends, and it includes two games with the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks. From Phoenix I go to Cincinnati for a bit of Retrouvaille business. I hope you are all keeping that troubled community in your prayers. On July 25 I go from Cincinnati to Chicago. On the 25th I will retrieve my car and drive to St. Louis. That will begin the drive to my new home in California. I hope to arrive on the 29th because we have an all day Provincial Council meeting on the 30th. On the 31st and August 1st I will be spending my first weekend at the new parish. August 2nd I fly to Chicago. I will be on Retreat in Rensselaer, IN August 2-6. It is a national Retreat sponsored by the five Precious Blood Communities of men and women on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the canonization of St. Gaspar del Bufalo. On August 6th I will fly back home to Newark, CA. August 7/8 is a busy weekend at the parish. On the 14th of August I fly back to Chicago as one of the men I have been working with these past three years will be making his final profession on the 15th. Also there is the whole process of unpacking, getting moved in and getting settled. I am hoping that by the end of August I will be getting back to sense of normality.

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Moving Day


The movers are expected today. I am still tieing up details, taping boxes, etc.

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I am not entirely sure I want to do this, but it was a significant part of the discussion Sunday night at Calvert House. I am assuming that people have read the Bishop's document on Politicians in Public Life.

This is not a political blog, and I am loath to discuss politics here. So nothing here can be construed as support for any candidate for political office.

The thing that troubles me: the discuss of an individual's conscience in the public arena. Refusing communion to anyone should not be part of public discussion. A pastor has an obligation to address the conscience of any Catholic who public professes erroneous views, but I am not entirely sure that the public arena is the best place to address that conscience. It is not good pastoral practice to declare someone in error, if I as a pastor have not addressed that person individually first.

The following is a comment from Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. I find it the best thing I have read on the subject recent ly. It is balanced and clear.

The line that intrigues me:

When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.

Here is the whole document:

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The movers come tomorrow.

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Kathy reports that Mom is home and they have given her some meds to relieve the pain and allow her to rest comfortably. Thanks for the prayers, especially for my sister who is taking some much needed vacation.

Happy 4th of July!

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Prayers would be appreciated for my Mother who was taken to Emergency this morning and is still there. Also for my sister who is attending to her needs at the moment. Mom will be 79 this September.

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Budgets, bills, reports, myriad numbers in myriad little boxes. It is a monthly, quarterly and annual penance.

I have not been looking forward to these days. It is the annual chore. It is the beginning of July and I am trying to close the books on the year. So I spent the entire day paying bills, and balancing check statements. It is a $257,000 budget to run this place, not terribly large by the standards of the parish I am going to, but there will be a fulltime bookkeeper there.

Well, after all the numbers were in place, I let the computer generate a first draft annual report. The chief achievement is to get the bottom line on the report to match the check book balanced statement. I remember last year spending half of a day looking for $0.35 cents.

Well, everything balanced on the first run. Everything balanced the first time, all the numbers figure out.

Small things like this excite me.

I still have to generate three separate reports for the two provinces and the other religious community. (Did I fail to mention that I was the formation director for the Glenmary Missioners this past year, another Institute of Apostolic Life. )

After the reports are run, filed and the movers come, I am on vacation. Yippee!!!

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Moving is so detailed. Changed the info today for Gas, electric, phones, cable, and bank, booked travel for Cleveland, Phoenix, Houston, Cincinnati, and changed address on Credit cards. American Express messed up the bill for the third month in a row. They seem to do this every summer and it always seems to cost me money. United Van Lines is coming Tuesday. The place is a mess and I can't find anything. But there is a huge stack of mail and a bunch of bills to pay. I just love financial reports. They are next. Cleveland and Phoenix are vacation, using up some free tickets. Houston and Cincinnati are both Retrouvaille. I have Gregorian chant going through my brain, so ended up singing the psalms all day. Actually, it made all the details pleasurable.

Actually this morning started out very well. I found myself wide awake at 4:50am this morning and so found myself out on the deck at 5:00am as the sun rose, chanting psalms and listening to the birds sing. It was a piece of heaven.

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  one of Fr. Keyes' photos

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Personal Reflections category from July 2004.

Personal Reflections: June 2004 is the previous archive.

Personal Reflections: August 2004 is the next archive.

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