Tag Archives: parish life

The Extraordinary of the Ordinary

I’ve had the privilege this summer of doing some traveling – to the Outer Banks of NC, southwestern Illinois, and the hills of Maryland – and in the midst of that to visit numerous other parishes for Mass. It’s always cool to see what other congregations and dioceses are doing, and how they put their own unique spin on the liturgy. Recently too, Dayton celebrated their annual Celtic festival, which includes a Gaelic Mass downtown under the big Riverscape tent. As always this year it drew hundreds to celebrate the Eucharist together in a new …

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Generations Gathered

Recently, the O’Hearn (my wife’s maiden name) clan gathered for a family reunion of the four generations of O’Hearns. Great Grandmother was there, her sons and daughters, their sons and daughters and the grand and great grandchildren. It was quite an experience to see all those people and all that history in one large room celebrating and talking together. Many memories were recalled and shared. It was wonderful to see so many O’Hearns enjoying one another’s company once again. Nearly 40 people were there and as I observed and reflected on the joys and struggles …

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Parish Life

Recently, I came across a video entitled Scenes from a Parish. It is a series of vignettes of St. Patrick Parish in Lawrence, MA, described as the poorest city in Massachusetts. It is done through interviews with parishioners, the pastor, and community people along with other parish life experiences over a five-year period. The viewer truly gets inside the lives of the parishioners, the parish staff, and the parish itself. The film helped me to reflect on the importance of the parish for our church and for myself. It shares the struggles of an urban …

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Who’s Your Ed?

I think every parish has an Ed.  You know the guy.  Retired, spends a ton of time at the church.  Probably a veteran and Knight of Columbus.  Sometimes a little cantankerous – everyone acknowledges that his wife is a saint – but his grandkids adore him.  Maybe he mows the grass or shovels the walks.  Maybe he’s a whiz at carpentry or perhaps he’s the go-to guy when the electric or the plumbing needs some work.  Like I said, you know the guy. Our Ed was a jack of all trades, but he was a …

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