Twilight Twitches

Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Last Sunday, I floated the idea of having one weekend where we would have just one Mass so that all the sunbirds (year-rounders) could have a chance to meet. We get pretty rut-bound and never shall the five o’clockers meet the 11 folk, much less 8:30. The idea actually got a round of applause. The more I thought about it, however, the more I worried that a lot of the peacocks (weekend folk who are passing through and took the time to find Mass on their way coming or going) would get messed up. SOOOO... (and here comes the reason why I get the big bucks):

THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION OF THE  BLESSED MOTHER is WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 15th!
This year the feast is a Holy Day of Obligation.

fetscherDear Family,
For almost 40 years, every week I have been writing a letter to my parishioners. When I was in Miami, I called it Midnight Musings. Midnight was usually the time when I was able to get to writing in peace and quiet. When I came to St Sebastian I realized I didn’t have to be up so much at midnight and called them Twilight Twitches.

The idea behind the letters was to try and give my parishioners, then, a sense of what I was thinking. In Miami we had eight masses on a weekend in two languages and it would take me a month just to go through the cycle. I’d only get to speak to my parishioners once a month. I guess I hoped the letters that I wrote each week in the bulletins would fill in.

fetscherDear Family,
Independence Day! A time of appreciation for our country and the freedoms we share! An occasion of stopping and asking ourselves how we can best honor as well as ‘preserve, protect, and defend’ this special environment.

As a faith family we see these freedoms through the prism of the Gospel. These are the freedoms that help us answer our calls to serve: “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

fetscherDear Family,
Today we have one of those rare moments in our liturgical year when a solemn feast takes the place of a Sunday liturgy, in this case the June 24th celebration of the birth of John the Baptist. Why? How much time do you have?

Well, for starters, John is a pivotal figure in the story of our salvation. You often hear of him referred to as the last of the Hebrew prophets. He segues us from the “Old” to the “New” Testaments: the story of God dealing with his people.

Several of the pieces that make up the puzzle of our story appear just in today’s readings. First, the second servant song of Isaiah speaks of one who will come. First the image is of Israel itself, and then the image shifts to one who will make Israel great. The Psalm speaks of one “fashioned in the depths of the earth...” and “wonderfully made.”

fetscherDear Family,
I have stolen and adopted this prayer from <http://onlineministries.creighton.edu> Creighton University’s Online Ministries page. They have a series of prayers there for fathers which I found very moving. Go look.

In gratitude for my Father
Dear God, the Father of us all, I thank you for my father. Along with my mother, through the marvel of your creation, my father gave me the gift of life itself. He was such a good teacher and mentor, such a wonderful example of how to live a life of faith. (With seven kids, Lord, he really needed faith.) Please, take care of him now and be generous with him as he was with everyone.
Father of Life, he was such a blessing to me even though his life was short. Once, when I was away and told Gram I had missed her, she said, “Don’t waste your time missing people; pay attention to the ones around you.” Nevertheless, I do miss him – and all of them, even after 50 years. I thank you for what Dad left me as gifts of love and faith. I pray that he has enjoyed your embrace and that the relationship he and I have now will be renewed with you in heaven. Until then, I entrust him to your love and ask you to let him look out for me and to assist me to stay on the path to you.

fetscherDear Family,
So, tell me. Is any time really ordinary? Today is the Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. Did you miss the first nine? We had six of them before Lent way back in January and February. Lent and Easter came and weeks seven through nine just happened, hiding under Pentecost, Trinity and Corpus Christi Sundays. Finally, today the tenth Sunday emerges proudly in its own right!

You must think that either I’m desperate for subject material or I’m nuts if you have read this far. My point in bringing this stuff up is that the cycle of events that we celebrate throughout the year are at the core of the rhythm of our Christian life.

fetscherDear Family,
Thank you! Thank you! Thank You! Thank you!

I could continue those words over and over – in fact 348 times on this page, but there would simply not be enough room to cover the gratitude I feel.

I hope that these words will do for the moment for all those near and far, my family, old parishioners, faithful St. Sebites (new word), and especially the folk who worked so hard to pull off the greatest anniversary bash anyone could hope for.

I spent Memorial Day reading each and every card, often twice. You said a lot of nice things, but for me it was proof positive that the Holy Spirit can use anything to accomplish the Father’s will for us. I told some of you my ongoing prayer is, “Jesus, just don’t let me get in the way.” Sounds like He has been hearing my prayer... and I’m glad I didn’t realize it fully, or I could become insufferable, thinking that it was me instead of him.

fetscherDear Family,
Tomorrow we honor all those who have died while they served us in the military. (Veteran’s Day - Nov. 11 - is for all those who served, living and de¬ceased.) In the past this special day was also known as Decoration Day when the graves were decorated with flags. Check out Wikipedia for a very nice his¬torical summary. More to the point, especially to¬day, we honor and remember those deceased veter¬ans with our prayers.

As you read this, many of you will have been a part of the celebration of my 50th anniversary of ordi¬nation. As I write this, it hasn’t happened yet.

Maybe by the time the celebration comes I will be able to better explain why I have been a little reti-cent about making a big deal out of it. But I also need to say, from the depths of my heart, God for¬bid that the reticence ever be seen as ingratitude. Far from it. All the work that folk have done moves me to deeper sense of gratitude.

fetscherDear Family,
“Dunamis!” - the Greek word for power. Dynamism, dynamic, dynamite...
BOOM!
Remember last week, Ascension Day, we heard from the Acts of the Apostles? Early on, in verse 7 to be exact, Luke quoted Jesus as saying to his disciples, “You will receive power from the Holy Spirit.”
Ever since, I’ve been thinking about the word and what it means.
BOOM!
Unconsciously, at least ‘til now, I think I’ve tended to look on Pentecost as the feast that winds up the Lent-Passion-Death-Rising-Eastertide cycle. Next week we add Holy Trinity and then Corpus Christi, but I thought of those feasts as sort of add-ons. Pentecost really closed out the cycle, I thought...
Now, I’ve been contending with... you guessed it:
BOOM!

fetscherDear Family,
How many wonderful events can you cram into one Sunday? Well, we’re trying our best. And mine actually begins with the memory of two weeks ago when we blessed our new shrine in honor of Our Lady, Star of the Sea. This is the first Twitch since Archbishop Keleher blessed the new space. I’ve heard nothing but great feed-back since. Once again, thanks to Chris O’Connor for providing the garden in honor of his parents. (I’ve been searching the archives of Holy Mother Church to see if anyone ever wrote an anti-iguana prayer. So far, all I get are vague references to St. Francis of Assisi...)

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