Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Summer must be here early because it is sure hot and humid. Obviously, summer didn’t get the memo about not coming until June 21st. At least perhaps we can stop the nonsense about denying climate change.

Another harbinger is trying to plan a vacation. Finally, I think today we got a holy man (or men) to care for your spiritual needs while I will be taking care of mine. That definitely falls under the heading of good news. When I have it confirmed I’ll tell you who it is; until then no way I’m going to jinx it. Too Irish, I guess...

A little slower schedule also gives you time to ruminate about things normally under the radar. Questions that can arise to the level of high mystery more easily slip in. For example, why does a wedding need to have seven bridesmaids? I mean is there that much cleaning up for a maid to do? The scary part is I’m not talking about anyone in particular. We have had a number of those weddings.

I make a standard offering to all my couples: get me the forms, get to the classes, and anytime you want to elope, give me 20 minutes and I’ll meet you in the chapel. May humor always call cynicism’s bluff.

On a more serious note, I do think that sometimes the weddings are such productions, you almost wonder if the marriage will be an anti-climax.
The happiest marriages for me are the ones when the couple lives here and stays here. It means I’ll hear the sound of a crying baby or two. As I’ve said, it gives me comforting feelings about my pension plan to have those little voices around.

Some of these things make me glad; some of them make me sad. I do think about kids I will never know. I pray for them with the hope that the  Holy Spirit will always be with them as Jesus promised, even if the Spirit does it in ways we’d never expect. For the believer, the mystery is “How” – not “If.”

One of the reasons I’m floating around the wonderful world of weddings, is that Annie and I have just spent some time with Linda DeBold. Linda and husband, Paul, have been helping prepare couples for marriage for a long time in our parish. With Diana and Ralph Rau they have been good assessors of the hopes and expectations of engaged couples, AND they have been really good examples.

That’s a glad part of my wanderings on this humid day. These people, with Ed and Miriam Rivas (who, alas, moved away recently,) amaze me with their generosity. They’d be the first to tell you that the marriage commitment is not easy. They’ll also tell you that it’s a wonderful adventure to help launch a couple on the “Love Boat.” These couples go with our prayers that they will triumph over storms and unchartered waters. (Hope I don’t sound like I’m launching a “Cliché Blimp.”)

The Archdiocese is overhauling how we approach marriage preparation. Bob and Diane Zelmer are coming on to our team, and we are looking forward to getting perhaps another couple or two involved.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, we have the somewhat unique distinction of being a “destination church.” When I don’t know the couple, I’ll ask when we first meet, “Why are you coming to St. Sebastian to be married?” Pass the word that some answers will get them nowhere; e.g. “near the restaurant,” “pretty church,” “the monsignor is cute.” (OK, that one doesn’t come often.) Tell them to go for the answers like, “people are so very hospitable,” you can feel the Lord here,” “it’s a wonderful place to gather our families.”

In Jesus,
sign frjim

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