Twilight Twitches

Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,

Neighbor, someone who is a 'near-dweller.' SO, the question of the day might be, "Who is my near-dweller?" As I thought about it, it seems like that means anybody, from my great pastoral assistant to the person I find myself standing next to when I'm checking out of Publix. It seems they all qualify; folks who are near.

It's one thing to be nice to Annie. Even then, I can be oblivious to her presence, because sometimes it's so easy to take your closest friends and co-workers for granted. That's the danger of being around someone so much you run the risk of not seeing them.

fetscherDear Family,
My mind is in a swirl. (So what else is new?) I'm writing this Twitch on Tuesday the 23rd. Hope is a great way to start out, because I'm hoping all the preparations that are underway for Oktoberfest will bear fruit (or brats and sauerkraut in this case.)

I'm hoping that we don't totally wear out all the folk working. I'm hoping that the light-stringers will teeter safely on their ladders and the cleaner-uppers will make the task look easy and that it WILL be easy because there are so many of them.

I know at some point I'll probably find Elli hand-grating something. I'm hoping she doesn't scrape a knuckle.

I'm hoping that people who waited until the last minute are going to be able to get tickets.

I'm hoping that the cool evening breezes that I experienced last night (Fall finally got the memo) will waft around our spaces on Friday night.

fetscherDear Family,
One good thing about this unending hot clammy summer: it will be a great excuse to have a very cold beer (or two) on Friday night as we gather for our brauts and good stuff for another Oktoberfest. (Just don't drive!)

I think we should use the some of the proceeds to help with relief for the people and parishes affected in the hurricane Michael's path. We can add those proceeds to our special collection for them. The Archbishop told me the whole archdiocese will join to help and we'll be part of that effort. In advance, my heartfelt thanks to the Oktoberfest team who prepare the "fest." They will help us extend our hearts and hands in Christ's name to afflicted folks in the panhandle.

fetscherDear Family,
Do not be afraid of holiness. It will take away none of your energy, vitality or joy. On the contrary, you will become what the Father had in mind when he created you, and you will be faithful to your deepest self. Grace is multiplied among people. (Pope Francis Gaudete et Exsultatae 1:32)

Those words appear on the top of the certificates that each of the honorees received last Sunday as representatives from 110 parishes gathered to celebrate the 60th anniversary of our Archdiocese.

fetscherDear Family,
For a lot of us, being 60 would be a happy surprise, but that's what we can all claim today as we celebrate the Archdiocese of Miami's 60th. I wrote about diamonds last week and I just want you to know that each of you puts a special sparkle on the disco ball of life.

And no, I don't want anything. As a matter of fact, I want to thank you A LOT for the generous response you made to the Mission Appeal collec¬tion last week.

I know Father Patrick who came and spoke to us is very happy and grateful. Enclosed in 108 envelopes was over $4,500 for the Church in Gbarnga, Liberia. As a matter of fact, that was more than the parish collection of $3,686.) I expect more will come in this week. With Father Patrick's visit we could meet face-to-face with needs and concerns beyond our own. I think that always turns out to be a good thing.

fetscherDear Family,
So, what do you do on your Diamond Jubilee? Well, if you are the Church of Miami, you gather the folk together and acknowledge the blessings God has given us. Central to those blessings are the people who make up the Church of Miami, saints and sinners.

Annie has listed some of the events of the coming year here in the bulletin.

Next Sunday, October 7th, the feast of Our lady of the Holy Rosary, is the official anniversary of the beginning of the Church of Miami. Bishop Coleman F. Carroll came from Pittsburgh and was formally installed as our first bishop on October 7, 1958. That made St. Mary's Church a Cathedral. Ten years later, we became an Archdiocese, sort of a mother church for the six other dioceses in Florida.

fetscherDear Family,
As I write, the priests of the Archdiocese are gathering for their annual convocation. It's a time when we can do some business and share a fraternity that we normally don't get to do. I wasn't able to go because I was 'tethered' to a toilet. (I wouldn't have said 'toilet' here, but the temptation to alliteration won out.)

It got me to thinking about all the priests I have known over the 50+ years of ministry, not counting the additional ten in the seminary and the growing-up years when priests played such an important part in my life. Often, hindsight can make you see even more clearly.

fetscherDear Family,
Welcome to mid-September 2018.

Hurricanes proliferating, politics exploding, division ‘profusing,’ (I made that one up), insanity prowling, AC units leaking... just another day at the ranch. It’s hard to know what direction to face.

Do you sometimes wonder who you are in the middle of a lot of chaos and conflict? At times, have you wanted to go and find a hole where you can shut out the noise? Welcome to my ‘sometimes’ reality.

fetscherDear Family,
Once again, this is one of those marvelous moments when I’m writing the Twitch VERY early, August 31st to be exact. I won’t be here (hopefully) next week so we need to get the stuff ready. Had I thought about it I could have asked someone to write it as I have in the past, but it’s not fair to give so short a time. Anyway, I’ve got through the first paragraph.

I’m thinking about the last nine days and all that was packed into them; happy, sad, disgraceful, and you wonder what on earth the next nine days could bring.

fetscherDear Family,
We have just celebrated the Liturgy of Christian Burial for Cynthia Alonzi, pictured above with best friend, Diana Borg. Cynthia was the office assistant and between Annie and Cynthia everything moved along. As luck would have it, for the first time since I have been at St. Sebastian, Annie actually took time off for illness with a flu that was a killer. As I said at Cynthia’s Mass, this place was scary without them. Cliché or no, you don’t appreciate what you have until you don’t have it.

Over the years, you get to know people you work with and you share some of the stories, happy and sad, that mark people’s lives. We shared our stories. (Relatives don’t have to worry. It was all good!)

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