Twilight Twitches

Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Before anything else, on behalf of Annie, Patricio, Judy, Peter and Sue, thank you once again for all your kind Easter cards and greetings.

Again, I thank Sue and Scott Martinez and Ann Murry who did a wonderful decoration job with all the flowers. After Good Friday, Judy Fisher, Maryellen Maher, and Mary Wood stayed and helped set up the sanctuary for Holy Saturday.

We’ll be able to enjoy the Easter drapes until Pentecost. Each time I look up, I’ll be grateful for the whole team who made it all work.

fetscherDear Family,
“Jesus Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!”

That’s the joyful cry of the women and men who have made an Emmaus weekend over the years. As St. Paul tells the Corinthians (I, 15:17) “... and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain...”

Our celebrations of Holy Week were a blessing. So many people worked to make the days special! Everything from cleaning to decorations to hanging drapes and to clever adaptations of our customs and rites caused by COVID. If we couldn’t wash feet, we could hold a bowl and a pitcher for hands. We couldn’t kiss the Cross, so we came and bowed or genuflected. They seem like little things but when you add it all up maybe COVID did us a favor by helping us pay more attention.

fetscherDear Family,
A Blessed and Happy Easter. Welcome to our visitors. I’m so grateful we have had the ability to outfit the parish hall with a live feed of our liturgies with the Eucharist.

The team has been wonderful; Patricio Diaz-Pizzaro with endless furniture arranging, super musician-turned-techie Peter Manfredi with his tireless creativity and work in making the new slides for the readings and hymns we use during the liturgies, and Annie Gardner who coordinated the volunteers who “sanitize” the pews each weekend. You’ll find them named across the page in a special corner of thanks. (I was going to make some reference to Annie as the parish’s special Easter Bunny, but after due consideration thought better of the idea. We simply say, “Thanks Annie, for everything.”)

fetscherDear Family,
Once again, we begin the Holiest of Weeks. We sing, “We remember, we celebrate, we believe.”

Personally, I remember glimpses of the 53 Holy Weeks I have celebrated as a priest.

Often, I’d be so concerned about remembering all the details a ceremony required, that it was a little difficult to really - “get happy” – until it was all over. Then I’d breathe a sigh of relief and the celebration would begin for me.

fetscherDear Family,
What is God writing on your heart? When I read today's scripture from Jeremiah, that was the first thing that came to my mind. For the Jews, it was their Law that God was writing, but it wasn't on stone tablets; it was on their hearts. The Law was God's gift that was meant ultimately to be a matter of the heart.

So, here I am thinking, "What is God writing on my heart?" If I want God writing something on my heart, I've got to do what the Jews did and bring something— like the Law — which I treasure. For some reason I can't explain, I remembered something my grandmother said to me just before she died: "Don't waste your time missing people. Pay attention to the ones around you."

fetscherDear Family,
How goes your Prayer, your Fasting, your Almsgiving... the PFA Challenge?

I’m trying, but I need to sharpen my approach. Halfway through Lent I’m afraid I’m doing a half-hearted job. One good thing is that having to write this Twitch definitely refocuses me. Thank you, Lord, for the task. I will try harder!

Now that I’ve told you, I’m stuck with having to be more accountable, so feel free to ask me anytime how I’m shaping up... spiritually, not physically. If I smile (behind the mask) you’ll know I found something to help my make-over. If I snarl (behind the mask) you’ll know I need to sharpen by efforts.

Accountability is a wonderful thing – for everyone else.

fetscherDear Family,
Do you have a mental list of names of people you really intend to call... one of these days? That’s where the header on this Twitch is coming from.

This week I received the news about the death of Sister Mary Tindal. O.P. She was an Adrian Dominican. That community has a long history in this diocese, Barry University being one of their great accomplishments.

Mary was a great musician. When we began the Office of Worship for the Archdiocese of Miami in 1978, she brought her skills to many. For many years she was the music director at St. Mary’s Cathedral. I was stationed there in the early 80’s and had the chance to work closely with her not only in the cathedral but in the Worship Office.

fetscherDear Family,
Some of you may have noticed that the house (2512 Barbara Drive) next to the rectory has been on the market. One of the unwritten rules that you learn after you’re ordained and certainly after you become a pastor, is that regarding the sale of church property, the rule is simple: “Don’t!”

In the history of the Church in Florida, one of the famous historical notes is that Archbishop Joseph P. Hurley, Bishop of Saint Augustine from 1940 to 1967 was a man of vision who bought property all over the state in the 40’s and the 50’s when some of it was even under water.

I don’t have the exact facts, but I’d be willing to bet that half the parishes in Florida are built on “Hurley Land.” Our own parish sits on ground purchased during Archbishop Hurley’s tenure. In 1955, Monsignor O’Looney of St. Anthony’s announced a campaign to raise $200,000 for the ‘mission’ of St. Sebastian. The building went up in 1958/9 and here we are. But other spaces would be needed.

fetscherDear Family,
Lent 2021. The banners hang over the north door of the Main Sanctuary and over the entrance to McDonnell Hall. Do you remember what the challenge is?

Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving: the three biblical challenges for Christian living.

We refresh our Prayer life.
We Fast.
We give Alms to the poor.

What better time than Lent to look at how we are doing, how we can focus on getting back to basics?

fetscherDear Family,
Happy Valentine’s Day. I want to give you all the hearts I can today so that you will be ready to take on ASH WEDNESDAY with hearts ready to begin the journey to the celebration of the greatest feast in our Christian lives: Jesus Christ is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!

To prepare ourselves we Fast, ages 14 to 59, taking one main meal and two little ones. We abstain from meat, age 14 and older, on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday and the Fridays of Lent.

Catholic.com tells us: “The reason Lent lasts 40 days is that 40 is the traditional number of judgment and spiritual testing in the Bible (Gn 7:4, Ex 24:18, 34:28, Nm 13:25, 14:33, Jn 3:4). Lent bears particular relationship to the 40 days Christ spent fasting in the desert before entering into his public ministry (Mt 4:1-11). Catholics imitate Christ by spending 40 days in spiritual discipline before the celebration of Christ’s triumph over sin and death.”

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