Twilight Twitches

fetscherDear Family,
Three jobs, seven kids, Thursday night grocery list from ads, Friday family grocery shopper, one beer, faithful partner, patient parent, silent patient... He crammed a lot into 53 years. I have always believed when he died, he heard a very resounding, “Well done, Fred. Enter the kingdom of your Lord.”

I have no doubt that my personal sense of a father/son relationship with God flows from the way I remember my Dad. I think it works that way with my brothers and sisters, too.

Dad had very clear ideas about ways of acting. He had a deep sense of fairness that I don’t think was always reciprocated, but you wouldn’t hear him saying much about it.

I clearly remember one day when I was about ten years old, I got mad about something, and in my father’s hearing said, “damn, damn, damn.” He instantly appeared in front of me and said, “You have never heard your mother or me ever use language like that. I don’t ever want to hear it again.” “Yes, Dad.” And I don’t think I ever swore again in front of him. (Outside his earshot might have been was another matter...)

I sincerely hope that you have good memories of your parents. As the rite of Baptism says to parents, “You will be the first teachers of your children in the ways of faith. May (you) be the best of teachers, bearing witness to the faith by what you say and do...”

Sometimes, circumstances don’t play out that way. Trying very hard not to sound annoyingly pious, I simply pray that if your memoires aren’t good, that you decide that you won’t let bad memories become albatrosses that drag you down. And once again, remember that your decision to forgive is the measure of your holiness, and NOT the unhappy feelings you might have when bits of bad memories pop up.

On the subject of memories, I have some happier ones. One is hearing the story of the first time that Peter Manfredi and Sue Schierer worked together. Peter was 15 and a great musical talent then. Sue would pick him up on Sunday and they would work as a musical team at St. Coleman’s. They came to St. Sebastian in January, 1995. I don’t know how Fr. Hudak pulled it off, but it sure made a won¬derful difference for our parish family.

Now Sue is retiring, and we will be looking for a new cantor. Peter is inviting various people to interview and maybe try it out for size. He tells me we won’t rush into a choice. (That means that I get to play pseudo-cantor when someone is not at the mike in that role.)

My very happy/sad purpose in these words is simply to thank Sue for all the years she blessed us. Her disposition encouraged me, and her mellifluous tones graced not only her singing but also the very special attention she brought to the prayerful iteration of the responsorial psalms. In other words, “Yea, Sue.”

Another happy memory, or maybe better, experience, is knowing how many of you have been keeping me in prayer during my current little medical procedures. I’m not a big fan of making all the gory details available for public consumption. Just know that I’m in good medical hands and I expect to sail through without a hassle, joyfully being able to breathe again. (That also means singing and preaching much more easily.)

In advance, I especially wish to thank the priests who graciously agreed to fill in. You can thank Annie for their deft recruitment, along with lots of other things that keep us in business.

With gratitude for you all, I’m yours
In Jesus,
sign frjim


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