Twilight Twitches

Twilight Twitches

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.”

fetscherThis week has been interesting. I had this Twitch 3/4 finished last Monday when the power failures happened. There must have been untruths in the Twitch because when the power came back on the Twitch was gone. Four days later I’m trying again, and I can hardly remember what I had written.

So, we’ll try once more. The good news is I got my second Covid-19 vaccine shot. I had no problems with either the first shot or the second, not even soreness. Now I’m beginning to wonder if the vaccine I got was real... No, don’t worry. I’m kidding.

I must confess that I never thought of getting a shot of anything (unless it was good bourbon) as a privilege of old age. But I had to admit to myself that indeed, in this case, age has its privileges. I would have forgone the shot and waited if someone with a more critical need could have gotten it, but I realized all that would do is screw up the system. My fervent prayer is that all of us can be vaccinated as soon as possible.

fetscherDear Family,
This isn’t the way I want to begin this week’s Twitch, BUT some of you have been calling about receiving text message from me asking you to buy gift cards and then sending me the numbers of the card(s).

IT’S A SCAM!

It’s happened before. I will NEVER ask you to send me money or cards via email or text. If I need money, I’ll call you and pick it up personally. And I don’t need money, (at least right now…)

Don’t you wish people could use their creativity a little more productively?

abcdDear Family,
All I can say is, “What a week!” We inaugurated a new President and we watch for the unfolding of our new administration. Our prayers continue for peace throughout our country.

I just noticed I have two ‘we’s and three ‘our’s in the opening paragraph. I didn’t plan it, but boy, doesn’t that say it all? It is, in fact, OURS; ours to keep or ours to lose.

fetscherDear Family,
“Ordinary???” Here we are. Ordinary time. There is a little Paulist Press book called the Ordo which describes Ordinary Time. “Besides the times of the year that have their own distinctive character, there remains in the yearly cycle thirty-three or thir-ty-four weeks in which no particular aspect of the mystery of Christ is celebrated (like Advent, Lent or Eastertime), but rather the mystery of Christ itself is honored in its fullness, especially on Sundays. This period is known as "Ordinary Time.”

This year we have five ‘ordinary’ weeks until Ash Wednesday. After Pentecost, on May 24th, we hit ‘ordinary’ again. Then we go all the way to Advent ’21.

fetscherDear Family,
Today is the final day of the Christmas season. We celebrate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan river to mark the beginning of his public ministry. We put away the Nativity scene because now Jesus is an adult, but we still want to linger in the lights and warmth of the season. Next week, the wreaths and trees will find their way to careful storage. Thanks to Ann Murry and the Martini’s (Sue and Scott) for all their work It’s hard to believe Ash Wednesday is just five weeks away.

If the arms of Jesus were outstretched (and not swaddled) in the manger, now we see the adult Je-sus embrace His ministry under the full power of God’s Spirit.

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