Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Parish Mission


The parish hosts a "Mission" every year. This mini retreat conists of a morning Mass and teaching time and evening prayer and preaching time. This year the mission is by Fr. Richard Fragomeni from CTU. He is quite the dramatic speaker and includes wonderful stories from his family, friends, and experiences as a priest from New York. The theme of the mission is being the beloved of God...borrowed from the Gospel reading on Sunday. I am glad this opportunity came up before the school year swings into high gear. My schedule allows for me to attend the morning sessions and the preaching part of the evening sessions.

Sunday: Fr. Richard spoke about liturgy. He emphasized that we gather and create liturgy not for God but for ourselves. We need the symbol, song, smells and bells to create an openness to God. We celebrate liturgy for ourselves so that God may find an opening to touch our hearts in the gathering. He continued that this gathering of liturgy should be approached with the wonder and awe of a child. We need to try to see the symbol, song, smells and bells as new and not the same old bore that we saw last year...keep the wonder to feed the awe that helps us stay open to God.

Monday: Fr. Richard got a bit wordy in his 'teaching time', but he introduced the seven virtues and went through the etimology of virtue, cardinal, and theological. Tuesday he will further explain the cardinal or "hinge" virtues. The 'preaching time' became quite dramatic and I must admit I sort of pulled back and tried to listen to the message. The idea was simple...we are the beloved of God (period). All of the negotiation of what makes us beloved is not of God. God loves and waits for us.

I will share more of his retreat ideas as it goes along. However, in case I have appeared to holy in this posting. On the way home from Mass on Sunday, I noticed a new addition to one of the homes in my neighborhood. The family filled the front yard (a large yard) with a framed in HOCKEY RINK! Yup, they put up plywood sides and covered the lawn with plastic. As I drove by one of the kiddos was making a drive for the goal (net goal) past the front door! Hmmm...there are some things different about Milwaukee!


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