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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Church and Community

My family and I are Catholic and we are sort of heavily involved with the community and our church. I'm a member of the Knights of Columbus and the wife is into all kinds of stuff that I can't keep track of all that she does. She makes me look like a slacker and that is okay. Today we had the great opportunity to see one of our own neighborhood kids...well he's fourty four, but he said his first Mass. It was awesome! Father Walter Riley did a great job his first time out and there were priest from across the nation at St. Bernard's today to witness this great event. The Riley family is a rather large family in this area of the world so they filled half the church on their own. They are a great bunch of folks that no matter when you see them they have a smile on their face and a warm welcome that you just know in your heart that is genuine.

Walter is a different breed of priest in todays chaotic world. He doesn't hide the fact that he is a die hard Red Sox fan and even said so during the Mass. He even went so far as to say that he was displeased with his nephew aged twelve that is a Yankee's fan. Went so far as to say he was looking for a twelve year old in the neighborhood to kick the crap out of him. I kid you not! Right there in church, where you are supposed to be so hush hush and never talk like that. I loved it! So did the rest of the parish. When he thanked our pastor and friend Father Richard Trainor for all his guidance and insight on what it is to become a priest in this world the parish applauded so loud and for so long that it was heart warming and a unique momment in my life.

Here are two men that have not just dedicated their own lives to God but also to us here in this poor district of the city. Giving up all that their own lives could be to be someone that all of us need sometime or another. In return they let us know that God loves us and we will get through the worst storms our lives will endure. I admire that trait and that vocation. Somehow it hit me today that I should be greatful for men like these. They have chosen a path that is most honorable and the rewards they get from it are only seen by the faithful that they help to endure yet another day. When you think about it, it will mess with your head.

Faith is an amazing thing. I don't care if you are Catholic or Protestant or Buddist or Jewish or Muslim. Keep your faith based in love and that alone will change the world. That sounded like a hippie thing didn't it? I am NOT a hippie! Just someone that has seen how faith in God can change your own little world.

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