Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Parish Priest

My summertime experience in the Northwoods of Wisconsin is off and running. Most of you know how much I love being a traveling preacher, a Wandering Friar. It is indeed my vocation within a vocation and I hope to keep on traveling and preaching until I'm unable to do so. That having been said I must say that I love having the opportunity to be a parish priest for a few months here in Wisconsin.

I began traveling from Natick, MA to St. Peter the Fisherman parish in Eagle River, WI, back in 1995. In 1999, due to a shortage of priests here, St. Peter's became part of a three parish cluster with St. Mary in Phelps, WI and St. Albert in Land O'Lakes, WI. Over the years I have grown to feel truly a part of all 3 of the parishes and am warmly welcomed back each year. I enjoy preaching regular Sunday homilies and getting to preside at baptisms, funerals and occasionally a wedding, things i don't get to do while preaching parish missions.

My involvement here has taken me beyond the Catholic parishes to other events in the area. Since 2005 I have been singing with an ecumenical choir at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church here. I love singing and more importantly I have a chance to share faith with other Christians in this nearly 100 member choir. There is a concert from Tuesday through Thursday each year on the last week of July and proceeds from a free will offering go to various local charities. The POPS (for prince of Peace) is a regular part of my summers now as is the American Cancer Society Relay for Life on the first weekend of August. I have been participating in that with St. Peter's team since 2007 after my 2006 diagnosis of prostate cancer.

As I have been sitting here writing this entry at a local wi-fi site several people have stopped to say hello. It's nice to feel a part of the community here and I hope to keep coming back.

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