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Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Good 'Ol Summertime

Proclaiming the Gospel at St. Peter the Fisherman, Eagle River, WI, on the feast of Corpus Christi
 After a whirlwind of travel in the  past few months I've settled into my summer ministry at Eagle River, Phelps and Land "O'Lakes here in Wisconsin. My celebration of my fortieth anniversary of ordination has become a kind of moveable feast with the three parishes here all graciously celebrating this with me. As many of you know my summer times here are special to me for several reasons--wonderful people, a chance to experience parish life, a chance to sing in a choir and to offer some adult faith formation are at the top of the list.

   It is a blessing that I have been able to be in touch during my travels via this blog and Facebook especially.   As I've done that I've heard several comments about internet use--friendly kidding about being the "techie friar", accolades from people who urge me on with this, and while no one has said anything negative to me about my internet use I have run into folks who express concern or fear about our modern high tech world or who say things like "that stuff's not for me."   I would like to address these concerns.

   The internet and the social networking tools that have arisen with it are media, forms of expression and communication.  As such they are morally neutral tool.  You can find everything from the evil to the trivial right on up to the amazing and edifying.  I strive to fit into the latter category.  Over the past two months I have brought followers into things such as my experience in Assisi, my fortieth Anniversary of priesthood and offered several reflections.  On Facebook I share interesting places and experiences that I have had. What has been really amazing to me though is the opportunity to connect in prayer.  Now I don't like these requests that come out of nowhere and try to make you feel guilty if you don't pass on an e-mail about some situation.  That having been said I have had the opportunity to pray for several situations passed on to me from good friends  that I might never have learned about had it not been for the social networking that goes one.  Just this morning I said Mass for a woman in Arizona who is facing very grave illness.  There have been similar request during this time whether I was in Assisi, Florida, Michigan or now Wisconsin.  This past Sunday we celebrated Corpus Christi, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ.his was a feast  the Eucharist to be sure, but also a feast of the Church which is the Body of Christ.  To me the social networks, with all their capacity for triviality or even evil, are also a means of allowing the members of the Body of Christ to stay in touch, to pray, to teach and to affirm and support one another in living our faith.  I say a big Amen to that.
Beginning of Mass, June 26, 2011

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