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Thursday, April 21, 2016

What Do I Do When I'm Not Wandering?

   I will be heading over to Boynton Beach, Florida to preach a parish mission at St. Mark's Parish there. When I return home I will have an entire month with no outside commitments.  When some hear this their understandable reaction is, "Oh, your have a month off."  I politely explain why this is not so. I will be quite busy this month and I thought I might let my blog readers get a glimpse into what I do when I'm not "on the road".

   The first priority during times like this is to spend quality time with my friar community.  I'm delighted when my brothers seem glad that I'm home for a while.  Although I participate in the prayer life of the fraternity even if I'm home for one day, getting into the rhythm of doing that daily is a blessing. Also, while my personal prayer life continues when I travel it is generally deeper and richer when I'm at home.  Our friary is mainly for retirement so I also try to pitch in with things like taking the older guys to medical appointments and to other places they may need to go.  By the way at 71 years old it's great to talk of "older" guys.

   Being a traveling preacher requires preparation.  Reading and study, besides being something I enjoy, is also part of my ministry.  Without new ideas there is no development in my mission presentations. While I don't come up with something new every week, over time new thoughts enter in and my presentations evolve. I always have two books going, one a serious work of theology, spirituality or perhaps some dimension of psychology, the other is a novel.  Good fiction gives insight into the human condition, something a good preacher needs. I read while on the road, but there is more time for it when I'm at home.

   As most of you know I have authored two books.  After the second I thought that I was done with writing books but a third one will be one the way, a series of meditations on the Gospel of John. Stay tuned about that.  In addition to the books I have this blog and am occasionally asked to write an article for our province's newsletter.  People seem to like my writing and often comment on what they say is its good quality.  Saying that is not boasting on my part, it is a tribute to my Catholic education.

   Local parishes often contact our friary when a priest is needed for Masses and/or Confessions.  I have signed up for several days in May at a local parish. I enjoy doing that very much.

   Lastly, time at home affords me the opportunity to check in with the various doctors that need to be seen by someone my age.

    I'm glad to have been able to share this window into my friar life.  I won't be on the road for a month, but it certainly is not time off.  I will have that later when I take my vacation.

  

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