Thursday, August 27, 2009

Heading Home and Hitting the Road--Some Random Thoughts

On Sunday, Sept. 6 my car will be loaded and I'll begin my drive back to Florida. As much as I hate to leave the Northwoods of Wisconsin and the people and the parishes there, I will be looking forward to returning to my brother friars in St. Petersburg and getting back to my ministry of preaching. I have published my schedule at the head of this page to give you an idea of what I will be up to in the months ahead.

As I begin to prepare to travel to 6 different states I hope to add followers to this blog from the various places that I visit.

I often tell people that being an itinerant Franciscan preacher, a wandering friar as it were, is my vocation within a vocation. Over the past 22 years I have preached over 330 missions and have preached a number of retreats to sisters and priests as well. I have shared this work with several of my brother friars as well as with some fine lay preachers that have joined up with us at times. For those reading this blog who wonder what a mission is I refer you to the very first entry on this blog. (Just scroll down on the white column to the right and click on May).

This ministry has taken me to large city parishes, rich ones, poor ones, suburban ones and rural ones. I have preached in English as well as Spanish, in Canada as well as the United States. I hope to keep doing this until my body doesn't allow the strain of travel any more. As varied as are the people that I have served I find that their faith and their desire to grow closer to God are the one thing they have in common and this is a strength and an inspiration to me. At this time when the goings on of Church leaders can drive me and many others crazy I find that I constantly have to tell me that the Church, the Body of Christ, is these good people and not just the leaders.

So homeward I go and am eager to understand the Church better, not in books, but in the people of the six states I am about to visit.

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Moving Out and Moving Ahead Cautiosly