Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some of the day's events...

Arrived at the office a little after 9 am, breakfast (coffee and two donuts) in hand. Big pile of mail awaiting me, some that I didn't finish opening on Friday. Also had emails to deal with.

Needed to call several folks on one parish finance committee; we had planned a meeting for this evening, at 5:30; however, too many couldn't make it, and the agenda was light, so the chairwoman recommended letting it go; we'll circulate a monthly report to all concerned via email. Involved several calls and some emails.

Plowed through the email inbox, responding to each in turn. Some phone calls came in, or I made some, based on what I found there. That's how a "few" emails can take a couple of hours to get through.

Checked in with everyone in the office about various items. The retired priest stopped by, we had a couple of things to discuss--another one I remembered only after he left.

He was returning the proposed Mass schedules for November and December--I write up the schedule, and send it around to the other priests for comments or changes. It includes: every weekday and weekend Mass; weddings; other special Masses; confessions for school children; nursing home Masses (four times each month, usually on Thursday--but in November, we had to move two of them around due to other events).

When I prepare this schedule, here are things I take into consideration--and which make it complicated: I attempt to "rotate" the three priests through all the Masses. I try to make sure I'm at both parishes each weekend--yet sometimes that doesn't happen, it didn't this past weekend. In consideration of the other priests' age and/or health, I don't have them take two Masses back-to-back; I attempt to line us up with special requests from families ("That will be our 50th Anniversary, can you be there, Father?") or with special observances taking part in Mass (blessing our catechists). It takes longer than you might imagine.

Exchanged some emails with a committee chairman about some parish business; had a phone call with another. That took time.

Advised the altar society about a new vestment they wanted to help provide for the parish, by sending along a picture we'd gotten from the fellow who designed it. It's due to arrive any day.

Spent some time looking at issues regarding the interior of St. Boniface--it needs painting, plus we raised money for new pews, and there are related concerns worth dealing with, all at one time. So I had some bids from two pew manufacturers to look at; also, I had a phone call with the artist who is preparing a concept for what the interior will look like. We have a meeting of that committee next week.

Was getting really hungry, so I went out for lunch around 4 pm, came right back. Sister, who has these crazy ideas about food and thinks french fries and hamburgers are bad for me! (She clearly has not taken to heart the wisdom of Woody Allen's "Sleeper"), looked in to see what I brought back. She was diplomatic as always. Thankfully, she doesn't know I ate the fries on the way back, she only saw the burger and the Diet Coke.

Cleared a few items off my desk, moved some others around. Don't laugh, you do it too!

I'll try to get a bit more work to do before a meeting tonight at 7 pm, then home I hope by 8:30 pm.


Kathy said...

Ha, I have to agree with sister. Donuts for breakfast and a hamburger and fries for lunch. :(

My husband used to eat like that and got by with it until last year or so. Now he's on blood pressure medicine and he's only 32!

It'll catch up with you too. Better throw some carrots in your office to munch on :)

mamacantrix said...

Sister's definitely right, but you just tattled on yourself about the fries, so you must know this already. Please, though, let's not contribute to the shortage of priests with your untimely demise, hmmm?

J.T. said...

Read the first two comments and you have a clue to what its like to be married! (It's a joke, friends!)

Anonymous said...

Got the NPLA mailout re: Trent Franks Appeal. Thinking about participating because it looks like a good work. Concerned, however, that your bio indicates you left the Catholic church, then came back! From my perspective this is bizarre behavior, since the Catholic church bears very little resemblance to the Church of Christ described in the New Testament. What is your feeling on Scriptural authority versus the authority of mere men? (i.e. - popes, councils, etc.) Matt. 15:8,9


St. Michael the Archangel said...

Wow. that was awesome Padre! I do the same thing with my Mom.. she is after me for eating too much chocolate, so I hide my candy and eat it elsewhere!

I was going to only write this and then I scrolled down and saw that you had a comment that might be like one of those emails... it'll take hours to wrap up!

God Bless ya for what you do, this is my first time at your blog.. however, I will be back to see if sister catches you eating those fries!

Father Martin Fox said...


This answer will almost certainly be too brief for you; I regret it's all I have time to offer you.

I left the Catholic Church at a point in my life when I had a powerful experience of conversion; I naturally saw that my spiritual life to that point had been deficient--which it had, no question.

But I drew the further inference--oh-so-tempting yet invalid--that the Catholic Faith, in which I had been raised, was to blame.

So I was very open at that point to seeing every flaw, and every alleged error, of the Catholic Faith; and being persuaded of those things, I did what--under the circumstances--was the only course: I left the Church. While I was objectively wrong in my judgments at that time, given what I truly believed at that point, I could do no other thing.

Naturally, having made such a wrenching change--it was exceedingly painful to my parents--I set about a new path with great zeal. Remember, I was 19 and I was even more a know-it-all smart-aleck than I am now. There was, I said, no turning back. So it went for several years, and I found the fellowship of the church where I worshiped, and the people I associated with, very sustaining.

Again, my ultimate destination notwithstanding, I believe God was active in their lives and mine at that time, and I am thankful for many blessings that resulted.

to be continued...

Father Martin Fox said...

...In time, however, I came to see several things: that my judgments of the Catholic Faith had been self-serving: I blamed the Church for failing me, without considering what fault belonged to me for being lazy about my own faith; I had been harsh in my judgments and attitude toward the Church; I had been so sure of my own judgments and failed to see other aspects (such as the way grace works in our lives beyond our appreciating and knowing); I had been too quick to declare the Church was erroneous.

I began, little by little, to think about the matter anew. Actually, I never stopped thinking about it, but there came a point when I was more open to the question. I began to shed my anti-Catholic attitudes, and to appreciate things about the Catholic Faith and Tradition that I'd not appreciated before--or ever.

In time, I also began to see that there are things the Catholic Faith and Tradition have brought to the world, things that are true, that would seem to lack for any advocacy but for the Catholic Church. In short, it seemed that there was some precious fruit, uniquely found on the Catholic Tree--and how can a bad tree bear good fruit? For example, at the request of the pastor of the Pentecostal church I attended, I and others searched the Scriptures to explain why we opposed abortion; along the way, I became convinced that contraception was contrary to God's plan. Yet who but the Catholic (and the Orthodox) Church asserts that? In the face of much opposition to boot--which sounds like what our Lord predicted.

There were other things, but in the end, I found that my list of objections was whittled down, item by item; and I saw more and more of the Catholic Faith was clearly, reasonably, and Biblically true--not that I was, or even now, am qualified to declare such a thing, since the Church and Scripture sit in judgment of me, rather than vice-versa.

I came to a point where--living in the D.C. area--I was being drawn back to the Catholic Faith (and I knew it but wouldn't admit it); there were many remarkable things, but I will have to save that for another time; but as I drove by a Catholic church, on the way home from work, I heard in my heart the same One speak who spoke to me at 19; this time, He said: "what holds you back?" And I said, "nothing, Lord." And after 10 years, I returned to the sacrament of reconciliation a few days later.

to be continued...

Father Martin Fox said...

...In short, I became convinced that the Lord Jesus founded a Church, and he desired me to be part of it, and that Church subsists in the Catholic Church. I am unpersuaded by the arguments to the contrary.

I am rather more persuaded that many who make such arguments, often citing Scripture, do so with the best of intentions, but they are mistaken about the Sacred Scriptures--above all, in their most basic method in approaching Scripture.

As a result, Catholics, and those who inveigh against the Catholic Faith, often speak past each other when it comes to what the Scriptures say and mean.

I am quite convinced* the Bible is a Catholic book and is best read in a Catholic way. But I can well imagine how very unconvinced you will be by me saying that!

I am happy to answer your question, but I regret I won't be able to engage in a lengthy discussion of the matter. I hope this is somewhat helpful.

* (Even my saying "I'm convinced" makes me smile, because to my way of thinking, it's not a very Catholic way of approaching Scripture--as if God, or his Word, or his Church, owe me a satisfactory account of themselves! But I say it because I believe that will make rather more sense to those Christians who approach Scripture rather differently, perhaps including Chuck.)

Father Martin Fox said...


And, in any case, whatever you think of my re-embrace of the Catholic Faith, I'm glad for your involvement in the National Pro Life Alliance's work against abortion--thanks for whatever you decide to do!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for taking the time to answer my query.