By: Father James E. Shea, C.Ss.R.
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
To please his father a freshman went out for track. He had no athletic ability. His father had been a good miler in his day. The freshman’s first race was a two-man race in which he ran against the school miler. He was badly beaten.
Not wanting to disappoint his father, the boy wrote home: “You will be happy to know that I ran against Bill Williams, the fastest miler in school. He came in next to last. And I came in second.”
Next week we will be watching the Olympic milers as well as many other track events. We will watch in admiration how young athletes compete for a gold medal. Everyone strives to be the best.
Is winning everything? Some think so. Here’s a story that puts in perspective the values of sports.
It was the most important Little League game of Eric’s life. He was 11 years old and his team, the Pirates, was playing the Giants in the championship game. It was the bottom of the sixth inning and the Pirates were ahead 2-1. But the Giants had the bases loaded with two outs and their best hitter was at bat.
He hit an easy fly ball to Bobby, the Pirate’s right fielder. Bobby circled under the ball as everyone held their breath. The ball fell into his glove and then bounced out. Bobby scrambled for the ball, but by the time he decided where to throw it, two Giants had scored; Final score: Giants 3 – Pirates 2.
The game was over. Now it was ‘wait-till next year.’ As the Pirates moped off the field, something totally unexpected happened. Their manager started yelling and screaming at Bobby. “You lost the game for us. You cost us the championship!”
Bobby heard the manager screaming at him. He started to cry. Afraid to face the manager the kid raced off into the woods behind the ball field.
After the game Eric went to meet his parents in the parking lot, but his dad wasn’t there. His mom said that he had something to do. Driving out of the parking lot Eric caught sight of his dad, out near the woods. His dad had his arm around Bobby. He was walking the kid home.
Eric never forgot the kindness his dad showed that evening. Bobby never forgot either. Whenever he saw Eric’s father, Bobby would greet him warmly and enthusiastically. He’d thank him for his kindness at a moment when the world seem to crash down upon him. ‘Winning isn’t everything. But Kindness is.’
Looking ahead: there are many significant events on the horizon.
On the weekend of August 6-7, Father Steve Wilson, a Redemptorist, will be speaking at all the Masses. Each year a Redemptorist speaks about being a Co-Redemptorist; helps us to spread the Good News. Welcome Father Steve.
September 9-10, the 15th Annual Catholic Women’s Conference will take place at Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
On the weekend of October 1-2 s missionary of the Holy Family will be speaking to us regarding the foreign missions. Each year every parish is assigned a missionary to speak about the missions.
‘Together In Holiness’ is an event for married couples. On October 15, from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm, there will be several speakers talking about married life. This event will be at Holy Trinity Catholic Church.
November 10-13, will be the men’s ACTS retreat. Danny Reyes is the director, with James Cazares and Javier Martinez as co-directors.
December 8-11 will be the women’s ACTS retreat. Gladys Reyes is the director. with Mona Cazares and Yvonne Segovia as co-directors.
During the next few months we will be inviting men and women of our parish to participate in and ACTS retreat. We all know how powerful the Holy Spirit works with ACTS people. We want our parish to be alive in the Spirit. Yes, we all need a retreat. We need God’s life within us. God accepts no excuses. So, let’s open our hearts and sign up for an ACTS retreat.
On Saturday, October 1st, there will be barbeque fund raiser I just mentioned that God accepts no excuses. Sometimes the lack of money prevents a person from making the retreat. We’ll solve that problem. The money raised from this barbeque will provide scholarships for people who don’t have the funds to cover the weekend.
Some have noticed that on certain weekends Father Bob Lindsey or I are absent from St. Gerard. We are not taking a weekend off. Rather, we are celebrating Masses at other parishes…frequently at St. Margaret Mary or St. Catherine. Father Bob was assigned to our community with the mission to help part-time at St. Gerard and part-time at other neighboring parishes. Father Bob and I frequently switch off-at home and away. There are also times when we speak at out-of town parishes about the Co-Redemptorists, or our Redemptorist Missions, or promoting the Liguorian magazine.
We’ve heard it said, “Due to lack of interest tomorrow has been canceled.” Well, due to lack of tourists, the pilgrimage to Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland has been canceled. Perhaps people are leery about violence.
Fr. Jim Shea C.Ss.R.