Pastor’s Notes – November 22, 2014

Father Shea

Father Shea

Dear Parishioners and Friends,

An Englishman and an American were deep in discussion about the accomplishments in their countries. The American proudly said. “We in America single out the last Thursday of November
to give thanks to God for the many blessings we have received.” The Englishman said, “We too celebrate a thanksgiving. But we celebrate September the 6th.” “Why September 6th?” asked
the American. The Englishman sharply quipped, “Cuz that’s the day the pilgrims left England and we were delightfully grateful to see them go.”

It was President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 who proclaimed the last Thursday of November as the day set apart for the national giving of thanks to our God. Lincoln said that the day of giving
thanks was not in response to military victory but in gratitude for a year filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. He said, “No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the precious gifts of
the Most High God.”

Long before Lincoln introduced the national holiday, the pilgrims of the Plymouth Colony celebrated a day of thanks. The Mayflower landed in New England in December, in the cold of
winter. During that first harsh New England winter, ninety were sick at one time and only seven were well enough to move around and care for the others. One by one they died: wives, husbands, and children, and they laid them in the frozen earth. Fifty one out of 102 died that first year. Yet, on that first Thanksgiving Day, they found so much to be thankful for.

In the midst of our own worries and fears. we too can follow the example of the early pilgrims by returning thanks to God for the many blessings in our lives. On Thanksgiving Day we will
celebrate one Mass at 9:00 a.m. What a wonderful way to place God up front before we delve into our turkey dinners and football games. Can you join us for one hour as we praise our God and give thanks?

On this Thanksgiving I want to say “Thank You” to all our parishioners. You. have used your talents to bring a grand spirit to our parish. You have welcomed others to our parish. You have
served each other well in liturgical ministries, in meetings, in prayer, in song, in retreats, in teaching, in decorating and maintaining church environment, in laundering altar linens, in
landscaping and especially in celebrating together the greatest of all thanks, The Holy Euchanst. Thanks to everyone.

Many years ago two young men were working their way through Stanford University. To help pay their tuition they decided to sponsor a piano recital. They Invlted fellow students at discount ticket prices to attend. They booked the famous pianist from Poland, Ignacy Paderewski. Paderewski’s fee was $2,000. Unfortunately the young men only managed $1,600 in gross income from the recital.

They gave Mr. Paderewski the $1,600 along with a promissory note for the balance. Mr. Paderewski tore up the promissory note and returned the money to the young men. He said,
“Cover your expenses from the $1,600, then take 10% for each of you and send the balance to me.” How grateful they were for Mr. Paderewski’s understanding and generosity.

Years went by. World War I came and went. Paderewski became the premier of Poland. Now he was faced with thousands of polish people starving to death. How was he going to feed them? Paderewski realized that only one person could help. That was Herbert Hoover who was in charge of the Food and Relief Bureau in the United States. He contacted Herbert Hoover and Hoover graciously sent tons of food to Poland.

Sometime later Hoover was attending a meeting in Paris. .Paderewski flew to Paris to thank Hoover for the food. Hoover then replied, “That’s all right. Mr. Paderewski` . Besides you
probably don’t remember but you helped me when I was in trouble as a student at Stanford University” (A sincere thanks will go around and come around).

It was the day after Thanksgiving. The shoppers were out in full force. As many folks scurried throughout the department store, a young boy stood next to an escalator, staring at the
moving handrail, Noticing that the boy was motionless for several minutes, a saleswoman asked him, “Little boy, are you feeling sick?” Without taking his eyes off the moving handrail,
the boy said. “Oh, no, madam. I am just waiting for my bubble gum to come back.”

Our parishioner Effie Williams has spent a good portion of her life working with the elderly, especially the home-bound. During the Christmas seasons she noticed how many homes had
no Christmas tree or Christmas decorations. She realized that the elderly were unable to decorate a tree or hang Christmas lights.

Effie wants to bring Christmas joy to the homes of the home-bound. She knows that many people are anxious to help others during this Christmas season. So she is introducing a program called: Bringing Christmas joy to the home-bound.

This is how the program will work. First, if you are a home-bound person. or if you know of a home-bound person who could use help in decorating the home, then please call Effie.
Secondly, if you are a Good Samaritan who would like to decorate a tree, hang Christmas lights or even send a Christmas card for a home-bound person, then please call Effie. Effie Williams will match two of you together.

Terry Fox was a Canadian distance runner. He lost a leg to cancer. He continue mulling with a prosthesis. He decided to run across Canada to raise money for the Cancer Society.
He began his cross country jaunt at St. John’s Newfoundland. Each day he nearly ran the distance of a marathon. He frequently met with businessmen and athletes to raise money.

When he reached the city of Thunder Bay, after running for 143 days, he was forced to stop. His cancer had reached his lung. The reporters who had followed him would frequently asked how
he was doing. Terry would always respond by saying, “I am thankful to God for giving me another day.” On June 28, 1981 Terry died. (God has given each of us another day. So, thank
God and Make Today Count).

You men can make another day count by attending the Catholic Men’s Conference on Saturday, February 21, 2015, at the Norris Conference Center. Four prominent speakers will challenge us to become the man God created.

This conference sold out the last two years. Here’s a chance to sign up early. Call with credit card ($45 Off)) 210-521~ 3377. Or fill out the flier in back of church and mall in your registration.


Fr. Jim Shea C.Ss.R.