It's been a few weeks since I have had the time to come up with a new post for the blog. Much of the reason lies with the fact that I am now working as a parish administrator in an urban parish while the pastor is on extended medical leave. Fortunately, he is coming along well after a procedure to deal with his cancer and the parish continues to pray for his full recovery and return to his pastoral duties. Perhaps you can send up a few prayers for this dedicated priest that he may return to full health.
I have been busy with the parish as well as other duties that I have in the Diocese of Albany, New York. All of this work is very rewarding. I have a dedicated staff at the parish and the diocesan work brings me into contact with wonderful people who give of their time and talent to spread the message of Jesus Christ throughout our area of New York State. In the United States, we recently celebrated our annual Thanksgiving Day and I am continually giving thanks for all the great people I have in my life including a wonderful and supportive family and friends.
I'd like to highlight three events that have taken place in the past several weeks which made an impression on me. First was a remarkable concert that took place at the mother church of our diocese - the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception (the feast we are celebrating today as I write this post). The cathedral is blessed with a very talented music director (and very good friend of mine), Thomas F. Savoy. Over several months he, together with a dedicated assistant, worked on restoring music that had been discovered in the cathedral archives some of which dated back to one of the cathedral's former directors who served in the early part of the twentieth century. The concert featured a number of that composer's works as well as others and was performed by a choral group and orchestra. It was a wonderful night of music and it is hoped that more such events will take place in the future. I was also very pleased that my son who is a trained singer was part of the ensemble with a featured solo.
The second event to take place was one in which I had been involved over several months. On the first Sunday of Advent in the English speaking world, the third edition of the Roman Missal was introduced. I had been involved in presenting a number of workshops throughout the diocese in the preceding months to help the faithful be prepared for the new translation and the changes in some of the wording of the faithful's responses in the liturgy. What I have heard from friends around the diocese is that while there is still some hesitation and stumbling over the new translation, it has gone quite well. I believe the new translation (which is more faithful to the original Latin text) is more elevated and poetic and helps us to pause and realize that we are speaking to our God and should give God the best we can.
The final event took place a week ago. As I have mentioned in a number of my former posts, my younger daughter is disabled with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (or CMT) which is a neurological disorder that affects the nerves and muscles in the hands, arms and legs. She has worn braces for a number of years and is limited in a number of her activities. There is a group of volunteers in the Albany area where we live that have been having art shows exhibiting the work of local artists in order to raise funds for a particular disease or condition. Last week such a show (called Art de Cure) was held to raise funds for research into CMT in the hopes of finding a cure or finding ways to alleviate the symptoms. My daugther's undergraduate college degree was in fine arts and she prepared a few paintings to be exhibited (which by the way were sold). The event featured the art work plus a silent auction where people could bid on various craft items as well as the art. It was well attended and was a success. My daughter has since prepared some additional paintings (one of which I show here entitled "Elements") to be on display and has been asked to serve on the ongoing committee to plan future arts shows in the region.
While it has been a busy time for me, it has been rewarding. I enjoy my work and I was pleased to have been able to help in the introduction of the new Missal for our Catholic faithful. I am also a proud father who is puffed up with pride for the accomplishments of all my children - my older daughter who is a teacher of the deaf working with young children, my musical son, and my artistic younger daughter. So the time has been busy but also has been a happy time. May you all have a prayerful Advent season.