Saturday, February 2, 2013

Think Spring

     Pray that he is correct!  This morning, as has been the custom since 1886 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, a groundhog is brought out of hibernation on a hill named Gobbler's Knob and predicts whether the winter weather will continue for another six weeks or whether we will see and early Spring.  This morning, for only the 17th time in those many years, Punxsutawney Phil (his name) did NOT see his shadow, thus predicting an early Spring.  Pray that he is correct!  The result, in itself, is a miracle, since with all of the camera lights he "always" sees his shadow.  Phil did this on an extremely cold morning (the temp is up to 19 degrees as I post) and in a Winter that has seen dramatic jumps from single digits to the 60's within a week.

     Whatever the outcome of this local popular tradition, I am ready for Spring!  Thanks, Phil, and to the thousands of crazy people who brave the cold to cheer him on.


     I remember another cold February 2nd a few years back when many from the Pittsburgh area gathered a few miles West in Youngstown, Ohio, for the installation of Bishop Thomas Tobin, a Pittsburgh priest and former seminary classmate of mine, as Bishop of Youngstown.  It was a cold but wonderful gathering that day.  Bishop Tobin is presently the Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island.  I wish him well.

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