Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Catching up

     Pastoral Ministry is full of surprises.   One day a few years ago while working at the office, a friend and former parishioner from Scottdale stopped in to ask if I would bless his new bike (motorcycle).  Of course I went outside to admire the bike and to offer a blessing.  I was joined by the staff present that day, one of which is a music minister who, along with her husband, rides.  After the blessing, we began to discuss the possibility of scheduling a "Blessing of Bikes" here at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton parish, filling in a gap in the Catholic tradition locally.  So we planned and scheduled our first "Blessing of Bikes" three years ago on the first Sunday of May.  It went over well, with nearly one hundred bikes and many bikers stopping by for the blessing, some good food, live music and a small token of the day.  It was fun.

 pope mobile
 "Good News Blues"


     On Sunday, May 4th of this year we hosted the third annual Blessing of Bikes at the lower lot of our Church.  This year's weather was a bit threatening, but it actually cleared into a beautiful day for the blessing and a ride (for the bikers, not me).  Because of the weather our numbers were down a little from the hundred plus of last year.  The rich variety of characters (I mean that in the best sense) included old and young, women and men, cops and (oops, hopefully no robbers), rough looking bikers types and casual riders ... but all were extremely friendly and grateful for the chance to gather and be blessed.  Once again I truly enjoyed the chance to share in this unusual ministry.  I have trouble getting around to the individual bikes for blessings, so my gang has procured for me my own "pope mobile" - this year a white golf cart with driver.  What more could I ask for.  We even made the front page of the local weekly newspaper, the Norwin Star.  I look forward to next year.


     On May 10th we celebrated the second of our two First Communion Masses, with an additional thirteen candidates receiving the Lord in Holy Communion for the first time.  Like last week, there was great excitement and joyful anticipation, and like last week there were many great memories created.  It was wonderful to see and to recognize the youngsters with their families at Sunday Mass,  some of whom still wore their First Communion outfits.  I remember mine - my first suit, a dark blue suit with tie.  What I also remember was running in the rectory side yard afterwards and tripping and getting grass stain on the knees of the new blue suit.  Mom was not happy.  Many thanks to our youngsters and in their name to their parents and families and to our catechists and religious education leaders.

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