Wednesday, September 27, 2017

People that touch our lives

     Many days have gone by since my last post.  Within those days, though, I have been blessed with the experience or memory of individuals who have touched my life.  Here are a few of those reflections,

     When our new bishop, Bishop Edward Malesic, was introduced to us a few years ago, we met his Dad.  Mr. Malesic lives in the eastern part of the State, but comes and visits his son periodically.  This past weekend Mr. Malesic celebrated a wonderful milestone, his one hundredth birthday.  He is a great, personable guy who enjoys people and his faith and his family.  We wish him all of the best.
 Holding his son's crozier at the ordination
 At a recent intereview
Meeting with a fellow 100 year old friend at Saint Anne Home
      And speaking of the Malesic men, our bishop this past Wednesday hosted another of his informal gatherings for his brother priests of the diocese and the Archabbey at Saint Vincent.
The bishop schedules three or four of these opportunities to gather for food and drink and relaxed fellowship at his home or at the Bishop Connare Center in the diocese.  There were over forty of the guys present last week, and a great time was had by all.  Our bishop is a real pastor who enjoys the celebration of life.  Our guys are counting their blessings.

     This past Saturday saw the historic beatification ceremony for now Blessed Father Stanley Francis Rother take place in Oklahoma City at the Cox Convention Center.  Over 15,000 people took part in this ceremony that brings to the attention and veneration of the faithful this missionary priest from Oklahoma City, who ministered in Guatemala, and was murdered there in 1981 by a guerilla death squad.  He is placed before us to be venerated as a priest and missionary and a present day martyr for the faith.   He will be the first U.S. saint to be so recognized  His local feast is set for July 28th, the anniversary of his death in Guatemala.  I watched the beatification ceremony on EWTN on Saturday.  Blessed Stanley Rother, pray for us.

A photo of Father Stanley Rother among his people.

      In my last post I mentioned beginning a new ministry of sorts in radio on WAOB FM 106.7.  In addition to recording some readings and Scriptures, I have now completed four live hour long "lectio divina" programs, the latest one just last evening.  Again, I find it challenging and refreshing, and it keeps the mind "in tune and alert".  This ministry will hopefully continue, unless I become the source of a decreased listening audience.  Hopefully not.  Who knows!  Father Boniface Hicks, O.S.B., is the guiding force behind the station.

     I received word of the death of a fellow seminarian from the old Saint Francis of Loretto days, Monsignor Maurice "Moe" Lavigne, a priest of the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire.  Moe was a few years ahead of me in seminary.  And until my recent downsizing, I had an ordination picture of a handsome, young priest with the future before him.  Monsignor Lavigne would have celebrated his 50th anniversary next year.  He died after a short illness, an illness that he embraced with great courage.

     Moe Lavigne's obituary says this: "He loved to laugh and often chuckled at his own jokes, which made him all the more enduring.  He enjoyed the arts and embraced both the theatre and movies.  He appreciated the music of all genres.  His home in the rectory at Rye Beach was a place of quiet joy and contemplation and he enjoyed time spent there tremendously."
I knew him when he was young, but these words reflect the young man that I knew.
His funeral liturgy was held in New Hampshire this morning.  May he rest in peace.  Say a prayer for Father "Moe" Lavigne.

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