Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Special Night

Blessed Sacrament Parish
Wednesday, December 22nd

Bring a bag of Groceries for the poor

A Favorite Christmas Story

The Man and the Birds by Paul Harvey

The man to whom I'm going to introduce you was not a scrooge, he was a kind decent, mostly good man. Generous to his family, upright in his dealings with other men. But he just didn't believe all that incarnation stuff which the churches proclaim at Christmas Time. It just didn't make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. He just couldn't swallow the Jesus Story, about God coming to Earth as a man.

"I'm truly sorry to distress you," he told his wife, "but I'm not going with you to church this Christmas Eve." He said he'd feel like a hypocrite. That he'd much rather just stay at home, but that he would wait up for them. And so he stayed and they went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window to watch the flurries getting heavier and heavier and then went back to his fireside chair and began to read his newspaper. Minutes later he was startled by a thudding sound...Then another, and then another. Sort of a thump or a thud...At first he thought someone must be throwing snowballs against his living room window. But when he went to the front door to investigate he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They'd been caught in the storm and, in a desperate search for shelter, had tried to fly through his large landscape window.

Well, he couldn't let the poor creatures lie there and freeze, so he remembered the barn where his children stabled their pony. That would provide a warm shelter, if he could direct the birds to it. Quickly he put on a coat, galoshes, tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light, but the birds did not come in. He figured food would entice them in. So he hurried back to the house, fetched bread crumbs, sprinkled them on the snow, making a trail to the yellow-lighted wide open doorway of the stable. But to his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs, and continued to flap around helplessly in the snow. He tried catching them...He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around them waving his arms...Instead, they scattered in every direction, except into the warm, lighted barn.

And then, he realized that they were afraid of him. To them, he reasoned, I am a strange and terrifying creature. If only I could think of some way to let them know that they can trust me...That I am not trying to hurt them, but to help them. But how? Because any move he made tended to frighten them, confuse them. They just would not follow. They would not be led or shooed because they feared him.

"If only I could be a bird," he thought to himself, "and mingle with them and speak their language. Then I could tell them not to be afraid. Then I could show them the way to safe, warm...to the safe warm barn. But I would have to be one of them so they could see, and hear and understand." At that moment the church bells began to ring. The sound reached his ears above the sounds of the wind. And he stood there listening to the bells - Adeste Fidelis - listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. And he sank to his knees in the snow.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Party 2010

This year I am the Social Life Chair at the Seminary. This elected position requires me to be in charge of all the activities that occur in the house throughout the year. As social chair I get to work with other guys in the house to plan socials, soccer tournaments, parties, etc... This year I worked to make some changes to the annual Christmas festivities. The Program this year was as follows:

Musical Prelude St. Mary’s Jazz Band

Program of Events:

O Come All Ye Faithful- Community
Blessing of the Christmas Tree & Creche- Rev. Mr. Brian Capuano
O Little Town of Bethlehem - Community
Before St. Mary’s - Presented by the Pre-Theology
Boar’s Head Carol - The Tallis Scholars
Christmas Movie Presentation - First Theology
Dramatic Reading - Mr. Warren Tanghe
Lo’ How A Rose Er Blooming - The Fr. Barre Singers
A Day in the Life… - Second Theology
Silent Night - Father Hy & Friends
Angels We Have Heard On High - Third Theology
O Silent Holy Night - Miss Zenaida Bench
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen - Fourth Theology
Mas Alla - Spanish Schola
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Father Griswold & The Faculty

Please join us following the program for homemade cookies and cider

One of the fun surprises I added in this year was the surprise arrival of Santa at the end of the party. Santa was a wonderful and eccentric priest who plays the part perfectly. At the very end of the program "Santa" was pulled into the main hall by a team of reindeer that consisted of secretaries, seminarians, librarians, professors, priests and even the dean and rector. It was great because it involved everyone on every level. It was also a great fun.

One of the Seminarians who narrated a skit, and who portrayed an old Saturday Night Live Character.

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Please note this blog will begin being regularly updated after August 21st (when I arrive in Baltimore).