God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Motivate Yourself To Change Life

Mass at The Tomb of Christ

In the first days of my Priesthood, I, along with four other priests, acted as counselor, teacher, disciplinarian, spiritual leader, recreation director to some 850 youngsters at Maryville Academy, in nearby Des Plaines.  Their ages ranged from Nursery years through High School teens.  These normal, healthy young people spent all 12 months of the year at the Academy.

One day, the US Government sent us a railroad car full of cans of spinach.  Like most youngsters, the children at Maryville would have no part of spinach.  All our pleadings accomplished nothing.  A brilliant idea came to our weary minds one afternoon.  Why not bring in a series of Popeye cartoons and motivate the children to like spinach.  Popeye came often to our school and in each cartoon, as he faced dangerous situations where he needed strength; he pulled out a can of spinach to devour its contents with one gulp.  Power and strength came immediately to the unconquerable Popeye.  In no time at all, the children finished off all the cans of spinach in the railroad car, much to our relief.  They, too, wanted to be strong like Popeye.

When trying to make a change for the better in your life, think up good ideas why you want to change.  In other words, motivate yourself.  Our human wills have almost limitless power to help us make difficult decisions for a better way of life.  You want to stop smoking, or to cut down on your food intake, or to get along better with people.  Perhaps you haven’t been attending Mass on weekends.  Think up as many reasons as you can for wanting to be different.  If sufficiently motivated, your will power can work small miracles for you.  To encourage yourself to try, think often of the remarkable story of the Popeye cartoons at Maryville.  I have remembered it for over 68 years.

Today’s photo was a few moments after I had celebrated the Easter Mass of Resurrection on February 4, 1993.  Tom Cusack helped me at the Altar, especially with his flashlight.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

June 23, 2012 - Posted by | Bulletins


  1. Good words of wisdom, Fr. George! I will try to think about you and the spinach/Popeye story when I am tempted by goodies! I hope that you are doing well. Miss you!! Love, Nancy

    Comment by Nancy Westvang | June 24, 2012 | Reply

  2. Fr. George you inspire us all with every word! Your great faith & love touches every heart! So grateful to meet you at MDW in 2004 ~~~ on your 60th ordination anniversary! You make an “eternal” difference in the lives of everyone you meet…and in the writings you share…thank you! You are a great shepherd for the “Chief Pilot”!!! So special to share these thoughts with you on this feast day…the birthday of St. John the Baptist! God’s Blessings, Love & Grace Forever, Marianne

    Comment by mc simms | June 25, 2012 | Reply

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