God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Suppertime, A Blessed Event

1959, visiting family and friends in Ireland

1959, visiting family and friends in Ireland

Many years ago – 1959 – I remember sitting down to a meal in a little hotel next to the stormy Atlantic Ocean in Enniscrone, in western Ireland. A blustery, raw day raged outside, but, inside, I sat next to a glowing hot stove in the company of friends with a mouth-watering dinner set before us.  Comfortable in each other’s company, we dined, while listening to the two young people present reciting poems and singing ballads, a memory never to leave my mind.  All those adult friends have died since that time.

In the family evening meal, we can find precious moments for growth in love for each other and tranquility of spirit. Even if we live alone, as I do, we can make supper a time for personal uplift and joy.  With darkness wrapping the world outside in mysterious shadows, a family gathers together for the scared ritual of evening meal in the warmth and coziness of its little castle.

What matters is not so much what is on the menu – although that helps greatly – but, rather what is in the minds and hearts of those coming to the table. Approach the family table as one would the altar in the church!  In His Providence, God calls us together to renew our bodily strength and to grow in our appreciation of each other.

As all come together – with faces washed, hands clean and hearts delighting in each other’s company – a peaceful stillness creeps into the assembly.  Our meal prayers remind us of God’s daily care of us. Am I painting too rosy a picture of family life?  I hope not!

Eat slowly!  Look around the table to discover new greatness in the lives of each other.  These meals will provide rich memories of consolation in the years to come.  Treasure them now!  In the dining room, semi-darkness can add a mystical, magical setting to the family circle.  Candles, possibly a soft light in the corner, and quiet music contribute to the overall mystery of what is taking place. Too much overhead light destroys the illusion of coziness and peace.  All stay to the end of the meal – most important!

Only lighthearted conversation takes place at these moments of the evening gathering, no matter what troubles happened during the day.  Laughter, the telling of jokes, the recounting of the happy moments of the day can make the suppertime a delight and joy!  When close to death and looking back over life’s happenings, I am certain that memories of meals shared with family and friends will fill my mind most of all.

Welcome Pope Francis!  Humble Man, Lover of the Poor.  No Better Foundation!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day – Patrick J. McKenna – My Father’s Birthday  1882

McKenna Patrick J

Fr. George Mc Kenna

March 16, 2013 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , ,


  1. Thank you Fr.George for reminding us that every meal shared is indeed a blessing!!! Our family table always had room for whoever stopped by…Mom’s cooking & Dad’s veggies were a gift to all! Truly we never dine alone, we invite in heart and memory and prayer…thus many can join us and do! How special your Dad’s birthday was on St. Patrick’s Day!!! You instruct us in His Love with every word! Thank you forever! God’s Blessings, Love & Grace, Marianne

    Comment by mcs | March 16, 2013 | Reply

    • Thank you again for your insights, keeping meal conversation light hearted is especially good tip! So much negativity in the world, if children are around especially good to hear the positive aspects of life and how good it is to have them in our lives. I’m sure your father was very proud of you! & welcome Pope Francis! He reminds me so much of you!!! We are blessed!

      Comment by Debra Hurley | March 17, 2013 | Reply

  2. As alway, Father McKenna: Thank you. An a blessed St. Patricks Day to you!

    Comment by Kathleen Fitzgerald | March 17, 2013 | Reply

  3. Fr. McKenna, Hope you had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day. A few years ago I attended Mass at Milwaukee Irish Fest that was celebrated by another of your former students, Jerry Listecki, now the Archbishop of Milwaukee. In his homily he gave thanks to all the Irish religious – the priests, sisters and brothers who taught us and were responsible for our faith formation. I thought of you that morning, along with Frs. Sweeney, Cain, Sheridan, Fahey, McGlynn, O’Mara, Tobin & Cassidy, all who had such a significant inpact at Quigley on hundreds of future priests and lay leaders. Thank you and God’s continued blessings to all you Irishmen!

    Comment by L Kean | March 19, 2013 | Reply

  4. Thank you Fr. McKenna-what a beautiful way to enjoy our daily meal together. May God continue to bless you. Pam Gervais

    Comment by Anonymous | March 21, 2013 | Reply

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