God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Learn From Others

SuccessMany years ago, when I served as Pastor of the Church of St. Barnabas on the South Side of Chicago, I followed this custom for a year.  Once a month I would offer the Saturday night Mass in my own Parish, and then on the following Sunday, I would attend Mass in two or three other parishes on the South Side of Chicago.  Eventually the number of churches added up to twenty.

I sat down in the pews with the parishioners of these various parishes and observed how each parish offered the Liturgy of the Mass.  My whole purpose was to learn new ideas about the Liturgies of the weekend.

All people concerned with the Services came under scrutiny, the Celebrant, the altar boys, the ushers, even the parishioners and their spirit of participation.  I observed the appearance of the Sanctuary, the floral decorations, and the banners – all were viewed for the sake of bringing back fresh thoughts into our Parish of St. Barnabas. All the ideas went into my notebook and provided a wealth of material for discussion with my colleagues.

In the living of life we can gather many ideas from others and from daily happenings if only we keep an open mind to this possibility.  Once a person thinks that he has all the answers to a successful life, then it is time to call the local funeral director.

Be inquisitive by asking successful people what helped them to arrive at their present state.  Search out ways to bring new health to our family life by reading books on the subject, inquiring among our friends about their ways of dealing with problems.  I have only touched the surface on ways of bringing new ideas into our minds.

Over a period of several years I wrote down 2,000 ideas about different aspects of parish life.  All these were recorded on 14 inch yellow legal pads.  Was I highly successful in the work I did because of these?  Surprisingly, the answer is “NO!”  However, this inquisitive spirit gave an extra joy and fulfillment to my life.  My mind was constantly filled with the fascination that there was a better way to do things.

                        Fr. George Mc Kenna

September 28, 2013 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Bring In The Clowns

Pope Francis has a wonderful smile and hearty laugh, a good model for all of us to follow! Picture via Wikipedia

Pope Francis has a wonderful smile and hearty laugh, a good model for all of us to follow!
Picture via Wikipedia

As I grow older I understand better why ancient kings desired court jesters in their castles.  Everyone treated the king with much seriousness and special courtesies.  To offset this stiffness and formal way of acting, the jester would at times tell the king funny stories, or do comical actions before the king to make him laugh.  This court clown would even dare to poke fun at the king himself, much to the merriment of His Majesty.

Over-seriousness can produce a dull family circle.  Blessed is the infant whose mother has a lifting, laughing tone in her voice.  From these joyful sounds, the little one will pick up a love for life.  We cannot afford to wait for circumstances to be perfect before we laugh and joke about the happenings of the day.  Laughing and smiling require the use of fewer face muscles than scowling.

The playing of games like scrabble sets up a natural atmosphere for this fun spirit in your home.  Have some of those games ready for the rainy autumn days.  Laughter increases the beauty of a human life.  You will find your talents grow in leaps and bounds as you allow the powers of your spirit to exult and rejoice.

A happy, jovial person gives strong witness to a Glorious Creator.  Nothing is so attractive in all creation as a lighthearted human being.  People naturally take to such a person as to one possessing a secret power of life.  Laughter doesn’t mean that all things are perfect at home.  No, laughter says: “We are in this together.  Let us make the best of it.”

All of us have the ability to laugh, but perhaps we are out of practice.  At the doorway to your home, shed the serious countenance and pretend to enter a garden of song and peace.  We do our best when we are relaxed and filled with a taste of life.

                        Fr. George Mc Kenna

September 21, 2013 Posted by | Bulletins | , , | 3 Comments