God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

Prepare Now For The Big Challenge

Monsignor James McLoughlin
Picture via Diocese of Rockford

In 1949, as a young boy of 14, Jim McLoughlin entered Quigley Seminary North with thehope of becoming a priest.  As spiritual director of the First Year boys, I came to know this kind, gentle youngster in a deeper way than a classroom teacher would.  For the next 5 years, we sat down for a few minutes each week to talk about his progress in his spiritual life.  Jim grew in age, grace and wisdom, finally being ordained a priest in 1965.

Thirty-two years ago, he was thrust into the spotlight in a most unusual way.  On June 14, 1985, TWA Flight 847 was high jacked and Jim was one of the hostages, his image appearing in the newspaper and on TV.  I remember a particular photo of Jim, holding a book under his arm – the book was “The New American Bible.”  The news media quoted his parishioners at the time saying, “He is a holy man, a true witness of God in our community.”  His practice of prayer and union with God had brought him through this terrifying crisis in life with flying colors.  I could picture him as calm and peaceful throughout this whole experience.  Undoubtedly, he continued to grow in the life of the Spirit after he left Quigley.  Today, he is Retired Monsignor James McLoughlin in the Diocese of Rockford!

His life story has convinced me more than ever about the necessity and importance of a strong, healthy prayer life; a yearning for a closer bond of love with God.  What crisis is before me, or you, yet to come before death?  I don’t know, but once this unforeseen challenge is upon me, I want to be a prepared person.  At the drop of a hat, one does not turn into a courageous witness of trust in God.  No, now, in times of peace and smooth sailing, is when we should deepen our union with God through joyful, daily conversation with Him.

I do not need a doctor to tell me, “Your time is limited”.  At 98 years, I know all too well that each day is a gift.  I am able to open my arms to God in a song of resignation and love.  “Lord, I have loved you in the bright sunny days of life, but now, I love You even more in the dark threatening times ahead.  The saga of Monsignor James McLoughlin has encouraged me for the past 32 years to make God the object of all my love and devotion.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

August 31, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , | 2 Comments

Needed – Good Samaritans

My Great Grand Niece Margaret Elizabeth will be baptized Sunday. Her sister Sophie gives her a loving kiss and embrace. We can all learn from their tenderness and innocence.

One day, a young boy was walking along the ocean shore. He kept bending down and picking up little sea creatures, left behind by the receding tide. Without water, these tiny fish would die quickly. The youngster flung them far out into the ocean. A passerby cynically remarked to the boy, “What difference will it make? There are still hundreds and hundreds you will never reach!” While in the act of throwing one of the sea urchins, the child answered, “It will make a big difference for this little fish!”

Through the years, this story has helped me keep focused on the individual! Instead of dreaming of bringing large groups of people to the Lord, I concentrated on the one person before me. This attitude kept me from the temptation of despairing at the sight of so much suffering and indifference to God among the communities I worked in. Help one person to love God and that individual will reach out to others in need of God.

Be aware of the “rippling effect”! Throw a stone in the water and notice the waves moving out in all directions. If we do an act of mercy or kindness for another, the effects of this are far reaching. Before the advent of my Blog, a friend in my apartment complex would send copies of the airport bulletin I created for Midway Airport to friends across the USA. One of these friends, Mrs. John Wayne, the widow of movie actor, John “Duke” Wayne wrote back her thanks! Keep them coming was Mrs. Wayne’s message. Now, this humble little Blog reaches out across the world. Slowly readers like you are sharing this message with others, and in turn, those reach out to even more.

Recent events show us the importance of sharing the message of this Jesus of Nazareth with those close to us. We can’t reach across the country to Virginia, but we can reach across our table, across our street, to our neighbor. One person at a time, and let the “Rippling Effect” take over.

Every month I personally give a small amount of money to some charities, especially those which help children. At times, the temptation comes to me to stop because of the smallness of my donation. Then I think that if a thousand other people would give the same small gift, the total sum would be great. I go on! Like small sums of money combined together, how powerful would single words of love and appreciation combined together and shared with our neighbors of all walks of life be?

Former President George Bush gave us the phrases, “A Gentle Nation”, “A Time of a Thousand Lights”. Each act of help to another person causes a light to shine in the darkness. Every street we walk on is truly another road from Jericho to Jerusalem. People in need line these streets. The Good Samaritan, a natural enemy of the Jews at the time, didn’t ask the beaten man at the side of the road, “Are you a Samaritan?” If we can help another creature of God, respond quickly! God Bless.

Fr. George McKenna

August 18, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 6 Comments