God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

A Fond Memory

In 1982, a priest, Father Peter, a few years older than myself, lived with me for a year. At the end of the year, he died suddenly.  At that time, sensing some heart weakness, he asked me to drive him to the hospital.  The cardiologist, a good friend of Father Peter’s, told me with tears in his eyes: “We are going to lose Father Peter.”  Lose him we did a few days later.  Often times in those days, my eyes were wet with tears because Father Peter had become a close friend.

Besides the his little radio, he left me a sacred legacy. Frequently in the course of a week, in our conversations he would suddenly say with enthusiasm and sincerity, “God Bless You!”  Even when we disagreed on what should be done, he sweetened and softened the lack of agreement with a sudden, “God Bless You!”  I had never heard anyone speak like that.  At these times I thought: how consoling and comforting to hear someone asking God to bless me!

I decided to continue his holy custom as best I could. I still try to say to others, with sincerity, “God Bless You!”, especially to my family and friends and to those who do services for me.  In times of disharmony and tense situations, these words, God Bless You, go a long way in bringing good will back into the troubled picture.  I can attest to this truth from my personal experience with Father Peter.

Say this blessing to your dear ones and to those who help you in so many ways. So many people who perform services for you would appreciate a “God Bless You”.  I have shared Father Peter’s legacy to me.  At first, you may feel self-conscious in saying these holy words.  I know I did, and I am a priest!  Quickly though, you will grow accustomed to hearing yourself saying this powerful phrase, “God Bless You”.

Happy Memorial Day! A day to honor all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in serving our country.  “God Bless YOU!”

Fr. George McKenna

May 27, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , | 3 Comments

Take Risks

A world view – the shaded areas show the 144 countries that have viewed my humble blog – God Is Good! Anyone going to Greenland soon?

After Ordination to the Priesthood in 1944, I was hoping to join the Maryknoll Mission Society and go to China. However, with the world at war my dreams were put on hold.  My reading of the Maryknoll Mission magazine, “The Field Afar” had filled my mind with the thoughts of the China Mission.  Eventually China closed its doors to the outside world in 1950 and forced all foreigners to leave.  I began to serve my Priesthood in Chicago.

In September, 1975, at age 56, with Cardinal John Cody’s permission, I went to Dublin, Ireland to attend a three month Ministry course with the Redemptorists Fathers. The idea came to me on my birthday that year: “Go and renew yourself while there is time.”  No priest in Chicago had ever taken such a Sabbatical.  It took risk on my part.  I met 34 priests from many countries . . . new vigor came into my Priesthood.  Now, Sabbaticals are routine in Chicago.

A year later, Cardinal Cody again gave me permission to travel, this time to work in the Fairbanks, Alaska Diocese. This huge, 270,000 square mile Diocese only had 36 priests.  They served a mostly Eskimo population that had migrated from Mongolia, a country in China.  At this “late age” I would be fulfilling my youthful dream in regard to the China Mission.

I took chances in this new venture, by leaving a thriving parish with its loving people, as well as leaving my family and friends. The work in Alaska enriched my life beyond measure, although sickness shortened my goal of a five year stay.  The thoughts of “This Last Frontier of America” come to mind frequently – with its 20 hour sunlight days in summer and 20 hours of darkness in Winter.  Had I wished I hadn’t gone?  NEVER!

When I was assigned to Our Lady of the Snows parish on Chicago’s Southside, I would take walks around Midway Airport for exercise. On cold days I would stop in to warm up and began to think – There is no formal chapel for these world travelers to visit and spend time in prayer. My idea became a mission, and on July 24, 1988, at age 69, Midway Airport was dedicated!

I have always found much help in brainstorming with a few friends and family members about my ideals and my hopes for a worthwhile, joy-filled way of living. Be willing to change the present mode of thinking for something daring and risky.  When I was 89, I took my last trip to the Holy Land, my 27th, in 2008.  At 92 years, still seeking ways to reach out and share this wonderful message of Jesus of Nazareth, I took the advice of my nieces and started my Blog – God Is Good.  7 years later it is still going strong – I now have 354 followers, and my simple messages have been viewed over 46,000 times from people in over 144 countries! 

My message is simple. Take Risks, Don’t Give Up, Stay Faithful

Fr. George McKenna

May 19, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , | 6 Comments