God is Good!

Seek the Lord while He may be found!

A Powerful Story

Toomore Cemetery, Swinford, Ireland

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. The she told them to think of the nicest things they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.  It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment.

As the students left the classroom, each one handed in the papers. That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper and listed what everyone else had said about that individual.  On Monday, she gave each student his or her list.

Before long, the entire class was smiling. “Really”, she heard whispered, “I never knew I meant anything to anyone”, and “I didn’t know others liked me so much”, were the most frequent comments.  No one ever mentioned those papers in class again.

The teacher never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn’t matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose.  The students were happy with themselves and each other.  That group of students moved on.

Several years later one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before.  He looked so handsome, so mature.  The church was packed with his friends.  The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin.

As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as a pallbearer approached her. “Were you Mark’s math teacher?” he asked.   She nodded.  Then he said, “Mark talked about you a lot.”  At the luncheon, Mark’s mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher.  “We want to show you something”, his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket.

He carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. On the paper were listed all the good things each of Mark’s classmates had wrote about him many years before.  “Thank you so much for doing that”, Mark’s mother said.  “As you can see, Mark treasured it.  They found this on Mark when he was killed.”

A friend of mine emailed me this story many years ago. The lessons are powerful – each of us has good within us – each of us should take the time to tell our friends and family the things that make them special to us, before it’s too late.

Fr. George McKenna

January 20, 2018 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , | 3 Comments

My Magnificent Mind

One of my many blessings – Holding hands and saying prayers with my great grand niece Grace before our weekly lunch.

Downtown Chicago has one of the most beautiful skylines in the world.  Being in the middle of the country many are drawn to this city of ours.  The Chicago skyline has continuously changed over the course of my life.  Each year it seems that a new skyscraper is going up, changing the fabric of the city.  Before a shovel full of dirt is dug for one of these splendid buildings, skilled architects have all the blueprints ready.  No blueprints. . . . no buildings.

St. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, gives the blue print for a house of peace in our spirit: “Your thoughts should be directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, decent, virtuous . . .”

Followers of Christ can easily lose sight of the power of the human mind.  Truly we are what we think!  If a person feels unhappy, then one can look immediately to the mind and to what thoughts thrive there.  Our thoughts make us what we are.

Many years ago, I remember playing a particularly disappointing game of golf.  Ordinarily this poor performance would have lowered my spirits.  My day would have been spoiled, but instead I turned my thoughts to the power of the mind, and positive thinking.  I began to concentrate of those things that I could be grateful for, instead of my poor performance.  “I can see the clouds and the beautiful blue sky. . . I can hear the voices of my family and friends. . . I have the physical strength to walk and swing my clubs.”  This grateful attitude and these uplifting thoughts chased my gloom away and gave new joy to the day!

The game of golf is much like the game of life.  Perhaps recently, in the playing of the game of life, we have had some “poor scores”, like losing our job, or being demoted, a weak performance in school or some financial reverses.  We can allow these “poor scores” to steal away our happiness.

However, we can do what I did on the golf course.  We can bring happy thoughts into our minds.  Some could be: “I have food to eat. . . I have a place to sleep. . . My health remains good.”  We will have peace of heart, courage to continue playing this fascinating game of life.

At 98, my blessings continue, though I have lost many of the pleasures I enjoyed years ago.  No longer can I golf or drive a car.  My mother and father, brothers and sister, and all the priests I was ordained with in 1944, have all gone to the everlasting joy of eternal life.  But each day, I remind myself to be grateful for what I do have.

These days put a guard at the doorway of our mind.  Allow only thoughts that are true, virtuous, pure, decent and honest to enter.  Thank you St. Paul!


Fr. George Mc Kenna

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , | 12 Comments