I like writing – even if it is a struggle at times. There is something—I don’t know— compelling about it when the germ of a thought begins to take shape and forms itself into a more complete thought. The preparation of a homily is often like that. You sit with the readings for the coming Sunday and let one or more points rise to the surface. Some ideas will be interesting, some will make the list for some future weekend, and every once in a while, the idea is just self-evident. The homily has a beginning, a pointed end, and a clear pathway to get from one to the other. In those moments, it just seems to flow.
I even like writing just for the sake of writing. Sometimes it is my own way of reflecting through things. In the wave of the recent events of Charlottesville I began to mull over my reaction to the later, broader movement to remove statues. I found myself musing about the difference between being a Southerner and a Confederate. In one part of a musing narrative I wrote, “I am a Southerner. I watch SEC football and have yet to see a reason to divide my limited time to other leagues or the NFL. I am not a Confederate. The Battle Flag of the Confederacy has no place in college athletics and needs to be confined to museums lest we forget our history; the war is over. The Confederacy lost. As a Southerner, I am content with NCAA national football championships.” But then the trajectory of thought gets side-railed as I think, “Even if Clemson is in the ACC, it is located in the South. Perhaps I have to expand my interest to ACC football, save Duke which everyone knows is not part of the South.” That particular piece of writing had a beginning, a trajectory, but never found a compelling end. It sits in the “to-think-about” folder on my desktop. Maybe it will find its end one day.
Many of the pastor columns arise from something I have read in the recent (or distant) past. I am still looking for a place for the idea that Disney World ticketing represents the end of democracy. Remember when everyone paid the same price and in return got two E-tickets and the remainder of the standard ticket package? E-Tickets were for the best rides. Rich and poor and any other demarcation of a demographic profile got to stand in the same line with E-ticket clutched in hand. There were no premium go-to-the-front-of-the-line ticket packages. By the way, E-tickets have their own Wikipedia page. And yes, this article also is in the “to-think-about” folder right next to the article that blames air conditioning for the end of civilization. Another piece without a clear and compelling ending.
This week I wanted to write a column that brought our Annual Pastoral Appeal (APA) campaign to a conclusion. It is a hard article to write. Writing is an escape for me; APA is inescapable – and necessary. We try to make a compelling argument for your support. We had a definitive beginning in February, a campaign asking your support in order to “let priests be priests,” have updated you on the status from time to time, and now it is time to bring APA to a fruitful end.
There is a lot going on in the world since February and March. Perhaps your APA donation is like some of my articles, right there in your “to-think-about” folder. The campaign is reaching its end and so I would ask you to think about the donation you might be able to make. Please, bring that out of the folder into the light of day and help write a good ending to the 2017 appeal. How? There is an insert later in this bulletin which lets you know how you can donate. So far 14 percent of our parish households have donated – and we have reached 88 percent of our goal. Please “put pen to paper” and join the other households as contributors; any donation, large or small, will help us to reach our goal. Help to write the compelling end to another chapter in the on-going life of the parish.