Taking care of each other

It used to be that on my day off I could go to Ft. Desoto (Fla) with my beach chair and umbrella, watch the wind surfers, read a book …. Between dozing off to the sounds of the wind and surf. Thursday is still my one day off each week. Today in the Tampa Bay region temperatures will reach the high 70s. Today in Northern Virginia is it raining with a high of 36 degrees.

People have noted that I post a lot more these days. I refer you to the above paragraph. I have a lot more time and space to muse about things without the siren’s call of the beach… and so I post thoughts complete (or not) here on the blog.

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Listening and Leadership

Today’s readings include a first reading from the Letter to the Hebrews. I am writing this on a Sunday afternoon, and it is hard not to think about the events of January 6th at the Capitol when the halls of Congress were invaded by a mob who had been encouraged by the President. The news channels are today filled with talk of a second impeachment. And the words from the author or Hebrews linger like an echo.

Oh, that today you would hear his voice,
“Harden not your hearts as at the rebellion
in the day of testing in the desert,
where your ancestors tested and tried me
and saw my works for forty years.
Because of this I was provoked with that generation
and I said, ‘They have always been of erring heart,
and they do not know my ways.’
As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter into my rest.’” (3:7-11; referencing Ps 95:7-11)

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Leadership

I am taking a little time off – it has been a while. The transition from pastor in Tampa to parish priest in Triangle VA was rapid and quickly done. Prior to the move it had been about 2 years since I had any significant time off. My new pastor kindly agreed to a hiatus once I had settled in at the new parish. There is always a lot that accompanies transitions. As a nation, we are certainly learning that as the “dust settles” on a national election.

Today is Veteran’s Day – and happy holiday to all my fellow men and women who have served. Thank you for your service – and never forget. So it is perhaps apropos that I read an op-ed piece by a USMC Veteran, Elliott Ackerman (he is a former Marine and intelligence officer who served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan). The article is entitled “My Fellow Veterans Reminded Me What This Election was about.”  The summary tag line of the article is “Policies can’t guide us in the work of healing and forgiveness. Only a leader can do that.” Here is the article link.

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Leadership

What kind of leaders do we want? Certainly, a good question here with the 2020 election approaching. It is always a good question for the Church. I have lived during the pontificates of seven popes and, in my lifetime, we have certainly had a wide variety of types and styles of leaders. In our history, we have had 266 popes. We have had some spectacularly amazing leaders, saints in the making, and we have had some spectacularly horrific leaders, who would have been quite at home in Game of Thrones (so I hear, I actually haven’t seen it.) All took up the Keys of Peter, with the same job description given Peter: Feed my sheep; tend my lambs. The Pope is the most visible of leaders in the Church, but not the only ones with that same job description. The simple mandate, “feed my sheep; tend my lambs” applies to priests, pastors, parents, principals, police, and anyone who would lead – anyone who would answer the call to minister in the Holy Name of Jesus. Continue reading

Miserando atque Eligendo

We have a new mayor here in Tampa. Mayor Castor has been in public service for the majority of her adult years, served as Chief of Police and more. There are lots of folks that already knew what kind of leader she will be. Fulfilling positions of leadership is always at the forefront of organizations, politics, and more. It is always a good question for the Church. I have lived during the pontificates of seven popes and in my lifetime we have certainly had a wide variety of types and styles of leaders. In our history, we have had 266 of popes. We have had some spectacularly amazing leaders, saints in the making, and we have had some spectacularly horrific leaders, who would have been quite at home in Game of Thrones (so I hear, I actually haven’t seen it…).  All took up the Keys of Peter, with the same job description given Peter: feed my sheep; tend my lambs. The Pope is the most visible of leaders in the Church, but not the only ones with that same job description. The simple mandate, “feed my sheep; tend my lambs” applies to priests, pastors, parents, principals, police, and anyone who would lead – anyone who would answer the call to minister in the Holy Name of Jesus. Continue reading