I start tonight acknowledging the incredible bad weather that hit our Northshore communities and the River Parishes area of the Greater New Orleans. I am not sure how many tornadoes actually hit, but one is one too many. One community experienced heavy damage to buildings and homes and still another experienced the tragedy of death and injuries. And tonight it is all gone, clear skies reign overhead. It was a violent, rough day and many will need weeks, if not months, to recover. I hope you join me in praying for all who were so personally impacted by today's severe weather.
For me, and my ministry as a Permanent Deacon it's been quite a few really nice days. Last week I was able to present the first night of the Lenten Mission for Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church. My topic was vocal prayer as the mission focuses on praying in this Jubilee of Mercy. I was so overwhelmed at the turnout from my former fellow parishioners; a little over 100 in attendance. My only prayer is that something I said, something I shared will help someone during this Lenten season in their personal walk with God.
A couple of days later I was able to speak to the Confirmation Class of Most Holy Trinity. The setting for their weekend retreat is a beautiful place of oasis tucked away in Abita Springs known as Caritas. I was asked to give my testimony and speak about the Jubilee of Mercy. I spent a brief but intense hour with the young men and women who will receive Confirmation in Kenner.
Between these two wonderful events, I was able for the second week in a row to preside at Stations of the Cross at St. Jane de Chantal. Our Friday night devotion is well attended and it's not unusual for many participants to also spend some of their Friday night partaking of the KC Fish Fry.
My Mass assignments for the weekend was light by my normal standards, only assisting at the Saturday vigil Mass and our well attended "last chance" Mass on Sunday night. At that Mass our guest presiding Priest gave a brilliant homily on gaining indulgences especially in this Jubilee of Mercy. At the end of Mass, the Priest was inspired to offer himself for confessions; I doubt he thought over 20 folks would take him up on the offer!
So now that these events are behind me and the bad weather is thankfully long gone, we move forward, always forward. Tomorrow night I am back at prison and the opportunity to minister to the men of our Catholic community. And I am definitely available for Stations of the Cross again.
I love my ministry and my work as a Permanent Deacon, always remembering in prayer that it is not what I do but who I am that allows this ministry to conform to God's will.