Yesterday provided a new "first" for the abitadeacon as I was called upon to deliver the Benediction at a political inaugural. Yes, since I've been ordained as a Permanent Deacon, this is the first time an elected politician has invited me to deliver the traditional closing prayer of an inaugural celebration. The politician is our parish(county) assessor and a member of our church parish of St. Jane de Chantal in Abita Springs. Louis Fitzmorris would better be described as dedicated public servant than politician. Assessor Fitzmorris has absolutely cleaned up the office and revolutionized it as well. I was more than proud to accept his invitation and so there I was waiting patiently until the time came to deliver the Benediction. I must admit, I looked in my Catholic Book of Blessings and perused the internet to watch or read several inaugural benedictions. In the end, trusting in the Holy Spirit, here is the prayer I offered for the Benediction at the Inaugural of Assessor Louis Fitzmorris:
We give you thanks Lord God, Heavenly Father, for your presence with us today at this Inaugural Celebration. We give you thanks for your presence with us everyday of our lives. We give you thanks for the great gift of this land we call St. Tammany Parish.
As we go forth today from this place we ask your continued blessings on your servant, Louis Fitzmorris, as he adminsters the work of our Parish Assessor. He and his dedicated staff devote themselves everyday to generously serving the people of St. Tammany Parish. Prosper the work of their hands Lord, prosper the work of their hands. As you watch over our Assessor and his staff we ask O God that you shower him with your blessings and your grace and that your blessing be extended to his family, his staff and all the people he serves. Give him the strength to always serve you Lord, by serving all his constituents faithfully and fairly.
Grant to all of us, gathered here today, safe passage back to our homes, our places of work, to our schools and our neighborhoods. Watch over us Lord with your fraternal love. Help all of us to be good citizens in this good land of St. Tammany Parish and to be good neighbors both in good times and in time of need.
In thanksgiving, we ask all these things in the name of your Son, Jesus our Lord. Amen!