It's Saturday night, the day after another hurricane inflicted damage on my home state of Louisiana. For us, north of the lake and north of New Orleans, no problems. It's also the day after Wendy and I arrived back home from our week of visiting our NC family. We got to see them in person for the first time since December 31st so it was long overdue. My son and daughter in law kept their normal work schedule so Nona and Pops got to witness kindergarten and 2nd grade virtual school. Both Calvin and Katelyn sure know what they are doing and it was fun watching the lessons. Oh, by the way, this is Spanish immersion so most of the lessons are in Espanol. I learned plenty. We spent time outside, since they really get fall weather, playing horseshoes, hide n seek and ring toss. It was a short but lovely visit.
During the early part of our journey we were just a little preoccupied with the hurricane, Delta, that eventually went onshore near the track of Hurricane Laura. Early on it looked like we might be the bullseye so we sure had to pay attention. We certainly now offer our prayers and help for the Louisiana neighbors that took the brunt of this storm. You know this is the 4th hurricane to cross the coast of Louisiana so I think we all agree: enough is enough.
Before I left for happy things I was keenly aware of the horrible news concerning two Archdiocese of New Orleans Priests. Oh my these disclosures devastate the church and so impact the people of God. One Priest was well established and well liked. His experience was valuable to the Archdiocese and he served as both pastor and school chaplain. Details broke in the news that this Priest had been texting with a student and once ordered to a retreat, admitted he had abused another student just 7 years ago. More scandal, more victims, another Priest that can't live up to his vows. Then the 2nd incident, this one close to home for me as I work in the community and have assisted at this church parish before. The new Pastor decided to have a sex festival inside the church, with two women, professional dominatrix, and he desecrated the church, specifically the altar. And they got caught in the act because the lights were on in the church late at night. No child abuse here, but demonic nonetheless and so another Priest is out, again, unable to hold fast to his vows. Our Archbishop is livid, dismissed them immediately and has been visiting the two impacted parishes. In the case of the desecration the Archbishop had the altar burned and rededicated a new one and re-consecrated the church. Both incidents are horrific and indeed cause grave scandal for the church.
While no such thing is happening at my church parish you probably recall that we are indeed in a state of flux and some upset. Our pastor is on a sabbatical and not expected to return to us for 3 months. Additionally, several office staff were recently released by the same pastor so we are incredibly short staffed. As we were in North Carolina I discovered another staff member took ill and is away from the office for some time. We have been getting excellent guidance from the Archdiocese appointed administrator and for him we are thankful. Both Deacon Mark and I have tried to be as helpful as possible. You will also recall that my parish is a very active parish with about 1.300 families. For Sunday obligation we have 2 vigil masses and 3 Sunday masses so we are busy. Today, despite the hurricane distraction, we held a Rosary Rally with well over 50 in attendance. Wherever I go, my parish family is always on my mind. I am looking forward to Sunday morning when I will be assisting.
I spent this first full day back home unpacking, washing and drying clothes, running errands and cutting a bunch of grass. Necessary things but nothing exciting. Up tomorrow, after Mass, will be a visit with our local family with our at home grands and getting all ready to return to work. On Tuesday I will resume my Bible study class as we continue to explore the Eucharist in Scripture.
You know I could be writing about the LSU effort in today's football game against Missouri but I won't. If 2019 was the best of the best, the highest of the highs, this year is 2020 personified. I'll just get this off my chest, my beloved LSU Tigers look terrible and have absolutely NO defense. OK, that's out of the way.
I will be back blogging a bunch over the next few days and may have more to say about our local church scandals. But be assured of this; Jesus Christ is still our Victor-King, he is firmly in Heaven at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. He loves us and begs us come to Him. As disappointing as these, and other, scandals are, we must not lose hope or the focus that Holy Mother Church is the spotless bride of the Lamb. Yet I know all these things do hurt, they do disappoint. But we are called to remain firm in our faith, being people of hope and joy; an Easter people.
I hope everyone can persevere in faith, pray hard, be faithful, be joyful, embrace dear family and friends and Live Jesus as our patron, St. Jane de Chantal, said often. Have a great Sunday. I'll be back in the morning.