Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Happy New Year and blogging forward

Yes, the Earth has gone around the Sun again.  I say that as a statement of faith of course.  The math says that's what happens.  We've never actually seen the Earth go around the Sun.  It's just what our model of the universe says happens, and that's good enough for me.  As Sherlock Holmes observed, whether the sun goes around the earth or vice versa has little direct impact on my day to day life. 

Nonetheless, another thing I accept is that once a year we celebrate the completion of this heavenly cycle.  For Catholics, this falls in the middle of Christmastide.  Christmas itself, as a season, is still going on.  Early on, long before we considered becoming Catholic, my wife and I embraced the '12 Days of Christmas' approach to the holiday. 

As a result, even though the world is fully back to secular rat race mode, we'll still have a few more rounds of celebration.  My second son's fiancĂ©e and her family are back in town. That means he's back to normal.  Of course so are schedules.  As a result, it won't be as much celebrating, but it will be something.  As the boys grow and obligations mount, the time spent in festive undertakings has been diminishing anyway. 

Therefore, like last week and the first part of Christmas, blogging will still be light.  That's not to say I was completely separated from the issue trolling of the day. Mark Shea emailed me and we had a back and forth about some things.  Well, a forth at least.  It went about as well as you could imagine.  But since it was private discourse, I'll do my part and not publically reveal the nitty-gritty.  It's enough to say it did occupy some of my time in the world of online opinion making, however fruitless it was. 

One thing I can say is a shout-out to our new bishop.  Since we became Catholic in 2006, we've had seven pastors and three bishops.  Stability is not a selling point for our parish, or our diocese. I began the journey to the Church shortly before Pope John Paul II passed.  The year we entered was the first year for the new bishop.  As bishops go, he was a bishop.  

Then he had to retire due to health issues, and was replaced by Bishop Brennan.  Now he was a bishop.  Almost immediately he came to town with the message that it's time for Catholics to be Christian again.  Sporting an almost theatrical New York accent, he clearly possessed a sympathy for more traditional Catholicism.  Within months, he had the diocese hopping.  But then he was transferred to his home town stomping grounds in The Bronx.

We wondered who would replace him.  On our parish level, any type of stable shepherding would be appreciated. Then we heard the news - some young priest from Cincinnati was going to be our new bishop.  Bishop Earl Fernandes.  The News Media, ever obsessed with group identity and skin color, made it about him being the first non-Anglo bishop in the diocese.  

Most in the area, being normal human beings, didn't care.  We just wanted someone to shepherd this wayward flock.  And shepherd he has.  The first order of business was doing something that caused the uber-left group that dominated The Ohio University's Catholic ministry to leave. Their one contribution was producing priests who put the lie to the old leftwing notion that there have never been clown masses or beer and pretzel communion.  Once a priest from that ministry spoke to our parish and was clear about the Church's need to embrace gay marriage, abortion rights, and a variety of socialist based ideas.  Exactly what happened to make them leave, I don't know.  Naturally the local news was shocked and doomsday predictions abounded.

But Bishop Fernandes has continued to push the diocese back to a more Christian and traditional based approach to the Faith.  Heck, the guy is an official exorcist, so that says something.  But he's everywhere.  Check the news, open a Facebook page, walk down the street - and there he is.  Almost every day he's meeting someone, somewhere. At a football game, at a homeschool group, at a charity, you can't go two days without seeing him out and among the people.  And he wears the Faith on his sleeve when he does so.

Being snowed in on Christmas Eve, we watched the Midnight Mass at the cathedral.  It was his first as bishop.  I haven't seen a Catholic bishop so filled with fun and joy at his job for some time.  Beyond being one of the finest homilies I've heard in many an age, he seemed almost bursting at the seams with joy and giddiness.  I'd say he's the type of leader who makes the serious faithful want to be better Christians.  I know he makes me want to be a better Christian.  In terms of religious leadership, that's about as good as you get.

So we're looking forward to the coming months.  No, you don't want your own pilgrimage to cue off of others.  But leaders are there for a reason, and one is to inspire.  Something I think that has been lacking in the modern Faith as so many leaders choose compromise, acquiescence and surrender in dealing with the modern world.  We're all waiting to see what he does next.  If it's like the first months since he's been bishop, it should be a ride.

So that is that.  I'll be back once the Christmas season has wrapped up.  Next stop: Twelfth Night and Epiphany.  I might post something if it hits me, and posts gushing over family fun and the latest round of board games are always a possibility.  Otherwise, continue to be blessed during this Christmastime, and I'll be back soon. God bless and TTFN. 

Our new bishop at a homeschool event - all smiles as usual

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much Dave Griffey for penning down this great article.


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