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Dear Parish Blog

keep-calm+bloggingDear Parish Blog and Parish Blog Readers,

I’m so sorry that it appears that I have abandoned you. I opened the blog today and nearly fell over when I saw that the last post went up on July 12; that one being written by parishioner Don Wilson. And I’m back to post something else from Don, but I will post this first, and his will publish tomorrow.

This blog got started during the summer of 2007, over 7 years ago. I was new to the parish and the area back then, and a blog felt like something that I could do to contribute to St. Edward’s. Fr. Pat gave me the go-ahead, so off I went.

Over the years, many of you have submitted posts, either once, or multiple times. For a time, we had regular writers, but one got her own blog, and others dropped out for various personal reasons. These comings and goings  were fine, because as The Book of Ecclesiastes tells us, “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.

We specifically seek guest posts during Advent and Lent, another tradition dating back to 2007, although they were first posted on the parish website, then they migrated to the blog.  Advent and Lent remain the times when we are most popular, with many more readers than usual.

imagesThis blog also got started when I was transitioning out of a job in NYC, and moving here. I was unemployed for most of 2008, which gave me more time. Somehow while beginning both work and grad school, and while maintaining my own blog, I kept plugging away. Then I started a blog for my work parish, as part of a practicum in grad school. Still all the plates kept spinning, and I tried hard to keep up, although the same copy would often appear on all three sites.

By time this summer rolled around I knew that I had to cut back and let go, so I did. Truth be told, I am spending more time (although hardly consistently) trying to write more and post to my own blog. Every now and then I get a paid writing assignment, like right now when I am overdue on submitting two pieces. I kept thinking, that I would get back to this blog, and post – but that has yet to happen. And yes, I do sleep and exercise more now that I am not trying to “do it all.” But still – what about the blog?

Don Wilson got in touch with me to post something that you will see tomorrow, from his recent prison retreat with the REC group. That was what brought me face to face with the blog dashboard, and the reality that it has been over three months since the last post.

I am really, really sorry – although I am not sure who is even reading this any longer. Nonetheless, I feel like I have dropped the plate, so to speak, and it may have smashed.

There’s some discerning to do around the more regular posting, although I do promise you that Advent reflections will be back in about a month. Please join me in prayer so that the right decisions can be made. Thank you.

And stay tuned – Don’s post will go up tomorrow!

Thanks for reading, back then and now.

Fran

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Wheeee! Some thoughts on the Trinity

PlaylandParkway 136x93When I was a little girl, my father, loved to take us to a local amusement park, Playland. This old fashioned park was shown to the world in the Tom Hanks movie, Big. I can easily recall the excitement of seeing the Playland Parkway sign, letting us know that we were almost there! Wheeee! Let the fun begin!

When I was about 11 years old we headed there one day, to meet up with another family who had a daughter about my age. She wanted to go on a ride that terrified me. And no – I had never been on it, but just the thought of it sent me reeling! It was called the Round Up at that time. It iis the one where you stand up and hold on, but when the ride gets going, centrifugal force holds you in place. My dad liked this ride, but I would never go on it with him. However, not wanting to act like a baby in front of another kid, I Continue reading

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Pentecost

I blogged about Pentecost at my personal blog today20120513144615!Icon-Pentecost. It felt so personal that I am leaving it there, but inviting you to come over if you wish!

Blessings of Pentecost to one and all! God has done great things!

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Ascension Thursday

ascension-of-christ-large“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.”

This is Jesus’ command in today’s Gospel for Ascension Thursday. For some of us, this is a Holy Day; other dioceses have moved the feast to Sunday.

Whether or not this is a Holy Day depending on our address, Jesus’ words are an imperative. GO! How do we make disciples? It starts by how we live. As Pope Francis has indicated over and over again, in the model of Christ, we must evangelize with our lives. GO!

This past Sunday I was out of town and attended a particularly joyless Continue reading

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Expectation and Encounter

Emmaus-Road_LR-239x300Father Pat’s homily on Saturday at 4pm got me thinking about something that happened to me a long time ago. Our expectations often limit our encounters with Christ in all those we meet.

During a particularly broken period of my life, I did not think that God had left me, but I felt very hopeless. In that state, I tried to focus on God alone, pushing others away. A week in a monastery was booked – the only place I believed I would find God.

The chill of the chapel and its silence caused me to either shiver or sleep, neither way seemed an effective way of talking to God. Mistakes were being made by the minute – thinking that God was only in the monastery and that I needed to do all the talking. (A problem that continues to dog me!) I felt more angry and frustrated than ever.

The next day, another guest showed up in the visitors quarters, a lovely woman, whose face I can’t quite remember. She was 50? 60? 40? Honestly, I can’t recall; it is all so fuzzy. We ate our meal in relative silence, but as we prepared after-dinner tea, she asked what brought me to the monastery.

blahDid I let her know! A massive flow of words and tears followed. Everything from my return to the church a few years earlier, my mother’s death, my search for God in the monastery, and my possible vocation to said monastery. How I went on for hour or more! Her presence, her compassion, her listening heart remain in my memory while all else has faded.

For the next day or two, she and I spent a lot of time talking. OK, I talked a lot, but she listened well, and when she did talk, I felt my heart burning within me.

Sound familiar? We have all been on that road, the road to Emmaus. That particular path is a path where, Continue reading

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Perspective by Karen DiPalma

Parishioner Karen DiPalma writes about being away from our community this Easter, and what she found.
easter_changes_everythingHoly Saturday led me to Bingham Maine, more than 400 miles from Clifton Park. The church was St Peter, a small parish in Central Maine. Up there, 3 parishes have merged into 1: Christ the King parish. The 3 are located in Madison, Skowhegan & Bingham. We are fortunate here in Saratoga County to have a plethora of parishes from which to choose. Up there, it was almost 30 miles to attend the Easter Vigil. Getting there early was not necessary, but I didn’t know what to expect. The Deacon greeted me as I entered Church, “Welcome!! We’re glad to have you here.” Being of Irish-Catholic descent, I promptly said my 3 wishes upon entering a new Church.

The priest spoke before the Mass, to tell us what to expect. I could see and hear his joy, as he said this parish had not had a Vigil Mass there since 2005. Then came the lighting of the Easter Fire & the candles for the attendees. I held that lit candle for 40 minutes. In the reflection of the glow, I could see the faces of about 100 other worshipers. Most were older than I. Their faces reflected the hardy stock from which they came, weathered faces, all smiling. I can honestly say that I was at peace that night. All worries and cares were forgotten. I truly felt blessed to be there. I guess you could say that I felt renewed, refreshed, very proud of my faith, my life. I guess I just needed that experience to put things into perspective.

-Karen DiPalma

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The Church of Mercy – a book by Pope Francis

church-of-mercy-bookcover“Let us ask ourselves today: are we open to God’s surprises”? Pope Francis, The Church of Mercy

Pope Francis’ name seems to be on the lips of many people. There are so many Catholics who are invigorated by his words and way of life. One of the things that is most surprising is the number of non-Catholic friends who bring him up, and generally with great regard. As I have said in other posts, he has not changed on iota, not one element of doctrine, but he has changed the way that people see the Church, and how people see the papacy.

The Church of Mercy, A Vision for the Church, by Pope Francis (Loyola Press, $16.95, 150pp.) brings together homilies, papers, and audiences from our beloved “Bishop of Rome.” This treasure trove of communiques from the first year of his papacy offers readers a chance to truly spend time with Francis’ as he presses on Continue reading

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