Tag Archives: Fr. Pat Butler

The vision presses on

Marble AltarThen the LORD answered me and said:
Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets,
so that one can read it readily.
For the vision still has its time,
presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
if it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.
The rash one has no integrity;
but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.
-Habakkuk 1:2-3,2:2-4

Yesterday’s readings remain with me today, they are very much present in my heart. Ironically, I accidentally turned to them when I began to pray this morning. In my still-sleepy state I thought “Oh, we have the Habakkuk reading again.” Perhaps I needed to reread them, so I did. As I reread all of yesterday’s readings today, I could not help but think about what we are considering doing here at St. Edward the Confessor.

In full disclosure, I am on the Master Planning committee, and have been since its inception in 2009. So for me, this “vision” of our parish has been on my own heart for a long time, deeply embedded in my prayers. Recently, a church friend from a distant place responded to me talking about where we were in the process, by saying, “What?! You have not mentioned this in about 2 years. When did it start up again?” I told him that it had never stopped. He could not understand the very slow speed with which we moved. How could he? Where he lives, the Catholic church is booming and new churches are springing up everywhere! Why would anyone proceed so slowly?

The vision has its time and it will not disappoint. For me this means, what God has ordained will be what happens – I can’t direct that personally, none of us can. As far as Fr. Butler and Master Planning, we have prayed, listened, worked, talked, listened, planned, communicated, listened – and we listened more, we continue to listen. This cannot be rushed, this has not been rushed, but has been a process of discernment. That process continues, but now we come to the time where decisions must be made.

So what does this have to do with the other readings?

“Stir into flame!” I love those words from the second reading, from 2 Timothy. This makes me think of Fr. Pat’s homily from Sunday, which I wrote about last night. If we “stir into flame the gift of God” we are living more deeply into our faith. And may the stirring of that flame bring our collective gifts, which are far beyond the monetary, into being. Whatever that being may be!

And the Gospel from Luke nugget that burns brightly for me today is the reminder that our faith may be like the smallest seed, yet that faith can grow to dimensions unimaginable.

What vision presses on for our community? What flames are stirred? How will our faith grow not only in us, because we are but members of One Body of Christ, but how will the faith of our members point us? If we are ever in prayer, oriented to God, listening deeply and responding in that faith, the vision that was once a tiny seed, will grow to untold heights.

Please continue to pray with us as we seek God’s will and the will of our people.

PrayerandChurch

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Third Sunday of Advent Reflection – Deep Sorrow and Sharp Joy

050811-066.Today’s readings can be accessed here. I was all set to post the homiletic reflection that was published in the book, Hungry and You Fed Me: Homilies and Reflections for Cycle C.  Today is Gaudete Sunday, a day of joy, rejoicing and the homily that is in the book reflects that. If you want to read it, you can see it here, on the diocesan Amazing God webpage.

What do we think of today? Father Pat Butler, our pastor, spoke to us about the importance of silence in his homily for this weekend. I also went to mass at Immaculate Conception in Glenville, where I work, and Father Jerry Gingras reminded us of how easy it is to conflate joy and happiness, rejoicing and celebration. This reminds me that joy something that we possess in Christ, and happiness is but a fleeting feeling.

The image above was taken in a forest. I was struck by what the fire had wrought – a field of rose colored flowers. The photo shows a forest that was burned to nothing, to black scorched earth. The fire killed everything in sight, or so it seemed. Our Gospel today has John the Baptist telling us this:

His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor
and to gather the wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.

The unquenchable fire burns, but look at what grows in the aftermath! This mystery is unknowable, we encounter such rich gifts in life, and we encounter such unfathomable sorrow. There is no answer, and I am reminded of the gifts of silence that Father Pat Butler spoke of. This image and these few (probably too many) words – that is all.

May God gather the children and the adults of Sandy Hook into God’s loving embrace. May God’s mercy enshroud the grieving families and friends of those who have died so tragically, so brutally. And we continue to offer our prayers for the families of Deanna Rivers and Chris Stewart.

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Spartan Women Care Packs

Nicole Kasdorf is a determined woman. Tall, warm and with an easy smile, she is filled with palpable sense of mission and spirit. After having spent time in the US Army, deployed in Iraq, she knows that there are special needs for the women who serve our country. Upon returning home, she and her husband started a family and a small business, The rOUgh STORE bY KASDORF’S, where they sell homemade bath and beauty products.

If you were at any of the masses at St. Edward the Confessor this weekend, you heard Nicky speak – and I don’t think that anyone was left unmoved by what she said!

While we here tend to think of the war in Iraq as over, and the Afghanistan conflict as winding down, Nicky reminds us that there are many who are still deployed. With her focus on women stationed on a remote base in Afghanistan, she began to form a vision.

After teaming up with our pastor at St. Edward the Confessor in Clifton Park, NY,  Father Pat Butler, “Spartan Women Care Packs” is becoming a reality. Life in the harsh world of a remote base in Afghanistan, possibly without indoor plumbing, a long walk to the shower, and no PX to procure supplies from means that there are great needs. Add to that, the message that all care packages to soldiers bring – we have not forgotten you. Life goes on for us over here, but for those who serve and protect, things are very different. As someone who did serve, Kasdorf is more than well aware of this and her passion to help fellow soldiers will not be deterred.

A Spartan Woman Care Pack – ready to go!

Fr. Pat got our Youth Minister, Sister Rosemary Casaleno CSJ involved, and things have been moving ever since. The goal is to put together these “Spartan Women Care Packs.” Each pack will include a shower caddy, flip flops and a number of bath and beauty products. Currently we are collecting the caddies, and items for inclusion.

Reaching out to Philosophy cosmetics, Sister Rose procured 100 tubes of “The Supernatural,” a tinted primer. Parishioners have been donating goods and financial support to make this a reality. At this point, cash donations start to become particularly important, because of costs associated with buying US Postal Service approved boxes, packaging materials, and to pay for postage.

Nicole Kasdorf is a woman with a vision of helping others, helping others that serve and protect. Along with the people of the parish community of St. Edward the Confessor, she is reaching out to seek help from many sources. Given what she has already accomplished, it looks like the women deployed in Afghanistan will have something to look forward to by time Christmas comes.

(Interested in helping? You can donate directly through Nicky Kasdorf’s website, The rOUgh STORE bY KASDORF’S, or by contacting Sister Rose at ymsteds@yahoo.com, or email me at stedwardsblog@gmail.com.)

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