Dear Brothers and Sisters,

New Years Greetings of peace.

Many thanks to all who labored to enrich our Christmas liturgies. The simple beauty of the church was stunning, the music uplifting, and the generosity of so many ministers welcoming.  Thank you to all for sharing your faith in Jesus our Christ.

Sincere thanks to all who made an end of year gift to the Catholic Community of St. Francis of Assisi.  Your generosity is greatly appreciated as we attempt to fulfill our mission as a gospel faith community and reach out to those who hunger and thirst for human dignity.

Today marks a new day, month, and year.  By its nature, a time to reminisce and based upon our reflection to make resolutions for new ways of living in the year ahead.  Our church gives us the example of Mary, the first disciple of Jesus, the first to embrace his gospel of compassion and reconciliation.  As we reflect and reminisce about the past year and look forward to the new year, a new millennium — will we be disciples of Jesus differently than the past year?  If you had the year to live over, would you do it differently?  If you could live your life over  again would you change anything?  The late Erma Bombeck responded at first – no — I wouldn’t change a thing.  But upon reflection she changed her mind and said yes, you know there are a few things that I would change. Here are some of the things on her list.

  • I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.
  • I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.
  • I would have burnt the pink candle that was sculptured like a rose before it melted in storage.
  • I would have cried and laughed less while watching television, and more while watching real life.
  • I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.
  • I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for a day.
  • There would have been more “I love you’s”, more “I’m sorry’s”, more “I’m listening’s”, but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute, look at it and really see it, try it on, live it, exhaust it and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.

Maybe we have some things in common with Erma, maybe our list would be completely different, or we wouldn’t change a thing.  But worth pondering . . . .

Happy New Year!

In the peace of Christ,
Fr. Mark