Posted on Oct 18, 2020 in Church News, Homilies

18 October 2020 I can’t remember how old I was exactly, Still, I was old enough to be allowed to cross the street by myself. I was old enough to be able to walk up the hill to the church and go inside. I was old enough not to be afraid in the dim light of the church I was old enough to march right up to the front, Sit down and have a conversation with God. I can’t remember what I said. I can’t remember what God said. But from that day forward, I’ve never doubted God existed. Several years ago a student wrote an article for the Spectator—The UWEC newspaper. From what he wrote I got the...

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Posted on Oct 8, 2020 in Church News, Homilies

When I was an adolescent I came to a turning point, a day when I crossed a fine line with my parents which changed my relationship with them forever. It was late summer and I decided to go to the family reunion in Milwaukee. Because my parents weren’t going I made arrangements to get a ride there with my great-uncle.             On Saturday morning, as I was having breakfast with my family,             I announced, rather calmly that I would be leaving in about an hour for the...

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Posted on Oct 1, 2020 in Church News, Homilies

4 OCTOBER 2020 I have a list–an internal list–of the ways my life could be improved. I could have hair. I could live where it was always summer and never winter. I could sing–really sing, beautifully. I could play the piano. I could not ache after I exercise. I could eat whatever I want. I could….. Well, you get the idea. I have a list of the ways my life could be better. I bet you do too. And while you thought some of the things on my list were pretty stupid, I bet if I went around this church and had everyone list the top five ways everyone thought his or her life could be better,...

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Posted on Sep 24, 2020 in Church News, Homilies

28 SEPTEMBER 2020 Several years ago I called an old friend of mine and invited him to lunch. He had spent a lifetime building a career and becoming very successful at what he does.  He’s good at what he does and he works very hard. When I finally got a hold of him he said: “Well, I just got back from Istanbul and things are piled up but sure, I can give you a lunch time.” We met on a sunny day and sat outside for lunch. He talked about all the places he’d been on his last trip. Finally, he said: “I also went to Jerusalem.” I knew instantly why he’d mentioned that last. He’d been raised...

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Posted on Sep 17, 2020 in Church News, Homilies

20 September 2020 This is another one of those stories about and from Jesus that people find hard to take. If you remember, late this summer there was the story of Jesus and the “unbelieving woman?” She asked for healing of demonic powers for her daughter– And Jesus tried to ignore her and then was kind of snotty to her. When I was at Newman we had students who were assistant ministers. One year when we had the reading of the unbelieving woman, the assistant minister             Said to me after Mass:  “Well, that’s a Jesus I don’t...

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Posted on Sep 10, 2020 in Church News, Homilies

6 September 2020 In the second reading today Paul says a very interesting thing. He says that the only debt any of us have is the promise to love one another. Another man, Merrit Malloy, writing about death suggests this for all of us living in a poem called “Epitaph” When I die give what’s left of me away To children and old men that wait to die. And if you need to cry, Cry for your brother walking the street beside you. And when you need me, put your arms around anyone And give them what you need to give me. I want to leave you something, Something better than words or sounds. Look for me...

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Posted on Aug 27, 2020 in Church News, Homilies

30 August 2020 After I had been at Newman for about 20 years my mother called one morning.  As most of you know I grew up in Hatley. My parents lived right across the street from the parish complex— School, convent, rectory, church, cemetery. So my mother calls and says:  “Oh, you’re still there.” “Yesssss,” I said.  “And why wouldn’t I still be here?” “Well,” she said, “I heard from someone that you’d been moved.” “Really?”  I said.  “And just when did you hear that?” “Oh, about a week ago?” she said. And just who did you hear that from?” “Oh, I don’t remember,” she...

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Posted on Aug 20, 2020 in Church News, Homilies

Exactly 50 years ago this weekend I left my parent’s home, more or less for good. I went away to college–St. John’s University at the edge of the Minnesota prairie. I didn’t know a soul at St. John’s. I didn’t go for orientation and I picked my classes for that first semester rather thoughtlessly: Logic–at 8 am taught by an old monk who taught only this class And then went off to the abbey woods to log for the rest of the day. Introduction to Sociology, taught by a monk who chain-smoked during class. Interpersonal Communications–taught by Karen Garvin who became my...

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