4 JUNE 2010. This Spring has been a wonderfully busy and challenging time for our family and those we know and love. In recent days there have been sad events, but the hope of Christ continues to shine through the news that could otherwise lead to dispair.
Running on at the keyboard . . . .
A little more than a month ago, the husband of one of my wife's close friends committed suicide. He left a beautiful wife and family--three children under the age of 10. I pray that God comforts him in eternal peace and grants him generously the gift of His love, looking not on his acts in judgment, but with a Sacred Heart of compassion for what his poor soul must have endured to make suicide appear to be his only remaining option.
The Tallahassee Lay Dominican inquiry group continues to grow in devotion to our Lord as a community. I and my six fellow group members have completed the inquiry phase and wait anxiously for the next phase of candidacy to be approved by the Southern Province.
We hear news everyday that tar balls and the omnipresent oil slick is moving closer to coming ashore in Florida. Tallahassee is about an hour or so, due north, from the coast. The beaches in the panhandle of Florida are some of the most beautiful in the world, and it will be a terrible shame to see them desecrated with crude oil. However, our plight will likely be much less serious that the poor folks affected by the Deepwater Horizon disaster in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. I pray that all of those contributing to end this ongoing catastrophe will be guided by God's grace and will successfully and quickly bring the flow of oil into the beautiful Gulf of Mexico to a halt.
One of the deacons at our local parish suffered a very serious head injury over the Memorial Day weekend and is in very serious condition, in ICU, at our local hospital. I understand that our Bishop paid him a visit yesterday and although he is only in a state of semi-consciousness, he seems to have some awareness of visitors. I thank Bishop Ricard for his caring and loving pastoral approach. Please join our parish family in praying for Deacon Marcus and his family.
Another of my wife's dear friends has suffered two tragedies in the past weeks. Her husband became very ill and was rushed to the hospital, only to learn that he is severely diabetic and was suffering from acute pancreatitus. Now having been hospitalized for more than two weeks (much of that time in ICU), he is starting to show signs of improvement. But, last Sunday morning--Trinity Sunday--his mother-in-law (my wife's girlfriend's mother) had a severe stroke and died. The funeral is tomorrow, while our friend still remains in the hospital. Please pray for abundant grace to be showered upon this family and for the repose of the soul of a mother and grandmother who will be dearly missed.
On a joyous note, this Sunday our parish will host the first mass of Father Kevin McQuone, who will be ordained here in Tallahassee at the Co-Cathederal of Saint Thomas More tomorrow. Our diocese has been richly blessed by many ordinations of vibrant and faithful young men to the priesthood in recent years. In this Year for Priests especially--but, at any time and at all times--please pray for our priests.
I also pray for a peaceful resolution to the most recent conflict crisis in the Middle East.
On behalf of faithful Catholics from our diocese and all of Florida, and others of good will who may follow these pages, we offer Archbishop Wenski, installed as Archbishop of Miami on 1 June, a heartfelt and joyous welcome as our metropolitan archbishop. And, to now-retired Archbishop Favalora, a very gracious and warm "Thank you" for many years of his faithful and good service to all the faithful in Florida.
And, for followers of these pages in Florida (or elsewhere), please make sure to let Governor Charlie Crist know of your support of HB 1143 (the law passed by the Legislature this session requiring pre-abortion sonograms and preventing government money from being used to pay for abortions under the Obama Administration's recent health care overhaul law). Governor Crist has not yet vetoed or signed HB 1143 into law. He has the option of signing the bill or allowing the bill to become law without his signature. The scuttle here in Tallahassee is that he is leaning towards a veto, but I believe he can swayed if the silent majority of Floridians make their preference for life known to the Governor. The Florida Catholic Conference provides an easy way to make your wishes know to the Governor here.
To carry the previous point a bit farther . . . politically, it makes no sense for Governor Crist to veto HB 1143. If he did so, he would make the extreme left happy, but they are not going to vote for him in the upcoming general election anyway. On the other hand, if HB 1143 becomes law (by the Governor's signature or otherwise) those who were originally swayed to vote for him as the Republican candidate for governor four years ago may still see a principled man running for the U.S. Senate. (All lawyers in Tallahassee handicap statewide politics unfolding here, at least on a part-time basis.) In my novice political view, a veto stands no chance of gaining additional votes, but runs the real danger of further eroding Charlie's mainstream and conservative leaning support. It would be for me, personally, the death knell of my consideration to support him.
I pray that God will bless and keep all who find these pages.