Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Family Vacations

Family vacations - hit or miss - something to look forward to - something to be avoided. When talking about an entire family vacationing together - a double edged sword. For years I have tried to encourage our sons to travel with my wife and I to Europe. We offered up different suggestions - England - Poland - Italy - their choice. For years we discussed and debated the pros - cons of making this happen. Conflicting schedules - the biggest obstacle - the age of  the grandchildren - ability to tolerate long distance travel - cost factors - interest levels of many different personalities and ages. To our pleasant surprise - last October - we were gifted with their decision to finally make this happen - a visit to Italy. Finally after years of excuses - everything fell into place - we were all free at the same time to make this happen. Adding extended family - a boyfriend - in-laws - a  group of fourteen was organized. Having traveled extensively on pilgrimages - working with large groups of people on various international journeys - I was selected to arrange the details. It was a task that took a lot more work than I expected - in the end - everything worked out. Thankfully - my sons and their wives - accepted the challenge and gave me a lot of help in making decisions - leaving the actual task of bookings up to me. Would I do it again?  In a heartbeat!  The issues that arose during the trip - minor - the blessings received - beyond imagination. Visiting Venice - staying in a villa along the Adriatic - spending time with Italian relatives - wandering Eternal Rome - truly a great experience. The highlight - a gathering of extended family from the USA - India - Germany - Italy - 40 people gathering in the name of Family.


Very often God calls us to travel with extended families - friends - parishioners - as we journey closer to Him. Often we do not select those with whom we travel. Frequently issues arise - conflicts in expectations - disappointments in the realities of the moment.  Through all of this - God is always with us. In the good - bad - times - He is always there - helping us handle conflicts - celebrating the joyous moments. On this trip we celebrated our oldest son's birthday - his wedding anniversary and our granddaughter's engagement which happened while at the villa. Yes - a very awesome journey - many people and with Our Lord - enjoying every moment along the way. When you travel - invite God to travel with you - He is your willing travel companion. 

Deacon Dale 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Holy Land Pilgrimage Announced

Greetings everyone!  It is my pleasure to announce our 2018 pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Travel dates are October 24 - November 1, 2018.  This is a once in a lifetime experience for singles - couples - families. Walk where Jesus walked - visit the site of His birth -  immerse yourself in the baptismal waters of the Jordan - pray at the site of His crucifixion. The Bible comes alive as you travel through Israel with our professional guide. Daily Mass in places you have only read about. Deacon Dale and Chaplain Arlene are pilgrimage specialists who will make this trip the highlight of all your travels.

View the itinerary here >> Please Click Itinerary 

For complete information and registration forms visit our web site >  www.deacontravel.org

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Lazy Days

I have to admit it - I am being lazy. This summer is different from most summers as I have really taken a back seat to active pursuits. Maybe it is my older age - maybe it is the limitations I have been experiencing with my one leg - maybe I am just at a point where I realize that there are others standing in the wings - waiting to be involved. I do admit that working on any project is more fun when working with others. Doing the "Lone Ranger" thing is very much out of fashion. Group events - planning sessions - all are more enjoyable when you are able to share the fun -hard work - with others. For the past few months I have been working with family members to arrange a large family trip to Italy. Although I have lots of experience with foreign travel - this is the first time - involved in making all the arrangements. Needless to say - a labor of love - the rewards to be experienced - far exceed the work involved.


When we consider our spiritual lives - it is similar to planning any group event. You first must take into consideration where you - as an individual - stand - then once you know your position - limitations - abilities - may you move forward to involve others. Before you can be successful in drawing others to God - you must first - foremost - be near Him - yourself. First hand experience - the best tool in encouraging others to follow you - to do the same. Summer is not a time to take a vacation away from God - rather an excellent time to wander outdoors and experience Him in the warmth of the day - the beauty of the blue skies - the calmness of farm fields bursting with new life. This summer allow yourself to be drawn deeper into the arms of Our Lord - to find Him - waiting for you.

Deacon Dale 


Thursday, June 8, 2017

Summer Projects

This is the time of year when thoughts turn to warm weather - longer days - annual vacations - summer projects. After spending the winter huddled in the house - trying to stay warm - now is the time to begin those outdoor projects.  Landscaping - cleaning up the flower beds - freshening up the outside - all worthy objects of attention. Everyone who owns a home has these thoughts on their mind.  Hopefully - no projects so grand that time to enjoy the warm weather - time with family - is diminished by an over abundance of tasks. Just as we need to allow time to spend with family - we need to make time to focus on our inner person - the spiritual side of ourselves.  What better way to do that - enjoying the opportunity to be outside in God's creation - praising Him for the beautiful blue skies - warm summer breezes - new growth in the yard and garden.


In all seasons - we need to make time to spend with God. He is as available to us outside in nature as He is in churches and chapels.  Always there - waiting for us to stop our busy lives - making time to be with Him - His desire. It doesn't matter if we are working on the lawn - playing a game of golf - swimming in refreshing water - we can praise and thank Him for all that He has given us.  Now is not the time to take a vacation away from God - rather - in our summer activities - now is the best time to appreciate the world He has prepared for us. 

Deacon Dale 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May Flowers

It has been three weeks since my last post - no I did not fall off the face of the Earth. In these three weeks we have traveled from Arizona back to Illinois - back to the Midwest which had a lot of rain these past few months - back to a an acre of grass that needs tending - back to lawn equipment that refuses to run - work properly - back to a rush of obligations at church - in other words - life. In Arizona - we relax - no family in that area - here in Illinois - plenty of family.  It might be daunting to some - but my wife and I thrive on it. That is what keeps us young - being active. Yes April showers did bring May flowers - and weeds - and over growth - and other issues with maintaining our home. In addition - we were blessed with my - nephson's - nephew + son - wedding - which was a very blessed event. I sat as a stand-in for my deceased twin - the father of the groom and my wife sat in for his deceased mother. That was the only sad moment during the celebration of young love - a beautiful couple - starting life freshly as a couple. To us their marriage - a flower in God's bouquet. 

Life is interesting when you sit back and reflect. All of us have tasks to accomplish - many things that we take for granted - maintaining our homes and property - keeping a social calendar - holding ties to family and friends tight and close. In the midst of these - the sadder events of life - visiting friends whose mother passed away - another family - getting together in the final days of a life - soon to be extinguished. In all  these events - happy - sad - God is so clearly present. As we continue in this Easter Season - we continue to celebrate the Easter Event - the Resurrection of Christ - the resurrection - of our own lives. In time we pause and reflect - with Jesus at our side - always there for each of us.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Divinely Merciful

For many - Easter - one day - nothing more - nothing less. For those who understand the Church and its Liturgy - Easter - a Season - Fifty days to celebrate - pray - contemplate the Mystery of Easter. So much happened around the First Easter - unable to really understand - comprehend all that occurred. The Second Sunday of Easter - Divine Mercy Sunday - proclaimed by Saint Pope John Paul II in 2000 when Saint Faustina was canonized. The Church speaks about God's Divine Mercy - few understand the scope - depth of God's mercy - exactly what that means.


Jesus - I Trust in You - God's mercy - the forgiveness - acceptance - promise - hope - healing - offered by Jesus to all who have ears - all who will hear -eyes - all who might see - the wonders God has done. In His Divine Plan - God offers everything to each of us - it is up to us - to accept - His Divine Mercy.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

He Is Risen!

Those three words - how can anyone follow that up? What more is there to say. Jesus Christ is risen Today! Alleluia!


Happy Easter

Deacon Dale 


Saturday, April 15, 2017

Now What?

Holy Saturday - time of waiting - Jesus crucified 3:00PM Good Friday - in the pit - a quiet day - day for reflection - waiting - what is to come. For the majority of people - routine Saturday activities - shopping - cleaning the house - preparing for Easter Sunday - a busy day. For a few - prayer - preparation rites - RCIA - the elect - the final scrutiny - waiting to be baptized - confirmed - Holy Eucharist - for the first time - tonight at the Vigil. In between - quiet. Those involved with those in the RCIA - prayer - reflection - looking forward to the Vigil. No Mass yesterday on Good Friday - no Mass Holy Saturday - until after sundown - the Vigil - in the dark - waiting for - New Light - the Candle Service - Blessing of water in the font - lots of readings - music - inspiring homily - Baptism - Confirmation - Eucharist. All happening tonight - in the new day - the anticipation of Resurrection - Easter. 


In the time of Christ - nightfall signaled that time between one day and the next - in the darkness - time ceased to exist - a void - emptiness - sleeping - with the hope of another day of light - resurrection - new life. Today Jesus lies in the Tomb - like us - waiting. Waiting - like us - to see what great things God has planned for each of us. Today - Holy Saturday - we wonder - in Faith - now what?

Deacon Dale 


Friday, April 14, 2017

Holier Than Thou

So I was cruising the net - looking for some input for today's blog and came across an article and a blog that was highly critical of Holy Mass being celebrated in maybe Portugal - maybe Italy. Not sure - as I am not familiar with what was being sung - I didn't recognize the language. If a person with reasonable intellect would stop and look at the video you could see that #1) it was a large celebration #2) definitely foreign #3) crowded church  complete with full staff of musicians #4) lot of servers along with numerous priests. I can not believe the holier-than-thou criticisms. It appears that all those holier-than-thou critics thought they were witnessing Adoration. To almost anyone who knows a few things about Catholic liturgy - easily recognize that it was the end of Holy Mass - Adoration to follow - the celebrant carefully placing the large host which was just consecrated at Mass into the Monstrance - as with the end of any good liturgy - a dismissal song - complete with youth clapping and finger gestures - perhaps signing for hearing impaired. From my viewpoint - a happy celebration of God - very Christ focused. The complaints - musicians with back to altar -  unfortunately with limitations of space - forces musicians to be able to see each other - to perform well - beautiful music honoring God - not first choice - but in Rome. Other complaints - the signing - referred to - as looks like  the chicken dance - maybe those critics needed to learn signing and the local language - the last complaint - two Monstrances being prepared - one to remain on the Altar - the second - presumably for the priest to carry to another location - perhaps to disabled people in the back of the church or perhaps to an overflow crowd in an annex. My thoughts - who are these self righteous people - including some priests - that even judge a video based on a few minutes of run time. I would be the worlds greatest fool if I dared to comment on such small data. As I saw it - what was available - very mediocre video - a celebration - honoring our God - Jesus His Son.



Today Good Friday - the day commemorating when those who thought they knew God - people who were  holier-than-thou  crucified Jesus. He did nothing to deserve it - proclaimed Love - Forgiveness - Acceptance - Tolerance. Here we are some two thousand years later - still burdened with - small minds - self righteous - holier-than-thou people. Many stuck in the past - highly critical of The Church - the language used - which Missal - where to place  the altar - what songs appropriate. Jesus did not die for this - did not die - because of the color of your hymnal - did not die - for what music is selected - did not die - for how many handicapped parking spaces you have. He did not die for any of this. He died because you - I - are sinners. He died because we judge - we criticize - we refuse to help - the untouchable - the outcasts. This Friday when you attend services - when you look at Him on the Cross - remember that it was you and I who put Him there - and still do. Today just might be a Good Friday - if we repent - ask for forgiveness - change  the way we think. Today might be a Good Friday - if we commit ourselves one hundred percent to God.

Deacon Dale 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Three Peat

Three-peat is a term used primarily in American sports to refer to winning three consecutive championships. In a similar vein a hat-trick is when a player - usually in hockey or football - scores three goals in a single game - not necessarily consecutively. According to NBC Sports the term hat trick invented back on January 26, 1946 when Alex Kaleta of the Chicago Blackhawks - needing a new hat - unable to afford one - struck a deal with Sammy Taft - a Toronto haberdasher - for a free hat if he scored three times in one game. Kaleta went on to score four goals - thus the hat-trick was born. Today - in hockey - spectators throw their hats onto the rink when a hat trick accomplished. The hats - given to charities - the player - or put on display.  Today begins - The Triduum - the three-peat of the three holiest days of the Christian year. Today Holy Thursday - tomorrow - Good Friday - Saturday - Holy Saturday - the Easter Vigil - the mother of all vigils.



In these three holy days - the Church - gives us time to seriously reflect on the Gospel message of Jesus - God's Love - Forgiveness - offer of New Life. Tonight's Holy Thursday Mass celebrates the institution of the Priesthood - Eucharist - Ministry to others. Flowing out of Jesus' declaration that His disciples would do as His did - serving others - the creation of the diaconate - ministry to  the home bound - feeding the hungry - clothing the naked - caring for widows and orphans - preaching  the Good News to all who would listen. As ordained clergy - our duty to do as listed above - no more - no less - the rest in God's hand. All of us - ordained or not - called to do the same. Today begins our call to ministry.

Deacon Dale