Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Being alive - breathing in the fresh morning air - being able to walk freely about - going where you want - when you want - making your own decisions - that is being alive. Many people know what it means to be alive - many others - do not have a clue. They are bound by fears - depression - worries - guilt - anxiety - the unknown.  Often they are held back by physical limitations - others who tell them that it is not possible - jealously by others.  Whenever a person gives in to these - the chance to experience life to the fullest is diminished - completely taken away.

(John 10:10) Jesus came that we might have life and live it to the fullest - no guarantee - it is up to us to stake our claim on His promise. He will not force the fullness of life on us if we fail to act. We cannot be afraid - rather it is imperative that we act boldly - people of faith - confident in His promise - confident in Him.  As Easter people - as people of Hope - we rejoice in all that He offers us - we live in Him - we share His victory over death - we are alive!

Deacon Dale 

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Call to Service

Quite often people pose the question about why are we "here" - what is our purpose - what goal are we to accomplish in our life time. There are many ways to view this - the answers will vary depending on the person who is asked and their personal perspective on life. For myself - I believe that we are here to help each other - in many and various ways. We might be teachers - doctors - lawyers - nurses - mechanics - artists - musicians - thinkers - doers - role models for those who know and see us and what we do. Each of us projects a certain image - a persona that is specifically ours - others watch - wait - listen - observe what we do - how we react - how we cope with our own lives. In a way we are all teachers - leading by example - helping in ways - often unknown to ourselves.

After the first Easter event - when Jesus had been crucified - died - rose - His disciples asked themselves the same questions. Their prime directive - Go - baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit - carry the Good News to the four corners of  the world. A large task by any measure - a task that was overwhelming - a task that needed more than  the twelve to accomplish. (Acts 6: 2-3) So they looked around for men suitable - those who could help - they prayed over them laid hands on them - thus the first seven deacons of the Church. Today the number of permanent deacons is close to 40,000 - men ordained specifically to serve the people of God - through acts of Charity - serving the needs of others especially the marginalized - Liturgy - serving at the Eucharistic table - solemnly baptizing - witnessing marriages - presiding over funerals and burials - bringing Eucharist to the home bound and in hospitals - Word - proclaiming the Gospel - preaching at Mass - catechises - evangelization and sacramental preparation - ordinary men - ordained to Holy Orders - assistants to the Bishop - working alongside the parish priests - to fullfil their call to service. Jesus calls each of us - ordained or otherwise - to make ourselves servants to each other - in plain and simple ways - for although He is mighty and powerful - He works through the week and ordinary. Listen to Jesus - He just might be calling your name.

Deacon Dale 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

M Is For Mother

M is for mother - mama - mom - mommy - mysterious - masterful - magnificent - mine.  We all have a mother - many of us are married to women who are mothers. In our lives few women impress us as much as mothers. They might be your own - your friend's - your neighbor's. Whomever they are - wherever they may be - they surround us - touch our lives. There is nothing like a mother's love - that unconditional - always loves you - always forgives you - always cares for you - love. Mom is always there - always waiting - always helping - always encouraging - constant - a peg firmly set in place - hard to move - hard to change.  Mothers are a treasure to behold - God's gift to His children.

Mary - beautiful by any name - Saint Mary - Mother of Jesus - Mother of God - Mother to the World - Mother to all Mankind - the First Mother. Mary prays for us - intercedes for us - cares for us - just as she does for her own son - Jesus. As a role model for all mothers - Mary reminds them and us - of God's constant love - God's constant forgiveness - God's awesome agape love for all people - Christians - Jews - Muslims - Buddhists - Hindi - all faiths - believers and non-believers - atheists and agnostics - everyone -  everywhere. This Mother's Day as we celebrate the gift of our own mothers - remember who created her and who loves each of us - every day.

Deacon Dale 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Changing Times

Those of us who live in the Midwest are still waiting for Spring to arrive in full force - bringing with it some long awaited warmer temperatures. Last week my wife and I spent seven days in Arizona looking for a winter home - seeking to avoid the cold Midwest winter next year. We were blessed with very nice temperatures all week long - ranging from the 90's to over 100 - wishing that we could have brought some of that warmth back home with us. Today - our second day back - cool and wet - not exactly the weather either of us prefer. It is what it is - and as the saying goes around Chicago Land - wait a few minutes - it will change. While driving all around the Phoenix area - with the sun constantly shinning and beating down on us - one question that came to mind was - how hot can we tolerate - keeping in mind that famous Arizona expression - but - it is a DRY heat. We will give them that - at 100 degrees we did not perspire - we did not wilt - but it was still hot. As we age we learn more and more every day how our tolerances have changed from our younger days - when we tolerated all sorts of things - not just the weather - but attitudes - people - politics. Tolerance is a virtue too often ignored by many these days - we try to the best of our ability - to be tolerant - especially to other people.

Jesus was probably one of the most tolerant people of all times - yet - He too had His limits. The money changers in the temples - a common sight in His times - finally rubbed Him the wrong way - causing Him to overturn their tables - driving  them out of the temple with cords formed into a whip. Even God has limits - our One True Loving God - can become irritated with any of us. When we fail to listen to His words - fail to do as He asks - fail to turn the other cheek - time and again - knowing all the good examples left for us by His Son - even God becomes angry. Unlike we - who chose to ignore - who chose to go astray - who chose to turn our backs on Him - on each other - He is always there - waiting. Waiting for us - to turn back - to come around - to seek - to ask. God - Jesus - tolerates us - until we are ready to let Him into our lives.

Deacon Dale