In my homilies in anticipation for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, I reminded the congregations that gathered on Thursday that on Friday -- the 40th day after Christmas -- the traditional Christmas Cycle was drawing to a close. Now that all of the decorations that have enhanced our worship environment have been taken down, the challenge that lies before us is, "How do we keep the Christmas Spirit alive and well as we journey throughout Ordinary Time and the duration of this Liturgical Year?"
As I contemplated that question throughout the day, I thought that a way I could continue the Christmas Spirit is to begin a blog as a means to keep in touch with the fine people I have the privilege to serve. In the tradition of Sean Cardinal O'Malley, the Archbishop of Boston, and Rocco Palmo, the creator of "Whispers in the Loggia," this would become my [less-inspiring!] forum where I would let my 'parishioners' get to know me a bit better -- and perhaps, get to know each other a bit better as well. I offer the word parishioners in quotes given some are members of the parish I serve, but some of the people to whom I minister also belong to chaplaincies -- namely the fine folks at the Green Bay Packers and the inmates at the Green Bay Correctional Institution.
The writings that will follow throughout the duration of this blog will be about and for those blessed people. As I share stories with you about them -- and about other people or global or local events that shape my reflections as time goes on, I will try my best to show how these people reflect the presence of Christ in their holy lives -- in their own unique way, expressing in word or in action that Christ is born!
Who knows where this forum will take you or me? Perhaps the accounts will make you think -- or make you laugh -- inspire you -- or simply help you pass your time. But for me it will hopefully serve as a reminder of the challenge that my Norbertine brothers and I chant on each feast day of our pastoral Church heroes, "God's flock is in your midst, give it a shepherd's care!"
Yours in Ss. Norbert & Joseph,
Father James Baraniak, O. Praem.