Family Ties (In a Canonical Sort of Way!)

Dear Friends,

My thanks to all of you from our parish as well as our friends from the clustering parishes (Resurrection, St. Matthew, St. Mary, St. Francis Xavier and Our Lady of Lourdes) who attended tonight's gathering for "The Way of The Cross." It was a wonderful gathering, and so many of you were impressed, moved, enlightened... ... All of this due not only to the goodness and open minds of you who gathered, but due also to the talents of my brother, Father James -- Seamus -- Neilson, O. Praem.

I have long loved many of the Church's devotions that were a part of my childhood experience. Yet it seems as though many of these treasures have long been forgotten. Because I "Live for Lent," as I've suggested earlier in this blog, I wanted to give our parishioners an opportunity to attend the "Stations of the Cross," albeit as Saint Augustine would say, in a manner that was "Ever Ancient, Ever New." In all honesty, one person came to mind: Father James Neilson.

Seamus, as he is called affectionately, has an unbelievable capacity to blend the classic and the contemporary; the conservative and the liberal; the ancient and the new; the sacred and the secular in such a passionate, pastoral manner -- empowering and challenging us to be "Church" to one another as both 'protector' and 'prophet!' Tonight, he once again rose to the occasion!

I felt a brother's pride as he engaged all of our senses in such dynamic ways. Father Jim -- Seamus -- is a true blessing, a true jewel of the Order -- and a great brother. I am grateful to God that he is an impressive priest, brother, artist, professor, Norbertine, Son of God... ... who truly believes that, "God's flock is in your midst." The doors of Old Saint Joseph Church will always be open for him to, "Give it a Shepherd's care!"

Yours in Ss. Norbert & Joseph,

Father James Baraniak, O. Praem.


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