Shifting Gears, Just a Bit!

Dear Friends in Ss. Norbert & Joseph,

I apologize that I have been pretty distant from the blog for over a week now. As you can imagine, I have had several pastoral issues to which I needed to attend throughout this past week; so some things and some issues -- mainly administrative tasks and these blogs -- have taken a 'back-burner' to more pressing events. As such, I do not regret that my time and energy was spent over pastoral issues as of late. After all, I was ordained to minister to the flock, not to push papers. Nevertheless, I do apologize that I have been M.I.A. when it comes to phone calls, emails and other forms of administrative care. I truly hope you all understand.

My blog will soon move into the direction to which you have been accustomed -- for better or worse! But before that can happen, I do need to simply say, "Thank you!" You see, over the past week, I have received so many phone calls, emails, and especially letters via 'snail-mail' wishing the College Community well as we have mourned the loss of Andy Domagola -- a person whom I have considered [if you haven't noticed] a very good friend. Literally, I have heard from people all over the country [given the size of the crowd that gathered at Andy's Mass of Christian Burial] of people's support for me, personally; to Father Jay Fostner, O. Praem.; Dr. Richard Rankin; our Residential Life and Security staffs; the Norbertine Community of Saint Norbert Abbey; the Benedictine Community of Saint Procopius Abbey; and all of the administrators, faculty, staff and students who took the time to reach out to a community in need. The numbers of those in need -- and the numbers of those reaching out to those in need -- have been profound.

My dear friends, we have seen and experienced the worst these days, haven't we? And yet, we've also seen the best! I am profoundly effected by the goodness of Mike and Karen, Megan and Mary Grace Domagola. I have considered his many aunts, uncles and cousins honorary members of our parish. And once again, for the ninth time in my short pastorate, I have noticed how well we take care of each other in times of sadness, loss and death.

Back in 1983 I chose St. Norbert as the only place I would consider as my potential 'home away from home' for the next four years of my life. Thank God, Saint Norbert College accepted me! Never did I imagine back then, that when I entered this school -- this way of life -- that this would not only be my home for the next four years, but for the rest of my life! Over these past 23 years I have experienced good days and bad days -- good weeks and bad weeks. Perhaps at this point, I have even experienced good years and bad years! And yet it has been the community -- this CHURCH -- that has sustained so many of us in such pastoral and loving ways. Towards that end, I could not think of any other place I'd rather be!

Who knows what our future holds? While I pray for good and pleasant days ahead; this life never guarantees such bliss. But here at St. Norbert we can be assured that no matter what lies ahead, we can celebrate and share the 'Good News' that, "God's flock is in your midst;" time and time again, many of you will dare to "give it a shepherd's care!" Again, Thank You!

Father James Baraniak, O. Praem.,

Pastor -- And Honored to Serve You!


kdomagola said...

The St. Norbert Community will always hold a special place in our hearts. Andy was able to grow and challenge himself spiritually, surrounded by good men and women of God. Thank you for sharing your faith and love with him. We are honored to be a part of your family. Karen Domagola,

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.