Celebrating Christmas All Year Long!

After taking the church decorations down on this date last year, I was fidgeting through the computer checking out all sorts of websites and blogs. Perhaps I was doing so with a little case of the "end-of-Christmas-blues," for Christmas was truly over. It was at that time that I decided to create this blog (one year ago today) with the hope of spreading a little Christmas cheer long beyong the 40 days past Christmas! As of today, we've come full circle.

As you will notice in the 'archive' section, some months had more entries than others. Naturally, when the St. Norbert students are away, I have a little more free time to twinkle the keys -- the academic year sometimes gets so involved that this site is put on hold to address more pressing issues; so I am aware that some viewers have gone to the site to see the same old header over and over and over again. Thanks for your patience!

A Saint Norbert student once quipped, "there's an aweful lot about football on your blog." I agreed, but then again, look at the year the Packers had! And yet I encouraged him to look a bit more deeply, that while there were plenty of Packer stories, actually there was little here about football itself -- rather, it was stories of pretty good guys beneath the pads or clipboards!

In most instances I have tried to share stories of how my life connects with yours, and yours with mine. I've tried to suggest that whether you are a Packer, a parishioner, a prisoner or anyone else in between, our lives are simply so very similar! In many ways, regardless of the uniform we wear or where we spend the majority of hours in our livelihood, many of us have the same hopes and dreams, fears and anxieties. Basically, wherever we go, we encounter the People of God, in all that is flawed and all that is forgiven; thus, "God's flock is in your midst. Give it a shepherd's care!"

As I move into year two today, I'm considering stories for the future. One of the bigger issues that I will address here will be my new involvement in "Catholic Athletes for Christ." I am excited to join Ray McKenna, Jeff Suppan, Vinny Rottino, Jack Del Rio, Father JD Jaffe and the athletes, professionals, priests and bishops in the organization who are searching for ways to connect the Church with the world of athleticism -- at the urging of the late Pope John Paul II. The excitement for me is the joy that I find in encountering people who are so passionate about their CATHOLIC faith. Their energy and excitement vigorates my own! More stories about that after the NFL Combine in late February.

I hope to share more stories about a passion of mine, at-risk education, and how we can try to address this situation of poverty right here in Green Bay and the effects poverty has on education and delinquency. Perhaps I'll be able to finish some of the books that I have started and will find opportunities to share that information with you.

No doubt I'll also be suggesting more DVDs for you to watch; Tuesdays at Best Buy have been somewhat dissapointing over the past couple of months, but when I find a really good keeper, I'll let you know about it!

I also hope to share stories with you of how my Norbertine brothers take to the flics! Not to worry, if the rew releases bomb, there's always "Cold Case," "Without a Trace," and countless re-runs of "Law and Order ABCDEFG!"

Outside of the house, I continue to be inspired and invigorated by my students and inmates at SNC and GBCI. I hope to use their wisdome to inspire you in the same ways they inspire me.

And of course, I hope to be spending this time next year sharing Super Bowl stories with you. I hope to tell you stories of how Brett is still kicking butt as he inches even closer to 40 years of age, and of how Mike McCarthy is effectively 'shepherding' the flock.

Who knows what this next year will bring? All we can hope is that we experience the abiding presence of Christ in our midst walking with us -- and sometimes carrying us -- every step of the way. Once again, dear friends, now a year later, let the antiphon be sung: "God's flock is in your midst. Give it a shepherd's care!"

Father James Baraniak, O. Praem.


Katie C said...

Sorry about the loss! I realized in the end that my dislike of the Pats was greater than the Pack. I started cheering them on b/c I don't think the Giants haave a chance to beat the Pats. But I am sure all of the readers here are anxious to hear your homily to the team--you are such a good speaker. I am sure it was very motivating!

Please, for the love of God (literally), stop watching those crime shows!!! Don't do it!!! It is all garbage!!! So unrealistic. Totally sensationalizes crime. I can't even watch that stuff anymore :-)

Good news--have a second job interview this week at a local college...will let you know how it goes! Hope to see you sometime in the coming months..I am sure we will venture north in the spring or summer.

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