"Where's Father Jim?"

For the past couple of weeks, Mom has been repeating, "April twenty-first," "April twenty-first!" I thought she was hinting at her wedding anniversary or reminding me that I forgot a family birthday. No, she meant that I've been neglecting the blog since my last posting all the way back on April 21.

I apologize once again for such a delay in writing, but it's been quite a trip over this past month -- to the very day! Some of you will remember that it all started with my return from the White House after encountering the Pope and President. While on the plane ride home, I felt as though I was hitting a wall; while the conversation on the plane was a hoot, I felt as though my energy was being zapped quite rapidly. I returned to DePere at 5:00 PM that night; I went to bed at 7:00 PM and would remain there for the next ten days: pneumonia!

Once I finally returned to office hours and Masses, I still had such little energy -- any available hour between commitments would find me in bed, taking one hour cat-naps throughout the day. Finally, once I felt much better, I ran into "end-of-the-year rituals" for St. Norbert College ranging from last Parish Council dinner to student appreciation dinner to last Burke Hall Mass to last 7:00 PM Mass to Baccalaureate Mass... ... ... All of these activities took up a great deal of time; and as a result, Mom and others have been wondering where I've been: now you know!

There's so much to say, but where do I begin? I want to share with you some of my hopes and plans for the summer; I want to share with you my summer reading and flix list, and I want to update you on my new relationship with Rosetta Stone -- no it's not some sort of "particular friendship" as we used to say in the Order, but it's my progress in trying to learn Spanish over the summer. That, coupled with the Missal Romano, has been quite the experience.

So where do I begin? Let me start with a rather timely issue. Yesterday marked the official retirement of Mike Piazza, a very successful catcher in MLB who represented a few different teams over the years. Since my association with Catholic Athletes for Christ which began earlier this year, I've heard so many people talk about the goodness of this man. His character shines through the DVD, "Champions of Faith -- Baseball Edition." He is a man who is very articulate about his Catholic faith, and the article I post next gives you an idea of how fine this guy really is.

For all that he accomplished on the diamond, and for all that lies ahead, I am grateful for the ways Mike not only shares aspects of his own faith life, but how he has encouraged others to consider their own spiritual journey. On the diamond, in the streets and in the next post, you'll find..... "God's flock is in your midst; give it a shepherd's care!"

Father James Baraniak, O. Praem.


Anonymous said...

I was beginning to think we'd lost you!
What a powerful article on Mike Piazza...what a strong faith he has and what a role model for people of all ages.
Hope you're recovering from your bout with pneumonia and will have a somewhat restful summer.

Love and Prayers to you.

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