1993-2009: THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD Marks 16 Years of Norbertine Priesthood

I've always enjoyed the "Visit of the Three Kings," as we would call it as kids. So when I sat down with Abbot Benjamin Mackin, O. Praem. midway through 1992 with his calendar in hand and he asked, "OK Jim, when would you like to be ordained?," it did not take long for me to answer, "Epiphany!" In 1993, that date would be Sunday, the third of January. That day, and the Mass of Thanksgiving that would take place in Antigo one Sunday later, "The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord," were beautiful events that I will never forget.

And yet, the warm feelings amidst the Northern-Wisconsin-Winter-Wonderland that existed that year continues each and every day as I try my best to keep the spirit from those two days alive -- living out the Baptismal Command through the exercise of ordained ministry. In fact, Bishop Ricken and I were just conversing last weekend how exciting and energizing we find the priesthood to be. As the Bishop, his sister Carol and I left Lambeau field after a wonderful victory last Sunday, I mentioned that I sometimes, "wait for the shoe to drop." In other words, I sometimes wonder how strong my faith and fulfillment will be if and when some sort of crisis arrives that will truly test my faith. Then, in the midst of some conflict or division will I be able to practice what I preach when times get tough?

The Bishop quickly responded, "Jim, no doubt those events have already taken place! Keeping Christ at the heart of the good times as well as the bad times is what allows you to be sustained through it all. With Christ in your heart, the tough times aren't nearly as tough as you would expect!"

The Bishop offered some sacred wisdom for me -- and via this forum, for us -- to consider as the New Year unfolds. Who knows what 2009 will bring? There will be good days and bad days no doubt -- hopefully more good than bad. But if we truly keep Christ not only in Christmas, but in every day, then we can continue to be sustained through it all.

Happy 2009, Everyone!
Happy Epiphany!

"God's flock is in your midst;
Give it a shepherd's care!"


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your anniversary. And, on two blogs in one day!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on 16 years of Norbertine Priesthood!

We were, are, and always will be, very proud of you!!!

We love you,

Mom and Dad

Anonymous said...

Congradulations Fr. Jim on 16 yrs. of commitment and faithful service to Our Lord, your parishioners, and everyone else that you have influenced through your vigorous and passionate personality. We are proud of you and love you very much. Gina, Tim, & Adam

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS on your 16 years as a Norbertine Priest. Your enduring faith and simple true love of Our Lord surfaces in all you do.

We are so blessed to have you at the helm at OSJ. Your compassion, wisdom and guidance have benefited many, more than you will ever know.

Love and Prayers.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Fr. Jim! We are very fortunate and blessed that you are with us at SNC!

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