Blessings appreciated during moments of prayer - Catholic Courier
Matthew H. Clark Matthew H. Clark

Blessings appreciated during moments of prayer

It is very quiet in St. Mary Church, Canandaigua, at this mid-afternoon hour. The only sound comes from the activity of Ann Perron, a parishioner who is tending the plants in the sanctuary area. She prunes and waters the plants and tidies up the area. It is a very peaceful place to write. Just as I finish the last sentence, Ann finishes her work. But before she leaves the area, she stops to greet me and asks if there’s anything that she can do for me. She also — with pride in her parish — calls my attention to the magnificent restoration work done on the great window in the fa√ßade of the church.

I stopped in the church to pray and do some writing in the time available between two meetings today (May 12). The first was a meeting of our diocesan Presbyteral Council — the last one of the current season — held at the parish center at St. Dominic, Shortsville, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The second meeting — also the last of the season — will bring together the generous women and men who come from all areas of our 12-county area to serve on our diocesan board of Catholic Charities. Both of these hard-working groups will reconvene in September.

Before beginning to write, I prayed for a while and found myself drawn to remember and to pray for the members of these two groups. They have worked hard this year and have accomplished a great deal. And, they do so with a delightful spirit. There is always room for laughter, a word of encouragement or an expression of thanks.

In both elements — hard work and good spirit — they symbolize for me the experience I have had for many years with the people of our diocese. I have been impressed — literally, from my first day as your bishop — by the generous and good-spirited participation of so many in the life and mission of our faith community.

That experience with you began when I was installed as the eighth bishop of Rochester on June 26, 1979. The memory of that magnificent celebration (I can so describe it because it was totally planned before my arrival!) is one that has remained with me strongly for all of the years. It had a great impact on me then. And often, when I have another experience of your generous goodness, I feel that I am reliving the joy of that wonderful evening.

I thank God for more moments of quiet and prayer such as this one at St. Mary. They renew my awareness of God’s faithful and patient presence in my life. They help me to draw meaning from my daily experience — even from experiences that occurred years ago. They put me in touch with the goodness and needs of others. All of these help me to appreciate a little more the blessings of the season. They are truly an Easter gift.

Peace to all.

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