Holiday reflections both happy and sad - Catholic Courier
Matthew H. Clark Matthew H. Clark

Holiday reflections both happy and sad

It is Memorial Day. I write sitting on a bench between Sacred Heart Cathedral and the parish house where I live.

It is very quiet now. The chirping of birds and the sound of an occasional car passing on Flower City Park are the only sounds I hear.

This has been a peaceful morning. I took a walk in Seneca Park and bought a couple of books for holiday and summer reading. Now, shortly before noon, I enjoy the moment to write.

I am grateful for the peace and quiet of this holiday weekend, especially since May seemed filled with a variety of events. Most of those were happy and upbeat; some, of course, were edged with sadness. Now it is good to let it all settle for a couple of days, to think about what has been happening and draw from the richness of it all.

Yesterday afternoon, I went to Margaret and Doug McMahan’s home for a wonderful holiday meal. Margaret’s sister, Grace, was also visiting. So I had the joy of being with two of my nieces and with two grandnephews at the same time. It was great to see the boys and to note their growth since the last time I saw them. On Friday of this week, Liam will be 3 years old. On the same day, Sean will come to the 8-month mark.

I saw great changes in both since our last visit. Sean fascinated me in his exploration of all around him and his attentiveness to different people and objects as he discovered them.

Liam’s world now includes the use of the computer. I am not sure how it all works but he logs into and plays games on a device which still intimidates his great uncle. One day in a quiet moment I may get up the nerve to ask him to tutor me in such procedures.

Last week I mentioned the funeral of Marty Moll, a longtime friend. This week I’ll be presiding at the funeral liturgy of Margaret Driscoll, a longtime friend and someone I have admired since I met her over 20 years ago.

Margaret was a participant in the discussions which led to the publication of “Fire In The Thornbush,” which we published in April of 1982. That letter on women in the church was the fruit of the experience, prayer and thinking of many women and men in our diocese. I remember Margaret for her faith, her questions and for her gracious persistence in dealing with the issue that brought us all together.

In the years since, I saw Margaret on many occasions. She was always eager to participate in the life of the church. She was ever eager to learn, and always ready to encourage others. Over time, I realized more and more how deeply prayerful she was.

I last saw Margaret at her home in Newfield. Her condition was worsening at the time, but she finished a nap just after I arrived and was very much herself during the moments we had together. Totally consistent with the patterns of a lifetime, Margaret inquired about the well-being of mutual friends and expressed her gratitude that she had experienced God’s faithful love for all of her 88 years.

When we commend this noble soul to God’s mercy at St. Catherine’s in Ithaca on Wednesday, I’ll be praying for Margaret and her family. I’ll also be praying for all of the faithful people who were the lifeblood of “Fire In The Thornbush,” and for God’s blessings on continued efforts to make our church a fruitful, effective, prophetic herald of the Gospel.

I wish you a blessed Ascension Day and much happiness during these concluding days of the Easter season.

Peace to all.

Tags: Bishop Matthew H. Clark
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