First Week

I was overjoyed to celebrate the Eucharist with the daily mass-goers at my home parish of St. Brendan in North Olmsted, Ohio. I have very fond memories of serving in the small chapel before school and it was a thrill to be there today. The congregation was very gracious and patient as I continue to figure out how to "work" the book and its many...many...many...ribbons.

In a few minutes, I'll drive down to Kentucky to play the accordion for two Irish dancing competitions. This may strike some as odd but, to be honest, I cannot think of a better way of describing what my sense of priesthood is: my duty is to help others do what they love. So I play the music for people to dance, just as I pray and celebrate the sacraments in order that women and men can be good disciples.

Though if I may, a moment of venting.

So, I'm going to celebrate Mass at the feis (Irish dancing competition) this weekend. I have hosts, chalice, paten, linens, alb, a beautiful chasuble (Thanks to Laureen O'Neill-James) and stole (Thanks to Mary Bryan and Tommy Blake). I have a bottle of approved wine, two cruets, and a nice candle stand.

Finding a nice candle, however, was damned near impossible. For sure, I wasn't going to buy a Yankee Candle Company candle: they are really expensive and while they make the bathroom smell great, they're hardly what I would want on the altar. I went to a bunch of different stores trying to find a suitable candle, but it was really difficult.

I think I finally settled on a candle that has a slight sandalwood odor. Pleasant and not overpowering. Jesus wore sandals and the cross was made of wood, and he was a carpenter, so I figure this is the best. It beats "Orange Blossom Almond Hurricane" or "Lemon Sage Pine Delight" in terms of simplicity.

It's been a big week and I still marvel at the sense of peace and joy I feel. Please keep me in your prayers. And, if ever you are so moved, feel free to contact me to do memorial masses: I plan on celebrating the Eucharist daily and would be honored to remember your loved ones, or your intentions, at Mass.


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