A mixed day, a farewell to Archbishop Patricio Flores.

A mixed day, a farewell to Archbishop Patricio Flores.

–Written the evening Archbishop Flores was burried.  Due to a glitch, or operator error this never published, so very late, it is published.

A mixed day, a farewell to Archbishop Patricio Flores is bitter sweet.  He wasn’t himself, yet now he is again whole.  To all accounts he was an amazing man that was unable to speak Spanish except in confession during his first assignment and then was ordained the first Mexican-American Bishop.  A priest for the poor, his family picked cotton and he would say he was a cotton picking bishop.  His sense of humor was one of many great qualities.

I could write a months worth a blogs on the man we bury today, but I don’t think he wants that.  His life focused on the poor and the building of the kingdom.  His stories and his music might someday be forgotten, but the courage of Archbishop Patricio Flores can never be forgotten.  The courage to be exactly who God created him.  Always simple & humble and he knew from an early age that God had called him to be a priest and against most odds, he got there.  Even as a famous Archbishop he seemed to always see himself as a everyday priest.

I hope as we celebrate his life tomorrow and inter him into the earth that everyone remembers that he is whole again.  He is cooking, singing and loving life!  Our challenge, I hope, for each of us to remember that we are all called to bring the message he constantly proclaimed in word in song to all those we encounter.  Archbishop Patricio Flores was an amazing cook and host.  He loved the poor and was constantly helping his priests help the poor.  Spreading the Gospel was his life!  Going forward, I believe he wants us all to do just that; spread the Gospel in all that we do!

In Short

Thanks for all you taught me, I miss you Archbishop!

Confirmation – Something New for this Priest to Ponder!

Confirmation – Something new for this priest to ponder!

Confirmation is something new for me to ponder!  Sunday for the first time as the presider, I had the privilege to confirm 57 young people.  I have had the bad luck to hear some of the worst confirmation homilies of all time.  I’ve watched bishops warn young people about the dangers of sex, masturbation and porn in a way that gives them a road map to all these things.

Where my family lives was among the worst.  My brother even sent me a list of gifts of the holy spirit and social justice issues to help prepare my homily.  He did this having had to sit through some of the same, ick.  I reminded him that I only had 45 minutes for this.  I better would stick with the tried and true.

After our laugh, I started to think, what the heck can I say that will reach these sophomores on a hot Sunday afternoon.  After some thought and prayer, I left the readings behind and went with the fact that we are created in the image and likeness of God.  I talked about my struggles and leave of absence and told them life can get hard, but with the gifts of Grace from the Sacraments, we can conquer anything.    I reminded them that God made them exactly as they were on purpose!  Each created to show a different aspect of who our God is to the world.  It was a good B+ homily, but nothing compared to what came next.

Renewing our baptismal promises, every question met with a strong response of, I DO!  The confirmation followed.  I had always wondered how Archbishop Gustavo could preside at over 120 confirmations a year and be so good at it.  Looking up for the first time, no more, mission accomplished, 57 newly confirmed, wow.  I figured we were half way, but we were finished!  What an amazingly intimate moment of grace with our youth.

In Short…

Until yesterday, there was nothing about being a dean that I would miss.  Now when this job is finished, I will greatly miss the privilege of confirming our youth.  From the beginning to the end, it was amazing.

Sitting vs Kneeling vs Standing Until Everyone has Received Communion

Sitting vs Kneeling vs Standing Until Everyone has Received Communion

—Reposting as article changed its URL

If I had known the headache my request to try standing after communion for a few months was going to create, I probably would have decided to wait, maybe for ever.  This is an extra to help clarify.  (I hope)

Here is another priests take on the same question:

Maybe this will help.  Thanks Gigi for finding this!

Catholic Schools, Youth Groups and almost 30 years of Priesthood!

Catholic Schools, Youth Groups and

almost 30 years of Priesthood!

Today, on paper, is my day off.  I started the day with a few school issues, had a funeral, dropped in on the diocesan counselor that are visiting our students to asses some issues, worked on relocating WiFi controller and confirmed 92.  The only bad part of the day happened when counselors from Dept. of Catholic schools informed me that the process to eradicate bullying takes up to 3 years.  Seriously, I don’t have that time I want it done now.  I spend some time thinking of 30 years of Catholic Schools, Youth Groups and Almost years of Priesthood and had another sad realization.

I was asked as a baby priest preparing for World Youth Day in Denver, what the hardest part of dealing with youth was and without really thinking just said their parents.  Before I’m compared to a salamander again, let me make a few things clear.  Most kids in Catholic programs either schools or youth group come from amazing families.  That said there is a small number who drop off their kids and expect us to make them Catholic.  We never see them on weekends and they don’t understand why it isn’t working.  I really don’t see that working ever.

I put on Facebook over the weekend that I wanted to find a way to get parents who wanted their kids at our school to agree to a app store password that only parents knew, no snap-chat or other like program, and regularly checking your kid’s phones.  Not easy, but in my mind essential  We have to assure the safety of our young.  I can’t find any reason snap-chat has enough value to be an under 18 or even 21 game.

In short:

Our school needs and students deserve a whole community that is aware and working to eradicate bullying.   Working together.  Parents need to remember that they are the adult and not the friend.  Kids have friends at school and if they don’t us being their friend isn’t going to help.  Our kids need adults making good choices, enforcing tough rules and insuring our kids get the education and formation they deserve.