Sunday, June 13, 2010

Ordered by grace

Our school finished this week, and I think the County schools will be done in a few days. Once that happens, things get quiet around here. That’s fine; quiet is good.

It will be more quiet than usual here, because we will not be having a summer seminarian assigned to us. No, it is not because of any shortage; we actually have a lot of seminarians studying for us, thanks be to God. Rather, I asked for a break this summer. I know you have gotten used to meeting our future priests as they help out around here for a few months of the summer, but I was looking for a quieter house this time. Don’t worry – they’ll be back.

Speaking of being back, our seminarian is back – at least he is supposed to be. Patrick Lewis, who has been studying at the North American College in Rome for two years, flew home last weekend. I haven’t seen him yet; probably sleeping off jet lag and exams. He’ll be assigned in some parish this summer (never the home parish), but we’ll doubtless see him around here sometime. Keep him in your prayers as he continues to grow into his vocation.

From among our homegrown vocations, this weekend we are blessed to have Fr. Brian Kane visiting us for a while before he heads off to serve as a chaplain to troops serving in Iraq. He is living proof that priests do come from among the people of Saint Bernadette. There are several others, though we don’t see them often.

Off the top of my head, besides Fr. Kane, they are Fr. Gregory Coyne, of the prelature of Opus Dei, Fr. David Meng, across the river in the Diocese of Arlington, Father George Zahn, down in the Diocese of Richmond, and our own Father Walter Tappe, here in the Archdiocese, right over at Saint Hugh in Greenbelt. All nurtured here, at Saint Bernadette, all fed on the Holy Eucharist from our altar.

Now we hope young Patrick will soon join their number (2012, anyone?), but we are already looking for the ones who will follow him. I know you’re out there!

(Deacon) Justin Huber, who was assigned here for the summer of 2008, has sent to the entire parish an invitation to his ordination to the Holy Priesthood next Saturday. Archbishop Wuerl will be ordaining him and seven other men that day, and there will be much rejoicing. Keep Justin and all of the ordinands in your prayers, and come if you can – and bring your kids to see it!

I am a little breathless right now. It’s been quite the run -- from Ash Wednesday through Lent, across Easter, all the way up to the Big Events of First Communion and graduations, and winding up with the big feasts of Pentecost, Trinity Sunday, and Corpus Christi. So, here we have our first green Sunday since early February, and everything is Ordinary again, and what is there to say about that? Aaaah……

Welcome to what I pray will be a blessed summer for us all.

Monsignor Smith

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