Please allow me to take this chance to thank so many of you for the outpouring of support and solidarity this past week in the wake of the death of little Peter Francis Flynn. I was amazed at how much was offered by so many.
So many people, seemingly from different stripes or segments of the parish, took the time and made the effort to join the Flynns in prayer and help them with the logistical challenges. Looking around the church on Monday morning I just could not help but be moved by your goodness and generosity. I have no doubt that Danny, Kari, and all their family find great help, encouragement, and grace in you and your love for them.
The stripes and segments that I think we all see in the parish, for lack of better terms, yield to unity in the face not only of tragedy and grief, but moreso in the faith and hope that bind us.
We have grown accustomed to the ability in our day to prevent and avoid and repair and remedy so many, many hurtful things. We fall into the expectation of having some recourse that our connections or technology or government can use to “fix” whatever ails us. It is instructive that events that leave us inarguably helpless, such as this one, bring us so unanimously to our one true help: our faith that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, and by our Baptism, so are we.
So thank God for the many graces God shed in our lives over these days, and let us pray that He continue to be so extravagant in his blessings, especially to the Flynns and all of us who love them.
If you see Fr. McDonell this weekend, wish him well; he is off to Michigan and home for the summer! I will miss him, not only because of how he spoils me with his cooking. He has had a rough semester, though, and needs to run away and recoup.
This weekend begins the term of our summer seminarian. As in most years, one of the men preparing to be a priest for our Archdiocese is assigned here for eight weeks, to give him experience “in the field.” Unlike our school-year seminarians (most recently Deacon Corey Krengiel) from Mount St. Mary’s Seminary, he is to be here throughout that period, not only on weekends, so he can encounter the full rhythm of parish life and rectory life; and he is “one of ours,” a Washington man, so he gets a chance to know the people, places, and priests who will be a part of the rest of his life.
Keith Burney just finished his Second Theology year at Theological College here in Washington, at Catholic University. He is from St. John parish in Hollywood, Maryland, in St. Mary’s County. Other than that, I do not know him yet; like you, I look forward to having the chance to do so over the coming weeks. I hope you get a chance to say hello to him after your Mass this weekend, and to visit with him during coming days.