From the Pastor: Not a Typical Week
This atypical week is a busy one. Not that the others aren’t busy or are all the same, mind you, but this one...well...you’ll see. First of all, Carmen, who runs the office, is out for some unknown number of weeks as she recovers from shoulder surgery. It is an old war injury which has bothered her since the Civil War. No, wait, she will kill me if I tell a whopper that big. Her rotator cuff is worn out from her years of pitching in the women’s professional baseball league during WWII, like you might have seen in the movie “League of their own” quite some time back. Ooops, that still makes her too old. It’s a good thing she is off so she will never see this article! However it happened, she need corrective surgery of some sort and the doctor evidently prescribed two months recuperation in Hawaii sipping pina coladas on a beach. Oh, wait, that was what the doctor planned on doing for his post-surgery recuperation. Or something like that. (I sure hope her doctor isn’t one of my parishioners. Then again, Doc, if you are reading this, you might want to take along your pastor--you know, for spiritual reasons--so line up a couple of your most lucrative surgeries so that I can tag along!) To make a long story shorter than I would normally tell it, Carmen is out of the office for a month or two so if you need anything, be sure to call or stop in early in the day when Kim and/or volunteers are holding down the fort.
Tuesday night we have our Fathers/Sons Rays baseball outing. It obviously doesn’t take up much of my day Tuesday but it will keep me out way past my bedtime, so penitents at Wednesday morning’s confessions are either going to get off easy because I will be too tired to come up with any penance beyond “three Hail Mary’s” or they are going to encounter a tired, crabby confessor, in which case they will still be doing their penance by the time everybody else gathers in the social hall for our Wednesday night potluck.
Two evenings later is our now famous 3rd Friday “Family Rosary and Game night.” That’s right, bring your family and neighbors, your favorite game, perhaps snacks and drinks to share, and, of course, your rosary. We officially get underway at 6:30, play and chat and eat and drink for a while, then take a break to pray the rosary, then continue with the festivities once again. It is a great way of meeting new parishioners, of kids getting to know one another, and of families really enjoying “family time.” It is a time when at least this little part of town becomes more like what both Epiphany and Tampa were back when Epiphany first became a parish, when it was expected that social life revolved around the parish and that prayer was a big part of every social event.
During the week both of my sisters have wedding anniversaries. That doesn’t make my life any busier or affect the parish in any known way, but I am proud of the fact that both of my sisters married in the church (and are still married!), are striving for holiness themselves and are trying their best to make their respective families into Saintly ones. So please say a prayer for both of them.
Early Friday afternoon I am flying up to Traverse City, Michigan, to attend the priestly ordination of my cousin, Christopher Jarvis. He is the youngest cousin of my generation and, by the time he popped out, his mom (my mom’s younger sister) must have figured out that if she wanted to raise a Saint she needed only to look to see how my mom had raised me. All right, anyone who has ever spent any time listening to my mom’s stories (tales which grow taller with every telling) knows that that’s not true. Christopher was a better kid than my mom even prayed that I would become and, from what I can see, he will be, from day one, a better priest than I have ever dreamt of becoming. Please pray for him and for his holy Priesthood.
And finally, I will return in time for the early morning Mass on Father’s Day so that I can be present at the special 10:30 Mass celebrated by Canon Jean-Baptiste Commins, who was recently ordained in Florence, Italy by Cardinal Burke for the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, and is now stationed in Saint Louis Missouri at the Saint Francis de Sales Oratory. I will let him (or his family members who attend Epiphany) tell the rest of his story. It will help if you speak French, though! And how do you like the title, “Canon” instead of “Father”? Pretty spiffy, huh? I wonder if it comes from the forcefulness of the Catholic preaching in his order...
With prayers for your holiness,
Fr. Edwin Palka