My Lent 2019 Book List Plans

Is this the year you really want to dive into Lent? Do you want to come out of this Lenten Season and truly feel that you've had a small share of living in the desert with Christ for 40 days? I know that I do. Maybe it's an upcoming birthday that's making me have more of a now-or-never type of attitude towards Lent. Or maybe I just acutely feel the necessity of truly modeling this for my children, and living it with my husband. Whatever it is, these are the books and resources I'm going to use this Lent to really LIVE the season from Ash Wednesday all the way through to Easter Vigil. Look them over. If something looks helpful to you, use it. If it inspires you, go with it. I hope all of these bless and encourage you.

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On losing a former pastor - Father McDonough

My former pastor, Father McDonough, passed away last evening. I'm not sure how old he was but the diocese web sites says he started his first assignment as parochial vicar in 1950. He was the pastor of the parish I have been in for the last 30 years, during the crucial time Mr. Pete and I were reverting back to our Catholic faith and having babies. He was always friendly and gentle with us and he made it easy for us to start coming to church every Sunday as a couple, and then with little babies and toddlers. By the time he left, I was the mother of three little boys, ages 6, 3 and newborn.

It's funny how little things stay in your mind about someone, but my favorite memory of Father McDonough involves a very small gesture.

At his farewell mass, someone (I think it was the parish school) gave him a beautiful stole vestment. They presented it to him after the final blessing and he promptly put it on and wore it as he joined the procession recessing back down the aisle.

I was standing in the cry room with my little boys, holding the 3 year old up so that he could witness everything, and when Father McDonough passed by the glass, he stopped and held up his stole for me to see it. He stopped for ME to see it. He stopped for ME - the mother in the cry room with three noisy little boys - as if it was important that I see that stole and nod my appreciation and approval. I don't know why that meant so much to me, but that little acknowledgement certainly did.

I look forward to listening to every one else's memories of this kind priest at his funeral next week.