BISHOP LYNCH’S TOP TEN THANKSGIVING LIST
All right, so its not exactly an original idea but I always learned that “imitation is the highest form of flattery” so I hope David Letterman does not take offense. With this special holiday approaching I was thinking of the top ten things for which I should be most thankful this Thanksgiving. And here they are but NOT in the order of importance or priority in my life – some things need to be more closely held, after all.
10. The initial success of the diocesan wide “Living Eucharist” initiative and for those who helped me shape, form and present the case to all our diocesan family. At the end of the first year, it is now clear that it is beginning to take hold, effect results, and has been gratefully and well received.
9. The end of the political campaign of 2008. No matter how it turned out I just wanted it over. It took too long, cost too much and was too ugly.
8. The successful battle with cancer so far waged by Monsignor Robert Gibbons, Father Joel Kovanis, my dearest and best friend, Kevin Farrell, and the gifted women and men in the medical profession who helped them back to good health. I also thank the Lord for the remarkable recovery to date of Monsignor Jaime Lara from his stroke this Fall.
7. My brother priests of this diocese who with the assistance of countless deacons, religious, and laity proclaim by word and example that Christ lives among us today in sacrament and in each other. This Fall has been particularly touching to me as the priests and I have been spending time with each other together. I think they know by now how much I love them and how much I thank God for them.
6. My immediate staff at the Pastoral Center who put up with me day after day and somehow manage to continue to support and affirm me and assist me in the governance of the diocese. Their work is not easy and their burdens not exactly light but they carry on because they love the Church.
5. Tim and Jim, my brothers, and Elizabeth, Chris and Julie his wife, my niece and nephew, and little Michael, my grand nephew. The larger family is diminishing in number each year it seems but the younger members assure us that our tradition and history will live on.
4. God’s people in the Diocese of St. Petersburg who continue even after thirteen years to welcome me, sustain me, listen to me, teach me, lead me and guide me and whose example of holy and Christian living sometimes puts me to shame.
3. Dear friends who pick me up when I am down, share table and life experiences with me often, tolerate my moods, anticipate my needs, pray for me often and love me in spite of my faults and failings.
2. My priestly and episcopal ministry which while always challenging has become less burdensome and more joyful in recent years – it is a privilege to serve the Church and the people of God.
1. My Catholic faith, gift of God and my parents, and perhaps one of the few things in life which like a good wine gets better with age. More and more I do believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ His only son, our Lord.
Happy Thanksgiving to all who read this blog. Things quiet down this week-end so I will be blogging again sometime next week with thoughts on Advent 2008. Watch for an announcement which I hope will be both exciting and helpful sometime next week,
Bishop Robert N. Lynch