11/27/2016-"Summoning us to the Glory of now being called a Chosen Race, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation to proclaim everywhere Your Mighty Works!"

     As I look back with the eyes of faith on my life as a disciple of Jesus, my heart overflows with praise and gratitude for the Lord's goodness, faithfulness, and mercy. My journey to the priesthood as a Diocesan priest passed through the beautiful and rich tradition of the Benedictines. The thirteen years I spent striving to follow Jesus as a Benedictine Monk remain a source of blessing for my discipleship and my priesthood today! When guests and pilgrims came to visit the birthplace of St. Benedict and St. Scholastica in Norcia, Italy, they would ask questions about what monks do. To some, our life didn't seem to be "useful" to the Church or society at large: we spent most of our day in prayer and we didn't leave the monastery. So, I turned to Jesus and asked Him to give me an image of the life of a monk that His people could understand and grasp the importance of the monastic vocation. What follows is the image Jesus gave me.

WE ARE CALLED TO SERVE OUR KING! Our world leaders have many people whose lives are totally dedicated to their service: from high level assistants and aids to those who take care of the more menial tasks. Jesus is our King! He is Lord of Heaven and earth. He is King of the universe. Isn't it fitting that there are religious men and women who leave everything to follow and serve Him! As monks, we lived in the King's palace. We served our King. Eight times a day we stood "in court" before our King to both praise Him and bring the needs and cries of His people and the world before His presence. Our celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was beautiful, majestic, worthy of the awesome dignity of our King.

ENHANCING OUR ALTAR SERVER PROGRAM TO INSPIRE GOD'S HOLY PEOPLE! Here at St. Louise, as disciples of Jesus, we too share in the Kingly office of Jesus: we are God's royal priesthood! Over the past few months, working together with Br. John, Tommy and Mr. Matt Lickey, we have been investing time, energy and resources to enhance our altar server program. When our children serve at the altar, their disposition and their service ought to inspire the faithful to imitate their love and reverence. Our children's' service ought to proclaim: what is taking place here in our sanctuary is holy! Jesus is proclaiming the Good News to us from the Ambo and He is offering the One Sacrifice of His Body and Blood at the altar. You'll notice that at the 10am and 12 Noon Holy Masses that there will be groups of four servers at each Holy Mass. This allows the youth of our parish to be more involved in serving our King with reverence and devotion. Two servers will be carrying torches (candles), one server will serve as the master of ceremonies and the other server will serve as the Cross and Book bearer. The boys and young men will be dressed in the traditional black cassock and surplice while the young ladies will be vested in the white albs. I am confident that all the hard work we've put into enhancing our altar server program will be good for our parish, will inspire other children to want to serve, and will help us worship with the reverence and love that is fitting for those serving the King of the Universe! I am very grateful to Tommy Francis as he has spent many hours together with me working on enhancing our altar server program! Please support and encourage the youth of our parish as they embrace with diligence the awesome task of serving at the altar!

Have a blessed week and remember to pray for one another.