It used to be that waiting was so difficult, but with each passing year, I'm finding this season of anticipation to be filled with joy, so, today's quick takes are all about recent joys in my life. I pray that your Advent is off to a joyful start as well!
1. I often hear people talking about their baptismal dates and I had no clue when I was baptized. So I began looking through the records and found that I was baptized on December 12, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Sacred Heart parish in Manitowoc, WI. But what really impressed me was the name of the priest who baptized me: Fr. Claude LeClair! Claude is not a very common name and I was struck by the similarity to St. Claude de la Columbierre-one of my favorite saints for his part in promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus! I believe that is a clear sign from God that from the very beginning of my life I was meant to have a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus!
2. Our dentist is amazing! We first met Dr. Baggott and his wife, Marion, when I was pregnant with John and they were the teachers for our baptism class. Their son is now a dentist as well, and Marion works as the receptionist in their office so the family works together. Their dental skills are amazing but their people skills and their faith are even more amazing. They always let me schedule a group appointment for our whole family which is very convenient, but more than that, they take our faith into account when scheduling appointments. Our next appointment is coming up on December 8th and Marion was sure to mention that they would have us out in time to attend the 7 PM Holy Day Mass for the Immaculate Conception. What other dentist would even realize that December 8th is a Holy Day and care enough to make sure that their patients get to Mass?
3. How are you doing with the Missal changes? I'm loving the new prayers, although not a single daily Mass has gone by where I haven't flubbed the new wording somehow and ended up praying some type of hybrid prayer such as "And also with your spirit!" Last week I beamed with pride as my daughter had the honor of presenting one of the new missals to Fr. Dave for his blessing upon it at the all-school Mass. Although the school children have been well-catechized about the changes (my daughter was even working on memorizing the new creed, mistakenly believing that she was responsible to know it by heart already) I think they could have used a bit more educating about the name "missal". Mary thought that she had been asked to carry a weapon of destruction (missile) to the altar instead of a book of prayer! :)
Today as Jack and Mary and I were seated in the front of church for Mass and I watched Fr. Paul as he paged through the missal, I noticed some colorful artwork inside. I'd love to have an opportunity to page through the book myself someday!
4. The Salzmann Library at St. Francis de Sales Seminary continues to be a great resource for my spiritual education! I had wanted a copy of Fr. Robert Barron's Catholicism, but the price was pretty steep for my pocket book. How wonderful that Kathy and Mark, the librarians, were able to set aside a copy for me so that I could watch it without cost! I highly recommend that you pay a visit to this powerhouse of spiritual materials if you are in the Milwaukee area!
5. Speaking of Catholicism, have you had a chance to watch it yet? It is amazing! I was most touched by the episodes on the Blessed Mother and the saints, yet every episode was equally good! The episode about the saints was especially moving to me because of the particular saints that Fr. Barron highlighted including St. Katherine Drexel and St. Theresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). My friend Karinann at Daughter of the King prays for heavenly guidance as she chooses a saint to become a companion to those who desire a year-long friendship with a special saint. Last year Karinann informed me that Edith Stein had chosen to accompany me through 2011 and for 2012 my special heavenly friend will be St. Katherine Drexel. It was a thrill to hear Fr. Barron speak about these two amazing women who are now so spiritually close to me!
If you would like Karinann to ask a saint to accompany you during 2012, just visit her blog and leave her a comment. I'm sure she will be very happy to find a spiritual companion for you!
6. One of my favorite places is St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee, not only because of its historical significance in naturally beautiful surroundings, but also because of the good work that is done there in forming men for the priesthood. Recently a local news channel ran a great story about the seminary featuring two fabulous seminarians, Patrick Burns and Philip Shumaker, as well as Patrick's brother, Fr. John Burns. Although the headline was a bit negative, the men in the story only gleamed positive. Check it out here.
7. Finally, a visit to the Deacon's Bench this morning made me smile! I enjoyed watching this video , Bethlehemian Rhapsody, so much that I re-played for each of my children as they woke this morning and we all started our day with joy. Maybe you'll enjoy it as well
Visit Jennifer Fulwiler's Conversion Diary for more quick takes.