Yesterday was our Bless-the-Baby-Jesus mass for the preschool. At the end of mass, all the children came up to the front of the Church and got ready to bless their baby Jesus figurines individually. It was then that we heard a CRASH! – one little boy had dropped his porcelain baby Jesus on the floor! He immediately burst into tears and ran to his mom.
The funny thing was that I had just used the prayer of blessing from a children’s book called “Bambinelli Sunday: a Christmas Blessing”, which is all about a little boy who drops his own baby Jesus figurine before he can bring it to Rome to be blessed by the Pope. And even more helpful, some friends of mine had just given me my own baby Jesus figurine, a little wooden one, which I was able to loan to my forlorn little friend. Once he had quieted down, we read him the story and he managed to smile.
Everything ended well, and who knows, maybe some super glue will make his baby Jesus come to life again!
Tomorrow I head to Rome with 26 pilgrims for our annual Family Pilgrimage. Can’t wait! Some of the highlights will be mass December 6th at the chapel of San Pellegrino in Vaticano, oldest church in Vatican City and the site of my first mass as a priest. I wrote about a powerful experience I had there: http://www.cblstones.com/2014/12/remembering-year-ago-today.html .
We will have mass the next day at the tomb of Saint Pope John Paul II. I have always wanted to celebrate mass there, I owe so much to him! Usually you have to reserve his altar months in advance, but I sent an email the other day and they had a slot open exactly when we wanted to come. God is good!
The Jubilee year of Mercy will start December 8th, and we will be there with Pope Francis. It will be the beginning of a whole year where we can celebrate in an extra-special way the mercy of God our Father.
There’s a lot more, you can follow our itinerary here: http://romepilgrimage.weebly.com/
I also wanted to let you know my own needs, in case you feel called to help. Would you be willing to support my ministry? I receive a part-time salary ($12,000), which pays for a little over half of my yearly expenses. Healthcare, transportation, clothes, food, and other supplies cost me about $22,000 a year. Would you please ask Jesus what he would have you do to support my mission as a priest and missionary? You can donate, pray, or even get something – like handkerchiefs – for me off my wishlist!
My Amazon wishlist is: https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1LMTSLHHX9BN8/ref=cm_sw_su_w
You can make a tax-deductible donation to my religious community here in Cincinnati via our website http://www.ohiolc.com/support-us.html , or send a check to
LC Pastoral Services
8162 Chestershire Drive
Cincinnati, OH 45241
You and your loved ones will be in my prayers this Advent, and especially as I visit the holy places in Rome and Assisi!
May God bless you abundantly!!!!