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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday with A Benedictine Monk and More

Good Sunday, everyone! Hope and pray that everything  is alright and well with you, dear folks and friends. May God bless us all!

My prayer thoughts for today, Sunday: Thank you, Dear Lord, for I'm alive and well. Thank you so much for all your goodness and blessings. I ask your forgiveness for my sins. Make me an instrument of thy Love and Peace. Help me to do your will. Amen.

Well, here's my Sunday story...My wife and I participated in today's Mass at St. Paul's Catholic Church where we're scheduled to do volunteer work as Extraordinary Ministers for Holy Communion. Our assignment today was to do Host B (she) and C (that's me), that is to administer or distribute the Eucharist (the consecrated or sanctified Body of Jesus Christ) to our fellow parishioners.

As usual, we prayed, professed our faith, worshiped Almighty God, our Heavenly Father and His Begotten Son, Jesus Christ; sang church hymns and songs, listened to the Scripture readings and the Holy Gospel, and our pastor/priest's homily (or sermon), and received the "Body" and "Blood" of Christ, with the faithful members of the congregation, and visitors/guests of the parish, if any, and we gave thanks to Our Heavenly Father for all His grace and blessings.

A visiting priest, Rev. Fr. Paschal, a Benedictine monk, celebrated the Mass with us today. He had a lively and inspiring homily. Observably, I found him to be an excellent preacher. From him, we learned that one of our two priests/pastors in our four clustered parishes was out of town. That's Rev. Fr. Chris H, our parochial vicar, who is on vacation.

At church, we had an opportunity to see and talk to our friends, Mike, Myrna, Jenny and her two-year old daughter Emily. Just after the Mass, that is. We also did shake hands with our visiting priest-celebrant, Rev. Fr. Paschal, who was in front of the church, after the Mass. We did continue our brief conversation with the Rileys, after the Mass, by the facade or outside of the church building. Likewise, we did say Hi to our fellow parishioners, like Jim and Martha, as they were coming out of the church. Moreover, we engaged in a brief talk with a  couple of black women who were dressed up and still outside talking with their friends, too.

After Sunday Mass at St. Paul's Catholic Church, my wife and I went to pick up our young adult daughter Tintin and her Aunt Rose, my sis-in-law, who accompanied her to play piano for church services at a Baptist church in neighboring city. We, two, decided to just leave our van in front of St. Paul's. BTW (or by the way), earlier this morning, my wife gave a ride to the two to the Baptist church (while I was still at home preparing myself for the Mass. And yes, I had to drive our van alone to the church today.) As you may know, my wife and I agreed to just meet/see each other in church, hopefully before the start of Mass. That happened, thanks to God! We didn't encounter any busy traffic along the way. We almost arrived to St. Paul's at the same time, twenty minutes before the start of Mass. That's amazing.

Back to St. Paul's at the place where I parked and left our van, from that Baptist Church in another city, I drove our van, alone again, while my wife drove our mid-size car with Tintin and Rose. We all agreed to meet at one of our favorite Sunday hang-outs, after Mass, Seafood Restaurant in Chesapeake. Apparently, we almost arrived there again at the same time, but without Rose because she's already at her part-time work. According to my wife, she dropped her sister off to her work already because it's almost 1:00 p.m., her time to report or start work there. Anyway, she thought of just dropping by her sister's to give the latter's packed lunch. That is after our lunch at Seafood's.

While at Seafood's, my wife Freny, daughter Tintin, and I met Betty, happenstance. The latter was also there  to dine, alone. She overheard us talking with two of the regulars there at Seafood's, Mark and his wife whom we've become acquainted with each other. They just had lunch and were getting ready to leave the place. (We exchanged pleasantries and Mark's wife even commented that she likes my tie.) We were talking about churches, telling them that we had two separate vehicles out today because of our two separate church schedules. That's when Betty got in to our conversation, just as the couple were on their way out. She told us she was looking for a Christian church in the area. That opportune moment, we invited her to and mentioned our Catholic church. We also mentioned the Christian church where our daughter Tintin plays piano for the church services there every other Sunday. Since Tintin forgot the address of that church, she called the pastor. She graciously informed the pastor that there's a woman we've just met today who was looking for a Christian church to go and worship. Eventually, Tintin gave her cell phone to Betty and the two (Betty and the pastor) started talking.

In the course of our friendly and animated conversation with Betty who sat on another table next to us, while enjoying our food, we got to know more about Betty. And she got to know more about us, too. We found out that she's from the same subdivision where we live. Betty, now 72, said that she's staying with one of her eldest military sons and his family, after losing her husband. She informed us that she has seven children, with over twenty grandchildren. She mentioned about her family and their "make out" experiences in different parts of the country, notably their long driving to Alaska. She used to be an elementary and middle teacher, she said. And she had a stint, too, at Samaritan House. Now, she admitted, her work involves helping out her Navy son and his family at home.

Betty thanked us and we did the same when she was leaving Seafood's. She seemed to be bubbly and a very good conversationalist. Imagine, we've talked about our subdivision and a couple of its rules and regulations that we're critical about. Especially the annual increase of our monthly Homeowner's Association dues or fees but at the same time the stagnant or decrease of services that our Association provides for the residents in general.

My dear folks and friends, we never expected to meet someone like Betty. But it happened today. At Seafood's, of all places. Our meeting and interaction today was sort of convivial and personally interesting. I believe, we shared that one commonality, like everybody else who shares our family values---our being human, respectful, and understanding of others, irrespective of our race, color, culture, religion, belief, etc.

Well, this is all for now. Until next time around. Take care and have a blessed day, everyone! May God bless us all!-chris a. quilpa, 16Sept2012

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