It’s Time to Think Spring and Reflect.

 

Spring break provides rare time for reflection. As the warm weather finally breaks into the bleakness of winter, we find an ideal time to reflect on what lies ahead for our parishioners, ministry team, students and staff.  While snow and cold may be still lingering at the beginning of this month, soon the warm weather will manage to get here in time for outdoor activities and travel to be enjoyed.  I trust that all will return refreshed and energized for a strong finish to the cold weather and allow God to come in His fullness as this year’s early Easter helps us to renew our faith.

As we begin to think of warmer weather, your ministry team and leadership boards have been busy planning for spring events! You can learn all about them in a post card that will be handed out and mailed to your homes! (If you wish for an early preview, just visit our communications site by Clicking Here!) As we bring about the many plans, we also now need to pause and think about what the parish means to us and how we can support the work and mission of God’s holy church. So, we fully begin Stewardship this week! A time of reflection and thinking in the midst of Lent and a time of commitment to Christ for all we have been so generously given.

On Sunday, in our Second Reading, we will hear once again from St. Paul where he reminds us, “So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

There are two important points intended for us in those two sentences, especially during our time of Lent and stewardship. First, we are to be “ambassadors on behalf of Christ.”  Then, as now when Paul first spoke these words, an ambassador was one who represented a ruler, at that time most likely a king, in dealing with others. Paul’s meaning is simple: we are called to represent our King, the Lord, here and now in our dealings with others. We represent Jesus!  As such, we need to recognize both that fact and the responsibility which goes with it. It is what being a good steward means — someone who is placed in charge of gifts which come to us from God and which are to be used in God’s behalf. That should be part of our Lenten efforts.

The second sentence reminds us that we need to be reconciled with God. Note that it does not say that God is to be reconciled with us. This duty lies with us and needs to be precipitated by us. At this time as Easter approaches, reconciliation-confession is important and necessary. At a recent general audience Pope Francis declared, “I can’t be baptized two or three or four time, but I can go to confession often and regularly, and when I go to confession, I renew the grace of Baptism.”

Join us this Sunday as we begin another exciting journey – together – and watch how God brings us home to something more exciting than we ever could dream!
 
 


As Critical and as Precious as Blood.

 

I am away. I am supposed to be relaxing and finding a way to strengthen myself so that I can continue to lead. Everyone needs a little down time to rejuvenate their batteries and become whole and energized again. Instead I am worried about how giving is off and contributions are lower than expected. It is not only unconscionable it is sad. Look at all that we have; all that God has given us and we should all be running forward to support the work and mission of our parish. We are living within an actual miracle and yet so many hold back and fail to see what is right before them. This might even make some sense if it were not for the fact that we have been talking of stewardship for the last two weeks. Plenty of time to get your house in order, say a prayer, figure out your giving level, and get to the work of setting up an eGiving weekly or monthly donation to support the work of God and the Church.

In my absence this Sunday, you will hear in the Old Testament Reading, for the Third Sunday of Lent, the beautiful narrative of Moses and the Burning Bush. Like many readings which we hear throughout our lives, this is an image and a story with which most of us are familiar, but we can find through Moses’ experience a stewardship message for each of us.

You see, as Moses approaches the bush, God calls out “Moses, Moses!” The fact that the Lord repeats Moses’ name gives the situation a sense of urgency. Perhaps God feels the same sense of urgency in relation to each of us. God calls us, and He calls us by name, but too often we do not hear, or we do not pay attention. Probably most often we are not even listening.

The second aspect of stewardship indicated in this passage from Holy Scripture is found in God’s next statement, “Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.”  Removing sandals was an act of respect, a sign of humility. To fully live lives of stewardship requires these traits from each of us — to be alert and aware that God is speaking to us, but we must listen, and to live our lives, especially our stewardship lives, with a sense of humility. That is, after all, how we really show love for our God and for one another.

While I am away, take some burden away and make a donation to support us and set up your eGiving account for our annual stewardship campaign by Clicking Here.

Your giving is as critical and as precious as blood to the life of the church.

 


We Are Lent. We Are Stewards.

 
Each liturgical year, on the Second Sunday of Lent, our Gospel reading recounts what we call the Transfiguration of Christ. On the First Sunday (last week) we heard one of the accounts of Jesus’ temptations in the desert. There is a reason we hear the Gospels in this particular order. Last week we were informed of the temptations that await us, especially during this Holy Lenten period, and this week, together on Sunday, we will once again encounter the way to overcome these temptations.
 
The word “transfiguration” comes from the Latin trans, which means “across” and figura, meaning “form” or “shape.” It signifies a change of form or appearance, and this is exactly what happened to Jesus as His appearance changed and became something glorious.
 
The description of the Transfiguration occurs once again in all three Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). This is yet another proclamation of the Lord’s divinity and each of us is invited, just as Peter, James, and John were, to become a part of the experience. We are called to conversion and to be living witnesses of the truth.
 
I believe that in the end, that is what Lent should be all about for us. A time of transfiguration and change, where we should become something different at the end of the Lenten journey. That is also the point of stewardship message that we began last week: we all need to strive for conversion, for grasping the hope offered by Christ. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, “At His Transfiguration Christ showed His disciples the splendor of His beauty, to which He will shape and color those who are His.” This Lent, we should all pause and ask ourselves, “Are we really His?”
 
In her famous poem, Messenger, the poet Mary Oliver writes: “My work is loving the world.”  And that is why these forty days of Lent provide us all with a marvelous opportunity to reevaluate the nature of our life’s “work.”  Being reminded to take a meaningful and substantive spiritual “pause” in our lives for forty days is a gift in itself! Sometimes, we all have good intentions to improve our lives, but we often put it off.  Lent begins by reminding us of the brevity of our lives, and then presents us with the immediacy of forty days to focus more intensely on our life in Christ. This is the first critical step toward embracing Christian stewardship as a way of life. We now, once again, have the wonderful opportunity to examine our lives and vocations, as well as our strengths, weaknesses, needs, desires, and temptations and place it all at the for of the One who can actually make the changes we need permanent, lasting, and life giving!
 
For us, as Christians, bringing Christ’s loving presence into our work and daily lives is necessary in order to live in the world as disciples of the Lord. It is not enough to simply bring ourselves to Mass on Sundays; there must be more. The Gospel mandate is the key to living the Christian life in our world today. The very word “work” connotes a certain dedication and commitment, indeed a certain obligation. This rings true in Oliver’s simple line. As Christian stewards, we have a fundamental obligation to love and embrace the world as ambassadors of Christ and that includes the way we give and honor God at our parish. The season of Lent provides us with a singular opportunity to examine how well we’re doing and to make an even greater commitment to exercising good stewardship of all the Lord has entrusted to us; all that He has given to us so freely…
 
In last week’s Gospel, the devil presents three temptations to Jesus; the devil tempts Jesus to use His power to appease His hunger; he offers Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, if only Jesus would worship him, and finally he tempts Jesus to test God’s promise of protection. Jesus resists all because He trusts in His Father in Heaven. Jesus fasts, and He is hungry, but He is filled with the Spirit and that strengthens Him to resist and to trust completely.
 
In this modern era, we often have the opposite experience — our stomachs are full, but we have empty spirits and empty lives. One of the major purposes, then, of our Lenten journeys is to empty ourselves and allow our hearts and souls to be renewed with the Spirit of God. Are we able and willing to learn something new this Lent?
 
St. Thomas Aquinas once wrote, “At His Transfiguration Christ showed His disciples the splendor of His beauty, to which He will shape and color those who are His.”
 
This Lent, let us ask ourselves with honestly, “Are we His?” Then look at what you do for God and God’s holy church and ask, “Do I do enough? Will I allow God to break open my heart and my pocket book to make this world – and my life – better and more fulfilling?”
 
I wish you a blessed, and life-changing, Lenten Journey.
 


A Heart Journey Like No Other…

 

On your next visit to the parish, hopefully tomorrow for Ash Wednesday, you will notice a few changes to our parish decor, as Lent is to be a different time of year, to remind us of our journey in this holy season: First, all of the statues are draped in purple, the crosses are covered, the bells are removed from the pews, the Sacred Chrism Oil Ambry is covered, and the Risen Christ statue in the Bell Tower Entryway is draped, too.

All of our St. Francis Holy Water Fonts are filled with sand and present this note, as well:

“As was customary in the past, there is no Holy Water in the Church receptacles until Easter. May the sand remind us of our Lenten journey in the desert as we prepare to celebrate the joy of Easter. As we await the blessing of water at the Great Easter Vigil, may we prepare to renew our Baptismal promises from our hearts.”

Another of the more popular customs we embrace is the ‘legend of the bells’! As you know, we use bells as symbols of the joy of our Patroness, Mariam, who used bells and cymbals to dance with joy to the Lord, even in her poverty, her being stricken with leprosy, and her journey that – like her brother, Moses – did not permit her entry into the Promised Land. So bells are part of our ethos and life at Saint Miriam!

In that tradition, there is an old universal children’s legend that the bells “fly to Rome” after the Gloria of the Mass. In Germany and central Europe, the children are told that the church bells make a pilgrimage to the tomb of the apostles, and then they visit the Holy Father (The Pope, as the Bishop of Rome) to be blessed by him, after which, they then sleep on the roof of St. Peter’s Basilica until Holy Saturday morning when they make their triumphant return to every parish! A twist with the story in France is that the bells fly to Rome to fetch the Easter eggs that they will drop on their return into every house where the children are good and well behaved. Ala Easter Baskets!

Following this ecclesiastical custom on bells in Lent, the bells on farm buildings are silent in Germany and Austria, and dinner calls are made with wooden clappers, just like we use at Masses during Lent. In rural sections of Austria boys with clappers go through the villages and towns, announcing the hours (since the church clock is stopped). These youngsters (called Ratschenbuben) sing a different stanza each hour, in which they commemorate the events of Christ’s Passion. Here is the traditional text of such a song, for nine o’clock at night on Holy Thursday:
 

We beg you, people, hear and hark!

It’s nine o’clock, and fully dark.

O, think of the pain which Christ has felt,

When, praying for us, in the garden He knelt.

In agony fretting, Blood and water sweating,

He suffers in darkness Who is our Light:

Remember it, folks, at nine o’clock night!
 
Are you searching for a deeper sense of purpose? Perhaps a clearer understanding of what God’s plan is or your life will help? What matters most and what matters least might be a good place to start? Use Lent as a time to rediscover Jesus. The Holy Church of God is replete with traditions that surpass each of us. A great deal of effort has been made by our team to prevent holy and meaningful Lent. Why not make an extra effort to allow them to bring change to you this season? Why not join us and make this Lent matter? 
 

Don’t just give up chocolate, instead may your hearts be changed as we honor the journey that cumulated in the greatest gift ever given! 

May this Lent be different. 

 



Setting the Pillars Firm!

 

Your parish board of directors and myself and our ministry team did what we do every year: we sequestered ourselves away for a couple of days and prayed, thought, processed, planned, and made plans for the coming year! It is always a welcomed time, but one that is trying at times as we ensure the growth, safety, and well-planned stewardship of the parish, school, cemetery, and our undeveloped land.  We did great work this trip and I would like to give a bring overview of what is to come!

First, the broad stroke take away here is that the state of the parish is good! We are growing, adding numbers to the parish and school, reducing expense, and leveling on a solid budget. We are beginning to work together better to secure ourselves financially and our staff, team, and board are on the same page and working as a unit. We have much to be proud of!

Over the coming weeks, you will see some of the agreed to updates and changes. They include the following:
 
– Our 4:30pm Mass is now the 4:00pm Mass and the final exterior lighting will be added to the walkway on Feb 18th!
 
– We will launch our annual Stewardship Appeal in March! We did not engage the parish in a formal appeal last year as we were busy moving and looking to the building fund. Now it is time to get back to the work of caring for one another in a determinative manner.
 
– We will begin the 2016-2017 budget process! This is a major task as we now have four entities to work on together!
 

– The Saint Miriam Café will begin to use it proceeds in a new way! Stay tuned!

– We will be launching, under the guidance of Father Joseph, a brand new and exciting way to communicate! More to come soon!

– Speaking of Father Joseph, he has accepted the Parochial Vicar positon as he nears the end of his first year as an Ordained Catholic Priest and will begin a year of working closely with Monsignor toward the goal of becoming our Associate Pastor! He will be on campus a minimum of three days each week now.

– We have begun a search for a Youth Pastor. Please let anyone on t he team know if you have a candidate. The person to lead our youth does not have to be Catholic, but must come from outside of the parish community and be well equipped to grow a brand new program.

– We will expand our Friary Rooms this year to engage more Franciscans and care for our current priest team.

– We are expanding our school to include ages 2-7 and Pre-K through K with an ideal toward Pre-K – Grade 6 by 2018.

– Install a new outdoor “farm to table” planting and veggie garden as well as a garden walkway to the summer camp forums! The cost of this project will be onset by a donation brick option! Stay tuned for this exciting project!

– We will begin to work on making the entire lower level handicap accessible. This will be a multi-prong, multi-year project!

– We will be installing a backup hot water tank system to ensure we are able to run the facilities without shutting down due to a broken water tank.

– The Union Cemetery will undergo major repairs and the introduction if new gates at the Route 73, Church Road side.

– New cemetery regulation signs will be installed by the end of March for the coming season. Lots will begin to be sold in April!

– We have begun to clarify the new building lot, choose new designs for an outdoor cemetery cremation mausoleum and chapel, a lower school and parish building, and an outdoor wedding chapel! All ambitious and all that will take a few years to complete. Bear with us, it will be done in parts as to create new revenue streams first!

So, once again we push our shoulder to the plow for we know there is no turning back! We press on because God has blessed us so, we press on to welcome many more to our fold, we press on because our mission is to welcome everyone!
 
As always, my door remains open for anyone who wishes to learn more, engage the projects, or support us! Just reach out at anytime, or email me at Father.Jim@mySaintMiriam.org. You may also call me at 215-836-9800 x 703.
 

God bless us in 2016! What an exciting place to grow in faith!!

 

 

 



Are We Giving or Merely Tipping God?

 
I often wonder if we truly give from our abundance? Do we even really stop to think what that means? Have we ever sat down and figured out the true percentage we give to the church, or do we simply throw in a certain dollar amount to appease our guilt? Most of us will spend several minutes trying to figure out what the server at our local restaurant was worth, sometimes even employing an app or tip calculator! But, do we ever do the same thing at church? Giving to God requires we do so in a deliberate and joyful manner. God’s promise back to us? God will return it ten fold! If we are honest, we don’t really believe that though, do we?
 
Last Sunday, Presidential Candidate Donald Trump attended a small Iowa Presbyterian church. Ironically the scripture used for that service was from the Gospel of Luke, (4:14–21), which tells of Jesus returning to preach to his home synagogue in Nazareth. After Jesus’ initial remarks were well received, His subsequent comments turned the audience to rage. Why? When Jesus described God’s care for foreigners and enemies, they tried to kill him. I have discovered in all my years now as a priest and pastor that people don’t get offended at Bible readings — in fact they barely hear them. The trouble comes when you begin to spell out what the text means. 
 
The pastor of the Presbyterian church, Rev. Dr. Pamela Saturnia, preached as follows to explain Luke:
 
“Jesus is teaching us today he has come for those outside the church. Jesus has come to bring news to the people we would least expect to be part of the church. Jesus has come to proclaim freedom and healing to those who are the most unloved, the most discriminated against, the most forgotten in our community and in our world. Jesus has come to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor on teenagers who are homeless, on Syrian refugees, on the Mexican migrants, on the people who find themselves prisoners of addiction and their families, on the poorest of the poor in Haiti. Jesus has come for them, Jesus has come for everyone. Yes he has come to give these very gifts to us. He has given them to us, dear friends, but not only us. And instead of feeling rage at Jesus that we have to share him, we are called to do just that. Share Jesus with the ones who need him, regardless of who they are.”
 

The result? Trump reportedly left $100 in the collection basket, as noted by a CNN correspondent.

So this is not a political statement, nor even a statement of what Mr. Trump should or should not have given. But it should cause us all to pause. After all, Mr. Trump is very clear on his abundance of wealth and great business success. Why, then, leave such a relatively small amount to help God and the church?

We are not a large parish, but we are growing. I believe we grow because we ‘walk the talk’ and believe in the living God. We should note that it takes on average $27.50 per person, per week to keep us here. We have many who give that and much more; we also have more who give decidedly less. We ask for eGiving to allow us to budget and plan better, yet few have responded lately. But eGiving is important when confronted with a situation like last week when many could not make it to Mass due to the winter weather. I assure you, the bills still came and are still due this week; what’s lacking is many donations to help share the burden. Now, our parish board is going on their annual retreat to talk of budget and needs and how we grow and care for those foreigners Jesus spoke of in Luke. We can’t do it without your help, your dedication, your sacrifice, your giving from your first fruits – from  your abundance. Why not set up your eGiving here, right now, and honor God and your parish that is always there for you?

Now, please don’t get me wrong on this topic, as I have been very clear: I don’t think that everyone should give the same. At Saint Miriam, we believe in “equal sacrifice, not equal giving.”  That is what we say about tithing. Do you give joyfully, or grumble all the while your life simply falls apart and you wonder why?

I am sure that Mr. Trump did not think much about the amount helot last Sunday, or that he was giving something more for show than our of an honest dear to further the kingdom of God.

That is not how you give to God, that is how you tip Him, and I doubt that $100 was from his abundance, nor did it reach even the respectable margin of 15%….

 



Christian, Christian, How Does Your Garden Grow?

 

One of my all time favorite Mother Goose Rhymes, “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary”!  You will remember it,

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells,

And cockle shells,

And pretty maids all in a row”

Imagine how I felt when I discovered it actually isn’t such a lovely story if you dive into the dark history behind the rhyme!

You see, as a child your own mother may have read this poem to you lots of times, and perhaps like me, you may have envisioned a beautiful lady walking around her very colorful and warmly appointed garden with pride! There she was, in my deepest imagination in the warmth of the summer sun, showing off her beautiful spring blooming flowers for all to see, with her “silver bells” and “cockle shells” and “pretty maids” as flowers with women’s faces on them!  But in actuality this poem, like many Mother Goose Rhymes has a darker and more sinister meaning.

There are several interpretations of what people think the meaning of the poem was. Some say that the silver bells stood for the Catholic Cathedral bells, the cockle shells stood for the pilgrimage to Spain, and the pretty maids in a row stood for a row of nuns. The ‘Mary’ that is portrayed in this nursery rhyme is none other than Mary Tudor, also known in historical infamy as “Bloody Mary”.

Mary was the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon (the first wife of Henry VIII). It seems that in an attempt to break away from the Church of England, she tried to revert back to the Catholic Church, as soon as she became Queen. It was said that she persecuted and murdered many Protestants. Her reign of terror became widely known over the course of history, thus giving her that well deserved title of “Bloody Mary”.  Silver bells stood for thumb screws that were torture devices, cockle shells that was a torture device, and the pretty maids in a row stood for the people lining up to be executed by the Halifax Gibbet, which is the same as the guillotine. Oh, and then how about that infamous garden? Well it is said the true meaning is said to refer to the cemetery, being that the more deaths, the more the cemetery “garden” would grow!

It is very interesting to think that these rather clever, childhood, Mother Goose nursery rhymes could have so many double meanings and all it takes is a little research to uncover the truth behind these bed time tales.

So it is with us, as human beings. We are complicated and what we see on the outside is rarely what is on the inside. Our darker, more sinister side – one that we often hide from the world – seems to be always present. We need God and we need one another. We only find that in a community of faith, hope, and love. Like here at Saint Miriam

Make time this Sunday to attend Mass and allow your true Garden to grow in bounty.
 


A Child of God Deserves Better…

 

“To tear ourselves away from the everyday, from habit, from mental laziness which hides from us the strangeness of reality, we must receive something like a real bludgeon blow,” wrote playwright Eugene Ionesco in 1959.

The playwright’s metaphor may seem rather string, and perhaps even violent, but with good reason. Breaking from our usual habits is difficult and often painful – requiring not just willpower and stamina, but also the courage to take risks, to fail, and to pick ourselves up again, and to not hear the world’s quick rhetoric of failure. That is why I have decided to try to better myself in two important ways: (1) increase my fitness to the next level, (2) increase my desire for God in my daily life and work.

Now to be sure, the turn of a new year presents a dangerous allure of the ‘clean slate’! But I have decided that my slate need not be ‘clean’, just made with a little more determination, a little more careful planning, and a little less ‘what happens, happens’ attitude. In other words, I am a child of God, and as such I deserve better. So does God, my Creator.

Many of us make big, bold resolutions as if starting from scratch. Some fail year after year and then find a new calendar flip is time to double-down, rather than to reevaluate. Then, within weeks, we fail and misery sets in and adds to our already hidden depression as we say to ourselves – deep inside where we never let anyone in – “I failed again. I am a failure.”

Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. Most of us have existing commitments (jobs, relationships, children, school, etc.) and a slew of bad habits (a weakness for mindless Netflix instant movies, bad eating habits such as fast food, continuing in abusive relationships, et al) that don’t go away at the end of the calendar year as easily as the page is flipped.

Now, before you think this post is going to depress you, my point is not that we should throw up our hands and do away with New Year’s resolutions. Rather, it’s that we should simplify our goals – fully recognizing our existing constraints, strengths, and weaknesses – so that we can actually achieve them.

So, I have begun to eat better. I have not gone on a diet or any fad ‘drink this and lose 78 pounds within a week’ shake plan! No, I have just decided to eat more natural foods, cut out processed foods to the best of my ability, to think before I eat. I have also decided to do the same with my relationship with God. Seems strange that a priest needs to consciously do this, but I do: I am broken, and hurting, and recognize that I am on the verge of depression again. So, I need to refocus on me and how God loves me, despite my disbelief that anyone could really love me, let alone God.

So, I pray you will join me this year and choose quality over quantity. Let’s dispense with the resolutions list that’s a vague mishmash of broad ambitions and unreachable aspirational new habits in favor of a more targeted, more meaningful, more achievable list of goals. Let us become healthier and bring God in our lives more deeply.

After all, we are children of God.
 


Living Tiny for God and Not Taking Myself So Seriously!

 
The tiny house movement has certainly gained momentum over the years, with all sorts of tiny houses to include cob cottages, yurts, gingerbread cottages, domes, micro houses, teardrop campers, RV’s, houseboats, straw bale houses, and motorhomes. And, yes, you will recall that I am a member of this group of sojourners who have downsized drastically, let go of status and prestige of owning a

McMansion, or a condo in ‘just the right neighborhood’, and learned the rule of ‘one in, one out, same size!’

Recently I read about “A tiny house designed for reflection,” is an interesting small space that started off as a school project, but is sure to inspire many tiny house builders. The project was called “Seelenkiste,” which translates roughly as “Sprit Shelter.” They tiny house design was built as a place to study and contemplation, for self discovery through meditation and introspection. It was in reading this article that I wondered if we ever stop to consider that our life is almost always about the intersection between story and journey? As we begin a new year, perhaps we should pause and reflect on how we might more intentionally divest ourselves of selfishness and self-centeredness and all the ‘things; that distract us from God and each other, to actually see how we might impact, for the better, the lives of others? For some of us it takes time away, for some just a meaningful break from work or doing some light reading, and for some a tiny house is the answer!

Now, to be perfectly honest, it has not been easy to live tiny. Period. There have been lots of issues, learning an entire new way to live, manage resources, and now enduring the first blast of winter has brought new issues! Recently, my pipes froze (twice!) and I woke to no water. It took the help of our parish facilities director, Brendan, almost all day to figure out what I had done wrong, many things that I failed to do like winterize certain ‘tanks and plumbing hoses’, as well as to set up a ‘system’ for when things go below freezing! Yes, it takes a lot to patience to ‘live tiny’ and this week I failed miserably and almost gave up. Then, I calmed down, sat back in my tiny home and reflected on the fact that every home, every manner of living, has its share of problems. We never really escape them, they just often morph and change, so we need to bend, too. We need to see where God is to be found in every joy and within every sorrow or problem. 

So, through this experience, I have learned that life is really about adapting to change, and not taking ourselves too seriously. It is also about having a little patience and fun along the way. To wit…

Recently I read an article about a priest in the Philippines who had been reprimanded by church leadership for his creative idea to get worshipers moving during a Christmas service: he used a hoverboard! Yes, on Christmas Eve, the priest, who hasn’t been named, used the toy to glide in and out of rows of churchgoers while singing a Christmas song in English and their native, Tagalog, which was caught on camera and has since gone viral. (See it Here!) His parishioners seemed to enjoy the performance, with many taking photos and video. His bosses?  Well, let’s just say that they weren’t so pleased! He was reprimanded by church leaders, who criticized his use of what might have been an early present.  

They wrote in a released statement:

“Last December 24, 2015, before the final blessing of the Christmas eve mass, as a way of greeting his parishioners, the priest sang a Christmas song, while going around the nave standing on a hoverboard,” said the diocese in San Pablo, southeast of the capital Manila. “That was wrong. The Eucharist demands utmost respect and reverence… Consequently, it is not a personal celebration where one can capriciously introduce something to get the attention of the people.”

Really? After living tiny, I think Jesus would be pleased to see such joy and excitement on people actually going to church, especially as they celebrate His birthday! I think God is pleased when we, as priests and a people who love Him, do things to bring joy to the lives of others, even if not written in some book that someone else feels God likes better! 

Maybe it’s just because I have been without water, but if anyone has a hoverboard, I’m in!