Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Holy Week has come and gone, unleashing its drama and intensity on the communities I minister to and, hopefully, making their lives a little less fearful, a bit more intense, slightly more capable of experiencing the routine shattering brilliance of it all...

It is the turning, the transition, the Pasch... The crucified One, as this turning, is the Word which the Father addresses to the world. At this moment, the Word cannot hear itself. It collapses into its scream for the lost God. And it will really be an interpretation of his heavenly meaning, as it were, of the voice of the Father and the Spirit in the Son when the evangelists write the words, ‘Forgive them...’, ‘Today you will be with me in paradise...’ ‘It is finished.’ We should receive such words as spoken to us by the Father through the Spirit in the suffering of the Son...”

Hans. Who else?

To accentuate our meditation during the Triduum, I put a full color print of Grunewald’s Crucifixion on the parish bulletin.

Sometimes subtlety is not an option.

I am kind of on my own pastorally with the three parishes right now. The priest assigned to the Haitian community is a good man, but he’s pretty limited in what he can do to help with the Hispanic, Afro-American and Caribbean communities that constitute the greater part of the church in the North End. The deacons are excellent, but work their own jobs and look after their families during the week.

One VERY positive development of late has been the hiring of a lay financial manager for the churches. He has taken on the cluster’s challenges with uncommon zeal and I have gone back to being a priest. My new mantra: Talk to Jim ... instead of having to deal directly with the banks, the insurance guys, the vendors, technicians, exterminators, creditors, pay-roll people, snowplow dude, etc...

Easter season has begun with listening, basically. Listening in spiritual direction, listening while they scream, while they cry, while they stutter, listening at the hospital, listening at the jail, listening on the phone and in the confessional. Listening, mostly. Speaking, some.

Praying... well, it’s never enough now, is it.