Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day

Whoo hoo, snow day today! As luck would have it, though, I had just stepped into the shower and started washing my hair when my husband yelled to me that my school was on the school closings on TV. I was taking my shower earlier than usual because my school district rarely closes. Since Christmas break my 1 hour drive each way has been taking 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours unless the roads are completely dry. The way the morning was shaping up I figured that 2 hours was optimistic. I needed to be at school on time beause our Catholic Schools week mass was first thing and I was a Eucharistic Minister. We were having the mass today because it's the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas and he is our patron saint. I must say I was disappointed about not having the mass but the auxiliary Bishop that was to have the mass graciously agreed to have it tomorrow. Since I was already up and showered I dressed, put in a load of laundry and headed off to mass at my parish. The roads and freeway had not been plowed so the going was really slow. The 25 minute drive took 1 hour 15 minutes. My sons and husband said I was crazy for driving in to mass. Well let's see, I've lived in an all male household the past 20 some years and I teach teenagers. Crazy? I'm just saying...... Besides when we had the big snow storm on Friday night a couple weeks ago my oldest son drove through that to Buffalo and back to go to the Sabres game!! Like mother, like son?

Happy Feast Day St Thomas Aquinas

Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas

Grant me, O Lord my God,
a mind to know you,
a heart to seek you,
wisdom to find you,
conduct pleasing to you,
faithful perseverance in waiting for you,
and a hope of finally embracing you.Amen.
St. Thomas Aquinas is the patron saint of the high school where I teach. We were supposed to have our Catholic Schools Week mass this morning with one of our Auxiliary Bishops presiding. Alas, with the weather it didn't happen. I was looking forward to it but better to be safe. Scary to think of all those teenage drivers on the road. Phew!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Sunday Adventures

Today on the way to church for 10:00 am mass (choir at 10 and sacristan at 12) the freeway was a mess from the predicted snow that we had overnight. Only 2 of the 3 lanes were passable. You would think that they had enough time to get plows and salt trucks out, but no!! Is this weather something new around here?!! And just let me say, some people should put their cars in the garage when the first snow falls and keep them there until spring!!
At my sacristan mass 2 servers and 1 Eucharistic minister didn't make it but at least they had let us know ahead of time that they couldn't find subs. Our pastor emeritus who was supposed to have the mass also didn't make it both for health reasons and weather. Our pastor had to come over to say mass even though he is in pain from a herniated disc. Both of these priests need our prayers. Since our pastor is the only priest at our parish we have been having a lot of visiting priests since the week before Christmas. This last month in particular has reminded us that there is a real need for more priestly vocations.

The Sunday after Chrostmas high winds provided an adventure. I was sacristan for 8:00 am mass and left the house a little after 6:30 am because I had to stop for gas. At the gas station I had to hold tight to my door when I was opening it to keep it from being whipped away by the winds. Driving on the freeway with an SUV was a little tricky, trying to fight the wind. As I got closer to my parish the thought crossed my mind that this past fall when we had high winds our parish along with the surrounding area had no power for 3 days. As I turneed down the street that my parish is on I was relieved to see houses with outdoor christmas lights as well as inside lights shining brightly. That is until I was a block away from the church. The entire block around and including the church was completely dark. No power. It was still pitch black and not looking to brighten anytime soon because of heavy cloud cover. I went inside but stood in the hallway leading to the church since it was too dark to go any further. Since we were having a visiting priest I hated to call the pastor but it was his decision as to what to do. He called the power company and they told him that we had no power (No, really?!!). We called back and forth to each other deciding what to do, - would people show up, would we have ministers, lectors, communion service or mass, etc. As it turned out it did get light enough that with the candles lit we could go into the church. The ushers told people to sit up front so that they could hear and see better. Since 8:00 am mass is mostly elderly we didn't use the gift table so that nothing was in the aisle. I flipped some of the light switches on before mass started so that if the power came on we would know. The power did come on just as the lector started the first reading so I went back in to the sacristy and turned the rest of the lights on. The rest of mass went on as usual.
Sometimes I think God has a sense of humor and just tries to keep us on our toes!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Arctic Freeze

Finally the arctic temperature is supposed to let up somewhat tomorrow. The high is predicted at 23 degrees ( a regular heat wave). However we are supposed to get a lot of snow. Give me the snow over the below zero temperatures any day. My drive time to school each day this past week and a half has turned into an hour and a half to two hours anyway. Even though we haven't had much snow, the little we did have turned into icy conditions with the cold temperatures.

Our superintendent said she wouldn't cancel school unless it was minus 18 so Thursday even though a lot of other schools were off, including the district I live in , off to school I went. Our building has glass windows and doors at the end of each wing so with the wind the classrooms at the end of the wings(the ones I'm in) are freezing. I wore a zip up front sweatshirt over my sweater!! On Friday it was even colder and school was called off.
I could see God's hand in this. Friday my husband was to go into the hospital for some minor outpatient surgery and needed someone to drive him because of the anesthesia. Since my son doesn't have classes on Friday he was going to take his dad. I normally would have taken a personal day but because it was the last day 0f midterms and of the grading period, I had to have all grades posted by Tuesday 8:00 am. That meant I would have to pick up the completed midterms Friday and because of the timing of my husband being released and the long drive to school that would have been impossible. Thankfully with school being called off I was able to be there.
Actually I love winter just not the bitter cold. The city I teach in is in the snowbelt and normally gets a lot of snow. A couple years ago we had vey little snow up through January, neither here or in Niagara Falls, NY where my older son was in college. One day in January it started snowing about midmorning and didn't quit. My son called me to let me know it was snowing there and I told him it was snowing here as well. He was disappointed because he thought he was going to be the first to have snow. After school I called him to tell him I had just scraped about 3 inches of snow off of my car but actually enjoyed it because it was the first time this season. He said he did too and felt the same way. I then said we probably should keep this conversation to ourselves or somebody might have us committed!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! May everyone have a new year full of health, prosperity and God's blessing.

Mary, Mother of God - Solemnity


source of light in every age, the

virgin onceived and bore your Son

who is called Wonderful God, Prince of Peace.

May her prayer, the gify of a mother's love,

be your people's joy through all ages.

May her response, born of a humble heart,

draw your Spirit to rest on your people.

Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

~Morning prayer - LOH~