September from the heart of our Minister


Dear Brothers and Sisters, may the Lord give you peace!  A few years ago, my parish merged with another local parish and we got a new pastor. Shortly after the merger, Labor Day weekend was upon us.  Labor Day has several meanings – the “un”official end to summer, the last of the summer barbecues, the end of wearing white shoes and carrying a white purse – OK, I’m showing my age on that one! Having been married to a trucker/shop steward/union man, I also know that in the early 19th century, the Trade Unions and Labor movements asked to have a day set aside to celebrate labor.  It’s easy to lose that meaning when we are enjoying that last grilled hot dog of the season.

That first Labor Day with the new pastor, changed my outlook completely.  After the homily, he asked everyone attending Mass to come forward as they would when receiving Communion. When each of us approached Father, he asked that we stretch out our hands and he anointed them. He blessed the work of our hands for the coming year. It was very moving and of course, made you think.

What work would I do for the Lord in the coming year? How can I give that blessing away? And more than that, will I remember that my hands have been blessed to the Lord……..when I’m angry and gesturing at someone; when I’m throwing something out that could be recycled, when I sit on my hands as I’m being asked to accept a nomination?

This Labor Day, consider blessing your own hands to the Lord for the coming year.  Ask St. Francis how your hands can be used to do Franciscan work and then be willing to listen!  As in the picture above, remember one hand does not complete the picture.






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