Looking back with gratitude

How can I repay the Lord for all the great good done for me? I will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord.” Psalm 116:12-13.

In every major journey in my vocational life, this psalm of thanksgiving resonates in my heart especially in major transitions like today. I sit here, having my cup of coffee, waking up from a day of farewells and the Sacrament of Confirmation. My heart feels very light for it is overflowing with gratitude to what God has done for me. Everything continues to be his gift.

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From a whole bunch of children in Catholic School to a community of senior citizens on their golf carts … my time at Saint Joseph Parish in Lincoln has run its course. I continue to be amazed at how God can write a beautiful story to my life. 

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Once again, I learned not to take myself too seriously, I learned to continue laughing, to listen with a loving heart to a variety of circumstances, to ask pardon, eye to eye, when I have offended others, and to be gracious to those who may at times not be charitable. I will treasure the fact that every one journeys with Christ in different ways, some of us take a lifetime to foster holiness, some of us are walking saints who have never studied a theology book in their life, some of us are strong and some of us are docile. I’ve learned to reverence the journey of every individual and to find delight in it.

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Some of the Confirmation Students and teens this year who have served at the altar of God with me.

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Madeline, Sophi, and Patrick. Some of the kids I have worked closely with in the ministry. 

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The Briggs Family. A special family to my heart.

Even the joy of music has been something I’ve been able to celebrate during my short time with these beautiful people. I gave a concert in October and another in May to raise funds for our kids who are making their way to World Youth Day in Poland.

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Brian and Ervin came from Fairfiled to support the cause. 

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Folks from the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento.

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Dulce has been a great friend who helped me get by with translating everything into Spanish, teased me for my afternoon naps because I’m old, and always knew how to make me laugh. She was very kind to me and supportive whenever I needed to make big decisions. 

 

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On our final day

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We had so much fun that even Pope Francis joined us! Aida and Dulce, along with Rita, have been the ladies whom I have primarily worked with in the office this past year. It has been a joy. I’ve learned so much from them, especially on learning how to continue to foster a pastoral heart. 

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I am indebted to the priests and clergy whom I have had the joy of learning many lessons this past year. They are wonderful examples of what it means to be a minister of Christ. I’ve lived with Father Orlando who was recently transferred to a parish up north. The parish also has a wonderful team of deacons who have also taught me much about ministry. 

When I graduated from Mount Angel Seminary in 2010, the Abbot spoke words that have always stuck with me. He invited us to look back. As we descended the mount of the seminary, he invited us to glimpse back and give thanks to God for his gift. While these few pictures above are only a glimpse into the many people I have loved this year, looking back, whether figuratively or literally, allows me to bless God’s name for being so good to me.

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Farewell, people of Saint Joseph, until we meet again. May our lives always be a reflection of God’s constant love and goodness toward us. I will miss you.

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About TheAspiringCatholic

Welcome and thank you for visiting this page! You’ll find my personal reflections on Christian Discipleship, insights on my adventures throughout the world, one day at a time, and musing everything Catholic and musical with a cup of coffee each morning.
This entry was posted in Catholic, Pastoral Year. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Looking back with gratitude

  1. bubong@aol.com says:

    Praying for you always. Missing you a lot. May the Lord guide and protect you, bless you and fill you with His spirit . I am so grateful to Him for sending you to us.

    Tita Fe

  2. Anita Garcia says:

    How are you doing? I miss you a lot, but at the same time, I’m happy thinking that you’re on your way to finish your study. May the Almighty God always protect and guide you. Take care.

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