RBWords - Volume 30 - Number 1: January 2017
Something to Think About
R. B. WORDS – VOLUME 30 – NUMBER 1 – JANUARY 2017
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT –
Thirty years ago in January 1988 I began to send this monthly newsletter as a way of staying in touch with friends and continuing a practice I had begun as a campus pastor. I was preparing to become the Director of Novices for our Southern Dominican Province after serving 17 straight years in campus ministry. I thought I was done with that ministry, but God had other ideas and I was to return to it on a part time or full time basis for years to come, even after I started doing itinerant preaching of retreats and parish missions. I now live in Lubbock, TX, at the campus ministry for Texas Tech and continue my itinerant ministry at a somewhat reduced level due to age (I’ll be 74 next month). However, I am able to get to know students on an individual basis, so I feel I have the best of both worlds here. Nevertheless, it is startling to me to realize that I began this newsletter before most of the students here were even born! Earlier this month I was on my annual retreat/visit in Tucson and saw former student parishioners at the University of Arizona (1977-80) who are now becoming grandparents!
At the campus ministry here I give an occasional talk to a group composed of seniors that is designed to prepare them spiritually for life after undergraduate school. I attend the monthly rosary/luncheon group of Catholic faculty/staff at Texas Tech, and I serve as “religious assistant” to the Dominican Laity group which I got started a little over a year ago. On weekends, if I am not out of the diocese, I either celebrate Mass at our university parish or substitute for an absent pastor somewhere in the diocese. This is a mission diocese and there are very few priests who can be available on the weekend when a pastor goes on vacation. Twice a year I travel to our novitiate in Irving, TX (a suburb of Dallas) to give presentations to our novice brothers. I also serve as the “convenor” of the board of Trustees of our Limited Service and Community Support trust which provides resources to the province for our aged and infirm brothers. My itinerant ministry averages now a retreat or parish mission each month. It also allows me in the course of the travel to see friends and stay in touch. This newsletter and my online preaching (THE WORD TO THE WISE – also posted at www.rbwords.com along with the newsletter) add to the mix. It is a full life and I find an “attitude of gratitude” is enabling me to cope with thoughts of advancing age. My general health is good, so I do have much to be thankful for, not least for those of you who have read and continue to read this newsletter. God bless you and give you a happy and healthy 2017.
SCHEDULES AND EVENTS –
The New Year 2017 found me in Arizona, as I mentioned above. Upon my return to Lubbock, I have been doing various local preachings such as a day retreat for men or helping out a vacationing pastor.
February will find me in Irving, again as I mentioned above, and then in Palm Beach, FL (I know, I know….tough duty in February) to preach a retreat for the priests of the Diocese of Palm Beach. I have previously preached at least three retreats for their permanent diaconate program.
Each year, our Southern Dominican Province approaches its friends to ask for help in funding our “limited service” needs and the formation of our seminarians. We call this our 1216 Campaign and we see it as part of our “mendicant vocation” as Dominican friars. Some of you will receive a card from me. Others of you may know of it from this newsletter. If you are able to help, please send a check to: THE 1216 CAMPAIGN, SOUTHERN DOMINICAN PROVINCE, 1421 N. CAUSEWAY BLVD. #200, METAIRIE, LA 70001-4144. Please note “requested by Fr. R.B.” on the check or in a separate note. Many thanks for any help you can give.
IT HAS BEEN SAID: “We are not asked to be flawless, but to keep growing and wanting to grow as we advance along the path of the Gospel; our arms must never grow slack. What is essential is that the preacher be certain that God loves him, that Jesus Christ has saved him and that his love has always the last word.”
Pope Francis – THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL - #151
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