Throughout the liturgical year, we pause often – perhaps daily in prayer and before meals – to thank God for someone, some thing, some occurrence, or a gift we know we have been given by Him that helps us make a difference and impact others.
This Thanksgiving week is a time when Gratitude – Capital G – moves front and center for many, even though we won’t hear the words “Give Thanks to God” during any televised parades or football games on TV.
Did you know that there are more conversions to Catholicism this week by non-Catholics who accompany their Catholic friends to Mass on Thanksgiving morning simply to give thanks and are so moved, they want to become a part of our faith? It’s true — The Holy Spirit at work on Thanksgiving morning!
I paused this week to reflect and to list all that I am thankful for in Nov. 2107. Try it. It’s a beautiful experience. I stopped at 25, but easily could have gone on. I am now adding to it as I go….try it, it will tell you a lot! Here is my Top 10. I Give Thanks to God …
10. That I live in the United States of America. I treasure our unalienable rights of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
9. For the prosperity our nation provides us, through our farmers, manufacturing and laborers. We are blessed to have plentiful food supplies, clothes on our backs, warm, secure homes. May we never take them for granted.
8. For all those men and women I know and do not know who serve our country in the Armed Forces and National Guard and all veterans who won our freedom in wars past.
7. For my education. My Catholic education roots in Reading, Writing and yes, Arithmetic have anchored me well.
6. The great priests in my life who influenced me and helped lead me to the priesthood.
5. That a special seminary in our country, Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary, exists for second-career vocations. I and more than 700 others since 1964 wouldn’t be priests without it.
4. For everyone here at St. Genevieve Parish who – in a very short time — made this a special new home for me with your caring, your support, your love of neighbor, your response, your spirit, your warmth.
3. For my Catholic faith. Thank you, Mom and Dad. If only there were more “first teachers” like you.
2. For my health, and for all in my ministry who strengthen me as they draw nearest to Christ through their suffering.
And the No. 1 thing I am most thankful for every Thanksgiving is….my beloved family. A big Irish one. How blessed I am.
Try making your list and sharing it at the table this Thanksgiving. It makes a beautiful prayer.
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“I Was Hungry, and You Gave me to Eat”
Thank you, our Good Samaritans, especially Joe Manta, Dan Hendrie, for coordinating the amazing Thanksgiving Food Drive by our parish family. And thank you to all who contributed bags and bags and bags of meals – half a Narthex full! — for those in need his season. The food and generous gift cards and contributions distributed via Catholic Social Services at St. Paul’s in Norristown, the Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity in Norristown and to our parish families in need provided for hundreds of meals. Nowhere does Charity and Love prevail more strongly than at St. Genevieve!