When one is blessed with such a large brood and extended family, something is always going on. St. Eva the Almost Good (yes, she was reduced to "almost" two weeks ago. I'll explain later) and I never have a week in which something is not happening..good or ill. Recently, Eva asked me when Gordon, III was being ordained to the diaconate in the Byzantine Ukrainian Catholic Church? "On the 11th of June,"says I. "No," says she, "that can't be right. I think that is the day for Ben's court appearance." "Ah, Yes," says I. " I got the ordination mixed up with the divorce."
Yes. Our life is never dull. As a matter of fact, I just arrived back home after a 1600 mile round trip to Indiana to be a moral support for Ben as his marriage to Rebecca was dissolved. It was never a sacramental union. They got married by a Justice of the Peace while standing on a porch outside the Carthage City jail. That should have been a sign from God right there!! But there is sadness when any marriage dissolves and this one was bittersweet. At least he will be able to have definitive visitation privileges with his daughter, who is the joy of his life.
And next week, it is off to Parma, Ohio where the Ukrainian Eparchy is located. We will celebrate Gordon's ordination to the permanent diaconate on Saturday, June 21. The Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church uses the ancient liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. It is very beautiful and sung from beginning to end. In the eastern church, the deacon plays a major roll in the Mass, while in the Roman rite, we still don't know what to do with these guys. The Ukrainian church reunited with Rome more than 500 years ago. In addition to a unique liturgy, they also have a married clergy. Gordo may be ordained a priest in June 2009. That remains to be seen.
Yes, I finally got a vocation out of this crowd. I have prayed for all these many years that someone would enter religious life. My prayer was answered. And I gave him this advice: a successful homilist never lets his sermon exceed 12 minutes. The story goes that while a deacon was preaching, he noticed that his wife was beating her watch with her fist during the sermon. After Mass, he told her that she didn't need to use such histrionics in order to let him know that he was a bit lengthy. "Well" she harrumphed, "it went on so long, I thought the battery had died."