“Just A Closer Walk With Thee”
As always, we need your help: the tootsie roll sale to benefit Mentally Impaired is Friday-Saturday-Sunday of Palm Sunday weekend, and for workers at the KofC breakfast on Palm Sunday in support of seminarians on Palm Sunday. Additionally, I pray you might volunteer an hour to help with the church drive in early April to recruit for council membership.
Speed shifting, my wife and I were fortunate to travel to Florida for the month of February. We attended mass on St. George Island in a building which is on loan to the church to serve the significant numbers of snowbirds who would otherwise travel 15 miles and cause an overflow at the St. Patrick’s church in Apalachicola. Father Roger Latosynski, a Michigan native, serves a pastor. His back pain yields brief but poignant homilies for the 100-120 snowbirds who attend.
St. Patrick parish is blessed with singing talent of “The Shamrocks” a primarily African American group comprised of two married couples with a guitarist. The music is engaging, but I refuse to make a fool of myself by clapping the final verse off note. Yet, “Put your hand in the hand of the Man who walks on water” and “Just a closer walk with Thee” continue to lift me up on the repeated occasions these verses ramble through the vacancies of my mind.
Heading home we attended mass in Ozark, Alabama with approximately 50-60 parishioners. A young priest, who was very thin and about 6’4” with arms that reached for the ceiling of the small church, serves as St. John’s pastor. He had coal black hair and eyes. His hair was long, covering his ears and he prayed passionately with eyes lifted heavenward. I silently hummed to myself “Pack up the babies, and grab the old ladies” and in my mind’s eye I could hear Neil Diamond singing his 1960’s hit, “Brother Loves Travelling Salvation Show.”
We also visited St. Augustine where the first mass on North American soil was held. The Catholic Church was very different at the time from what we know; and I am puzzled how the faith/works of these Spaniards could be a true reflection of the Lord’s wishes. Thank God we have evolved a long way from those days; but where are we headed? And how can each of us as Knights of Columbus be a positive influence on our direction. Neil Diamond sings: “Brothers…you got two good hands there.” If we all do a little we can really do a lot.