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May 22: From the Pastor's Desk...

My Dear Parishioners,

At a recent visit to our cottage in Algoma, I came across a bulletin from St Mary Parish and a letter from its pastor, Fr Bill Swichtenberg, which so impressed me that I am reproducing it for you. It is from their parish bulletin of Oct. 3, 2010. Fr Bill wrote the following…

“This story is being told often around the night campfire at “Camp Hope,” just outside the gates of the San Jose (Chile) mine complex, where 33 miners are trapped in the bowels of the earth – about one mile down. On August 5th, 2010, the day the mine collapsed, Jorge Galeguillos and a fellow miner were heading back down into the mine driving a pickup truck. His friend was at the wheel. In a letter written by Jorge to his brother, he states ‘We had been up to the workshop and as we were driving back down, a slab of rock caved in just behind us. It crashed down only a few seconds after we had driven past. Just ahead I saw a white butterfly! After that we were caught in an avalanche of dirt and dust. I couldn’t see past my hand in front of my face. The tunnel was collapsing and rocks buried a backhoe. A water tank lower down was almost completely buried too. Because the miners has slowed their truck down so they could take a closer look at the white butterfly, they were stopped from driving into the rock falls in front of them, triggered by the initial, massive collapse.

"As the dust cleared, the two miners began driving again and managed to negotiate their way around the other rock falls that had partially blocked the lower reaches of the 4-meter wide tunnel. They were eventually able to reach 31 fellow miners, who were, by then, huddled for safety in the 50 square meter refuge on level 100.’ Jorge’s brother says, ‘Down in the mine, I don’t really know what that butterfly was. Maybe it was a little angel passing in front of them…saying…”SLOW DOWN, there’s danger up ahead.”’

As persons of faith, we are always being invited to slow down and to see the many signs of God’s blessings and goodness in our lives. God is all around us. The Lord is within us. Whatever the trials of life, we need to be hopeful enough to look for the Lord and to open our hearts to God’s tremendous, marvelous, wonderful love…even when things seem to be falling down all around us and even sometimes within us. We are people of HOPE. There is always something good happening around us and even sometimes within us.

What about the little girl walking home from Sunday School – stopping all along the way to admire the beauty of creation…a falling golden leaf, a squirrel burying a nut in anticipation of winter, the bright, cloudless blue sky. A neighbor spots her and declares, “It’s a fine way for a girl to spend her time. If you tell me where God is, I’ll give you a brand new, shiny dime!” Quick as a flash the answer came! Nor were her accents faint. “I’ll give you a dollar, Mister, if you tell me where God ain’t.”

I really liked that bulletin story and thought it was worth sharing it with you as we continue our celebration of Easter and the Resurrection of Christ! Continue to enjoy “Spring” and be aware of the presence of God, of Jesus Christ in our world and within you.

Oremus pro invicem,
Fr. Tom

Related link: 5.22.11 Church Bulletin

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