The Big Getaway

06-26-2016From Our PastorFr. Brian Jazdzewski

For some supernatural reason, unknown to me, I get really excited about 20 June and 21 December each year. We are aware that these are the annual days of the most and least daylight respectively. One of my dreams is to make two trips to Alaska within a 12 month period; once to be there on 20 June, the other to be there on 21 December. I think it would be a curious endeavor to be somewhere as these daylight hours are rather dramatic in contrast. Seems there are really human instincts which continue to direct our rhythms even in our technologically cluttered world. And so, Monday, the first day of summer, has inspired some thoughts about vacations of the past, present and future.

Now, in an effort to be helpful, there seems to be growing concern about how expensive things are getting. As you know, I was raised in a rather financially limited household. Consequently, destination vacations, international travel and luxurious vacations has not been part of my existence. Instead, our family enjoyed an annual seven day vacation; that was during the summer and we did not do anything during extended breaks during the school year. Typically, our destination was northern Wisconsin, often in the Minocqua, Eagle River areas. We'd rent a cottage for the week and enjoy whatever amenities came along with the cottage. As kids, we were let loose for those days to sleep, eat, play, swim, fish, fight at our leisure. Those vacations continue to influence my getaway choices even today.

During my adult years I've revisited that area of northern Wisconsin. Also, since I've been living more on this side of the state since ordination, I've explored the Hayward and Spooner areas, too. I've also returned to visit one of the greatest wonders of the Great Lakes area which is the Mackinac Bridge including a trip to Mackinac Island (travel on the island is by foot, bike, horse-drawn carriage – no motorized vehicles). I really do encourage you to check these areas out for possible holiday plans.

So while summer plans are being formulated in my mind, modern cottages, which our family continues to rent, come with a price of $500 to $2000 per week; these places often sleep many people. As far as I'm concerned, those are really inexpensive ways to accomplish what vacation is about. Family, sleep, eat, play, swim, fish, fight… and now as an adult, read and pray… at our leisure. When we look to the core of what vacation is about, it is a time of renewal, rest and rejuvenation. And, as a bonus, if we can enjoy those activities with our family, our time is used even more productively. I continue to experience the reality that our families and young people are less concerned about where they go and are more concerned with who they are with. Our influence on each other is effective when we use our time productively while taking the big getaway with one another.

Our Diocese of La Crosse rejoices with the ordination of a new priest on 25 June 2016: Congratulations to Father Daniel Sedlacek! We also celebrate the Ordination Anniversary of our Pastor which is 26 June 1999. United in the spirit of many during these days when we reflect upon priesthood, perhaps you will consider using the following prayer, maybe even just once, to support the priesthood of our Catholic church:

O Almighty and Eternal God, look upon the Face of Christ, and for love of Him Who is the eternal High-priest, have pity on priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the Bishop's hands. Keep them close to you, lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.

O Jesus, I pray for faithful and fervent priests; for unfaithful and tepid priests; for priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for tempted priests; for lonely and desolate priests; for young priests; for aged priests; for sick priests; for dying priests; for the souls of priests in Purgatory.

But above all I commend to You the priests dearest to me: the priest who baptized me; the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me Your Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed or helped me and encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly (your priest's name here). O Jesus, keep them all close to Your heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen. Mary, Queen of the clergy, pray for us; obtain for us many and holy priests. Amen.