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A light to scatter darkness

Today’s Reflection from Father Dave The advantages of walking in the early morning darkness (disadvantages will be in another post): I get to test out a Christmas gift, a headlamp, and also I have the opportunity to see the sunrise, a welcome sight to each new day. The headlamp gives just enough light for me not to trip over uneven surfaces and for others to see me, which is good for the Wandering Padre who does not use sidewalks. So I consider it a very good present. Using the lamp yesterday reminded me of a passage from Pope Francis in... Read more →

April Fools’ Day

Today’s Reflection from Father Dave “Archbishop, when does this assignment start?” was the question I asked of Archbishop Levada 15 years ago. “April 1st,” came the reply to which I responded, “How appropriate that my tenure as pastor should begin on April Fools Day.” He concurred. Sitting in my rectory office on this auspicious occasion I am struck by the fact that the only sounds coming from this vast estate are of the cement saw and jackhammer. The plan had been to repave the parking lot during the summer and try and work around the daily activity of the church.... Read more →

A farmer priest

Today’s Reflection from Father Dave There I sat on top of a stone wall in Northern Spain, eating lunch and watching a farmer drive a tractor with a trailer that spread manure. Wonderful topic to begin the last day of March. As the farmer passed by my location I raised my flask (of water) to salute his work, a gesture he seemed to get great enjoyment out of, maybe wondering if this pilgrim had any idea what he was doing. It got me thinking about my priesthood. Fertilizer and priesthood, how can this reflection go wrong? I am a Diocesan... Read more →

David, this is the Archbishop’s Secretary…

Today’s Reflection from Father Dave It was a brisk winter’s day and I was driving home from the mountains when the call came, “David, this is the Archbishop’s secretary, and he would like to talk to you.” What does one say at such a moment? After all in the ordination rite one promises respect and obedience to his bishop. So I responded, “No, it is never good news when the Archbishop calls you. Tell him I am driving.” There was laughter, and I was put on hold. The next voice was Archbishop Levada, “David, pull over!” His conversation continued, “David,... Read more →

Today’s Fun Fact…

Today’s Reflection from Father Dave Another advantage of “Shelter in Place” is that you can accomplish chores not otherwise possible. So borrowing from the School morning assembly, I have a Fun Fact of my own: There are 31,317 verses in the Bible. I will let you figure out what version of the Bible I used for this little known tidbit. Today I have been reflecting on the shortest verse John 11:35, “Jesus wept.” Two words encompass the entire verse. Why were there tears? Lazarus had died, and Jesus truly loved Lazarus and his sisters, Martha and Mary. They were his... Read more →

“Habla usted inglés?”

Today’s Reflection from Father Dave “Habla usted inglés?”  “Si” came the response. “Great! I would like to send some things home to the United States.” I was in Pamplona, the third day of my pilgrimage; I had overpacked. After climbing over the Pyrenees and realizing I carried items I really did not need, with a month of walking and 450 miles to go, I would send things home. The postal clerk asked if I was a pilgrim going to Santiago. (Perhaps the disheveled look and backpack gave me away?) She told me simply to send it ahead to Santiago. It... Read more →

How come I do not get one of the rings or the silver?

Today’s Reflection from Father Dave “How come I do not get one of the rings or the silver?” “Because you will just hawk it,” was the response of my sisters. One of the greatest gifts given to their children by my parents was sitting down with the clan and going through the family estate, dividing up the spoils. We sat around the dining room table, taking turns selecting articles that would be passed on to us. When it came my time to pick Dad placed the cookie jar in front of me and said, “This is yours; your hand was... Read more →

You’re my son, and I love you…

Today’s Reflection from Father Dave “You’re my son and I love you …” Mom never finished these sentences; they were often said when my mouth or actions got ahead of my brain. Sometimes I wonder if God has not picked up the same habit with me, and this is especially true this Lent. All of us try to decide what we will offer up or do in the Lenten season. It is hardwired in us as Catholics. Now I decided to be more Christ-like and thought I had the perfect Lenten practices. I would hang out with sinners, upset religious... Read more →

Got to feed the fish today

Today’s Reflection from Father Dave “Got to feed my fish today…we have six…their names are Sync, Blubby, Fish-fish, Noodle, and Burple…they are Tetras…Mine is named Sync.” So said a text message I received from a young parishioner. A few days ago I began writing these daily reflections just as an outlet, as suddenly I found myself without a Sunday community and no mass. These writings have now become a regular part of my Lenten practice. (I’m not a big fan of writing; just ask our bulletin editor.) They’ve become a way to keep connected to my parishioners in this time... Read more →

Cannot share the burden, but I can walk with you.

Today’s Reflection from Father Dave Cannot share the burden, but I can walk with you. To once again bore you with my pilgrimage walks (like being invited over to someone’s house to watch videos or slides of their vacation), this time it is about backpacks. Backpacks are fitted for each person. Go in; they measure you, and help adjust the straps. But in the end, it is you who carry the pack and all that you put into it. I found that as I walked, I fiddled with the pack; I felt the weight, where it rubbed wrong, and thought... Read more →

Following My Shadow

Today’s Reflection from Father Dave On my first Camino pilgrimage almost 7 years ago, the number one question before my departure was how would I know the route. My plan of action was to just follow my shadow. I would be walking due west from France across Spain, so it seemed like a good plan. Now certain family members pointed out that this might work in the morning, but what about in the afternoon? I did not say this was a foolproof plan, and since my start date was April 1st I was keeping to the theme of this trek:... Read more →

Mom’s Tapestry

Today’s Reflection from Father Dave My mom did needlepoint and now you know the full extent of my knowledge on this subject. I was remembering one of her works and was amazed that when viewed from one perspective you did not see neat organized stitching, but knots, threads that seem to have no direction, and even chaos. Turn it over, there is a masterpiece. (It’s my mom’s work so what else could it be?) It seems we are caught in a time looking at the backside of the tapestry and it makes no sense to us. I for one have... Read more →

Did your mother ever teach you not to walk in the street?

Today’s Reflection from Father Dave “Did your mother ever teach you not to walk in the street?” “She tried!” So began the conversation yesterday as I trekked to St. Matthias. My mom would tell the story about the time when I was 3 years old and had escaped the house and she discovered me lying in the middle of the street looking up at the sky. I still have the bad habit of walking in the street and not on the sidewalk. When I walk my thoughts drift and I do not always pay attention to the uneven sidewalks or... Read more →

Our wandering Pastor

Yesterday was the Feast of St. Joseph, a favorite of mine. Joseph was a carpenter; no more needs to be said. Joseph who never said a word in Scripture taught us a great lesson. Joseph had a dream, and it was there that he learned what God was calling him to be. God was entrusting to Joseph God’s own dream, His dream to save His people. God was entrusting to Joseph His own Son, Jesus, who came to save us. The fulfillment of this dream would come when Jesus embraced the cross and went to His death to show God’s... Read more →

Feast of St. Joseph – What I Miss…

Feast of St. Joseph – What I Miss… March 19, 2020 I have heard the comment, “What I missed during this time, _______ .“ (fill in the blank). Think of what it will be like when once again we can meet, when some sense of normalcy returns. Yesterday I came face-to-face on what I miss. I stood on top of the stair landing calling down to one of our young students, her dad, and the dog. This young lady’s smile can light up the world, and it was then I realized: I miss the young ones. If you would be... Read more →

The Cross I Carry

The Cross I Carry On my morning walk between the churches of St. Charles and St. Matthias I carry two crosses. One is the cross given to me by my father (more on that later), the other a small comfort cross carried on my pilgrimages. This cross was made by Phil, a parishioner. During pilgrimage hikes this cross is normally in my pocket although it is made and its purpose is to cradle in one’s hand. This is because hiking poles are often in use. But on these morning walks poles are not needed and I can carry the cross.... Read more →

St. Matthias Coronavirus Update (Happy St. Patrick’s Day)

A walk of faith, hope, and love on the feast of St. Patrick As many of you know, it has been a blessing for me to travel on pilgrimages in Spain and Italy. Yesterday in the midst of my walk to St. Matthias the song “You’ll never walk alone” started to play on my iTouch (yes I know that I am dating myself with this outmoded form of listening to music). The words of this song took on a new significance during this moment in my life. When you walk through a storm Hold your head up high And don’t... Read more →

Churches will be open for private, personal prayer.

This will be our finest hour. Dear St. Matthias Parishioners & Friends: A walk in faith, hope, and love Yesterday was strange! For the first time in my life, for the first time in my priesthood, there was no mass celebrated where I lived. I went online to see what was happening in Italy and to see how the Holy Father, Pope Francis, was spending his day as the churches in Rome are also closed. He was making a pilgrimage from St. Peter’s to the Basilica of St. Mary Major and to a cross that traversed Rome during the plague... Read more →

Live Stream Masses from St. Pius

St. Pius Church is live-streaming Masses. Last night’s 5:30 p.m. Mass and this morning’s 9:30 a.m. Mass were recorded and is posted on their website. The 11:30 a.m. Mass will be in Spanish and also live-streamed via YouTube. For all of this, just go to   Read more →