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Father Muench Says...

Thank you, God, for a good, happy life

Nov. 13, 2013

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

First off – I want to join all who have offered congratulations to my editor, Mary Lou Kilian, on her anniversary with the North Country Catholic. Mary Lou has been a real gift to the Diocese of Ogdensburg and to the North Country Catholic.  Our diocesan newspaper is rather unique among Catholic Diocesan newspapers.  Many dioceses have chosen to drop the publication of a weekly newspaper. We, in the Diocese of Ogdensburg have long realized the value of the NCC – bringing the message of Church and of our Catholic Church and of our own diocese to the homes of the people of this diocese.  This has been possible through the many dedicated people who have worked so hard in editing this paper.  Of course, the support of each of our bishops has indicated their recognition of the value of the NCC.

Mary Lou has given many years – and lots of sacrifice – to make the NCC successful.  So, I thank Mary Lou for her efforts and dedication to bringing the message to the people of this diocese. Personally, I would like to add my gratitude also for her being such a great editor – I know only too well her care in checking over my material, making it fit for printing.  So – thanks, Mary Lou – you have done well.

Recently, someone encouraged me to listen to a recording of a talk given by Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiega, the Archbishop of Tegucigulpa, Honduras – through the miracle of YouTube.  As you know, you can find almost anything on YouTube. Cardinal Maradiega is one of the eight Cardinals chosen by Pope Francis as one of his closest advisors.  So I was interested to see what he was like.  I must admit he was great. This talk was given at the closing ceremony of the Diocese of Miami’s Synod.  The talk was sensational.  Cardinal Maradiega speaks with a captivating enthusiasm. 

His talk affirmed his confidant faith in the message of the Second Vatican Council.  He quoted the Council often.
The Cardinal emphasized the Council’s recognition of all the baptized as the People of God.  He spent time reminding us that the People of God are one – united as the baptized – the laity and the clergy. We are united in the effort of bringing Christ’s message of love and peace to this world.

So he challenged all lay men and women to be more active in bringing the message of our Savior to their part of the world.

Reminding us of Pope Francis’ constant message, Cardinal Maradiega challenged all – lay men and women, bishops, priests and deacons – to evangelize this world with the message of Jesus.

To accomplish this – for all to become church – we all must return heart and soul to Jesus.  This is the New Evangelization.

The Church’s mission is first and foremost to manifest the deeds of Jesus.  This demands from all of us a new and stronger relationship with Jesus.

This will make us truly the People of God. This will change our world – a world dedicated to the Lord.

Listening to Cardinal Maradiega's talk was a rewarding experience for me.  I now have a great respect for him. 
This increases my confidence that he is the type of good adviser that Our Holy Father, Pope Francis needs.

Another birthday for me this week – I suspect you have said just what I did – “Can I possibly be this old.” I remember well my first pastor, Monsignor Leary.I was certain when I was with him that he was truly ancient – I am now older than he was then.

So – I thank God for another good year. I have been blessed with a good and happy life. I offer my thanks for so many who have been so good to me and made my life a happy one.  And I thank all of you, readers, for being part of my family. 

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