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Father Muench Says...

Wishes for a happy, blessed Thanksgiving

Nov. 25, 2015

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today, I would like to take a moment to offer my sincere regards to all of you for a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.  I am grateful for all of you – for being a reader of my weekly musings.  Each week as I write this column I think of you.  Each week I pray as I begin writing that I may come up with something that will be meaningful to you.  You are special to me.

I have often mentioned here the gratitude of thankfulness in this space; I believe as you know in the importance of the spirit of gratefulness beginning with gratitude for our own personal selves.  I believe that it is so important that we all live in gratefulness for whom we are, thankful for the immense gifts that God has given to us. 

We have all been blessed by our Creator with wonderful gifts and opportunities to make our lives better and our world a better place.  I am certain that exaggerated pride would be dangerous.  Rather a sensible gratitude for ourselves is important to help us recognize the wisdom and strength of will to do many good things.

The holiday of Thanksgiving is such a unique opportunity for us to celebrate our gratitude for our families and friends – and as Catholics in gratitude for our Catholic Church and faith.  Each day of our lives we all are touched and blessed by the many people and opportunities that give our lives meaning and purpose.

Today, I would also like to share with you how deeply upset and saddened I am by the recent terrorist attack in the city of Paris.  I just don’t fully understand just what happened.

I believe that each and every person has a unique value and I continue to be grateful to God for the wonderful gifts that are given to each one of us.  So such terrible things as this truly disturb me. This terrible event wiped out so many good and gifted people, so many young, so many older who are truly gifts to our world.

I don’t know all that will happen because of this crime, how the countries of the world will react. 

I can only pray and I ask you to join me in prayer that something good will come about, that soon there will be peace for every one of us.  I know that there is fear.  Such terrible events bring fear into our hearts.  I hope that this fear does not become a time to do something dreadful. 

My prayer is that we all are not afraid to move ahead with all that means for our world.  Our Catholic Church can and must contribute so many good, even great things to this challenge.

Finally, I have one more thing to share with you.  Today, I am writing this column as I am watching the television coverage of the meeting of the Fall Assembly of our United States Conference of Bishops.  I am pleased that our bishops have allowed us to listen in to some of the proceedings of this year’s meetings.

Each year all of the Bishops of our country, the United States Conference of Bishops meets twice to discuss and make decisions concerning our Church in our own country.

Some years there are some interesting decisions. Some years there are surprises and, I will admit that other times it is rather routine.

I found it rather interesting that the Bishops who attended the recent Synod on the Family at the Vatican gave a bit of description of what happened but I was a little disappointed that they didn’t give a little more information on what was decided.  I was just rather inquisitive.

One of the bishops described to the other bishops the information about the World Youth Day for next summer in Krakow – it sounds so interesting, even exciting – I think I will see if our diocesan group will accept a slightly older observer. 

Bishop LaValley was there – I saw him on television.  I know that he will fill us in on some of the things that came up at the meeting.  I have had the privilege of being a priest in this diocese under several bishops.  It is a unique relationship – the bishop with his priests. 

I thank God each day that I have had the good fortune to minister in the Diocese of Ogdensburg under such good and holy bishops.

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