Tag - Christmas

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Christmas Eve, 2011
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Christmas Preparations in Oceanside
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Christmas 2011

Christmas Eve, 2011

Christmas Eve here in Oceanside.  A half hour of confessions in the early afternoon-–a nothing assignment compared with the hours we used to spend in the box in Chuuk and the afternoons of penance services on Pohnpei.  Mass at 4 PM in a crowded church, with Christmas mass celebrated in two other locations at the same time.  Here as everywhere there are crowds who haven’t seen the inside of a church in months, but people who seem to cherish even these occasional ties with the parish.  The traditional Christmas hymns, a homily that tries to speak to our lives on the day after Christmas as much as on the day itself, and communions that seem to go on forever.

Right after mass a visit to the hospital here in town to see a woman with one leg amputated and another Read More

Christmas Preparations in Oceanside

While I was in the gym working out the other day, I heard a voice coming from the other side of the alcove.  “Hey, Tony, whatsamaddah wichya?  You can’t even do one push-up?  Dere’s a guy 93 yeahs old doin pushups.  Whatsamaddah wichya?”

At that I stopped my 20 push-up routine and looked around the gym to see who this 93-year-old wonder might be.  I scanned the gym before I realized that there was no one doing push-ups but me.  (Gulp!)


The face of suburban poverty is becoming real here in Oceanside.  Read More

Christmas 2011

As you may know, I’ve been in New York for the past year–working for several months at our Jesuit weekly magazine, America, before moving to Long Island to begin a stint of pastoral work in our parish at Oceanside. The parishioners here are warm and welcoming–and so made my transition much easier. But they’re also transplants from Brooklyn and rather old. So we often chat about the old Brooklyn Dodgers and the traumatic day the decision was announced that the team would move to LA. You have to love the people here. The other day one of the parishioners brought me a pair of lined winter boots, thus capping off a large winter wardrobe provided over the past year by family and friends. Another man, a warm and gregarious Italian, looked me in the eye and told me not to worry. “You have a family here, Father,” he said. “You belong to us now.”

Still, you won’t be surprised to hear that every morning I wake up with thoughts of Micronesia, and it’s the last thing I think about before falling asleep. Read More

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