||Deacon Joe Hulway
||July 1, 2010
"In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I
am going to prepare a place for you?"
|We often have a lot of questions we would like to ask Jesus, but in the gospels we can also reflect on a lot of the
questions that Jesus asks of others, and indirectly of us. Jesus' question this month addresses the continued lack of
faith and understanding of the apostles. He has promised them something, but they have lingering doubts regarding the
fulfillment of that promise. Facing our own death, or the death of a loved one, is probably the surest test of our faith. We
need to reflect on whether we truly believe and have confidence in God's promise of something much better when we
leave this earthly life.
As baptized Christians, unless we have completely broken our relationship with God through mortal sin, we can have
confidence in our heavenly inheritance--a dwelling prepared for us by Christ. That dwelling will be prepared and ready
for us when we die, but we might not be ready yet to inhabit it. We might have to spend some time in purgatory paying
any debts for our sinfulness that are still due and purging our souls of our attachments to the sinful desires that we could
not break while we journeyed on earth. We need to be sanctified, to be made holy, before we can enter heaven. We
need to be pure of heart, because only then can we see God.
It is important to have confidence in Jesus' promise of eternal life in heaven, because this trust helps to give us the
strength and courage to make sacrifices here on earth. It helps us keep our perspective and set our priorities on
treasures in heaven and not on material goods and pleasures. If we truly believe that our sojoun on earth is just a short
blip on the time scale of eternity, we will strive to be holy and this will make us much better disposed when we leave this
earth. We will need much less cleaning up before we can take possession of the dwelling Jesus has prepared for us.
|One of the reasons for purgatory is that, even though we have good intentions, we struggle to break our attachments to
earthly pleasures, our slavery to sin. We go to confession month after month (year after year?) and find ourselves
confessing the same sins. We receive graces from the sacrament and hopefully we make at least some slow, though
often unsteady, progress on our spiritual journey. In much the same way, I once again offer my apology for the long
delay since the last newsletter. I have asked forgiveness from God in the confessional for my laziness and ask for your
prayers as I try to improve my discipline.
These last three months have been filled with many distractions which I am tempted to use as excuses. But they are
simply that, excuses, not good reasons. But I would like to share some things that have happened.
I think you are all aware that the book, Orthoscopy, was officially released on June 1. It has been an exciting time with a
couple of book signings and a few more being planned. This stage of the life of the book has not taken up a lot of my
physical time, but it certainly has been a distraction and preoccupation.
Our youngest daughter Andrea graduated from Oakland University on May 1 and married Nathan Owen on June 5. We
are now officially empty-nesters, although it hasn't really had a chance to sink in yet. Now my only official duty is to play
Of course the preparation and distractions for a June 5th wedding were not enough to cause us to abandon the annual
chicken BBQ on Memorial Day weekend. With the exception of two years, this event has taken place every year since
1978. The size has grown over the years, but may be plateauing. We grilled 20 chickens using Uncle John's traditional
12 beer method.
Unfortunately, during the exciting month leading up to the wedding, Jenni's father, James Burgan, was suffering in
intensive care from complications from what should have been routine surgery. He passed away two days after the
wedding. Please pray for the repose of his soul; that God forgive his sins and in His mercy cleanse him and sanctify him
as quickly as possible to prepare him for his heavenly dwelling.
It is also time for preparation for changes in my ministry at Sacred Heart. Our pastor is retiring effective June 30, and it
will be a time of transition as we welcome our new pastor, Fr. Paul Ward. There has been some discussion with the
archdiocese over the last months to determine if this would also be an appropriate time for me to transition to a new
parish as well. At the time of this writing I am still awaiting official notification, but the preliminary indication is that they
want me to stay at Sacred Heart for some undetermined period of time to assist Fr. Ward with his transition. One change
that will probably occur is that I will no longer be preaching every Sunday, and so there will be fewer homilies to post on
the Web site.
Our bee hives continue to thrive and prosper--the bees know what they are doing but they still have a lot to teach us.
The brood chambers are pretty much filled and we just added the honey supers last week so that the bees can start
making some honey for us. I have been stung three times so far and am concerned that I might be allergic to bee stings.
I was stung on the wrist a few days before the wedding and my whole forearm became swollen--Jenni said it looked like a
Popeye arm. We had saved a few bucks and didn't buy official bee suits. Instead we improvised with some cheap pith
helmets we found at a costume site on the Web and combined them with some netting we had laying around which we
tucked into our shirts. Jenni has made some revisions to our improvised suits to increase their protection because of my
concern about further stings. We look pretty silly with our makeshift outfits, but the bees don't laugh too much.
|Homilies and Bulletin Articles
|There are seven new homilies posted at the website since the last newsletter.
No Sin Too Big
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 13, 2010
Believe in Miracles
Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
June 6, 2010
Do Not Fear Adversity
May 30, 2010
Christ is Our Rest and Consolation
May 23, 2010
Don't Just Stand There
The Ascension of the Lord
May 16, 2010
Do You Belong to His Flock?
4th Sunday of Easter
April 25, 2010
ABCs of Mercy
2nd Sunday of Easter
April 11, 2010
|Status of the Book
|As I have already indicated, Orthoscopy is now officially released and can be purchased online at places like Amazon or
Barnes & Noble. I had the book signing at Celtic Cove in May which was very enjoyable and gave me the opportunity to
reconnect with many old friends. I also sold books after the Masses at Sacred Heart one weekend and was tickled with
the positive response. I have two events planned for September; one at the Romeo library on September 1, and another
at PerryFest 2010 in Perry, MI on September 18. I also have some leads for book signings at traditional bookstores
through my publisher. Several Christian radio personalities have been contacted as well, but as yet I have received no
replies. If you have any marketing suggestions please let me know so that we can work to raise more money for charity.
For example, if you have a church event you would like me to participate in or a group you would like me to address, a
portion of the charitable proceeds from book sales can be donated directly back to your parish group.
Unfortunately, very little writing has been accomplished on Orthoscopy II since the last newsletter, although I have given
it much thought and have some ideas developed more fully. Hopefully I will have a better status to report next month.