Thursday, December 31, 2009

4th, 5th and 6th Day of Christmas- December 29,30 and 31

Ok. Gang. Obviously I'm playing a little catch up these last days of 2009.

Actually have to confess that I did'nt make it on the 4th Day!!!! Just ran out of time. Don't worry........I'll make it up......maybe I'll even throw in another day at the end..........make it a "bakers dozen" Days of Christmas.

I did have a good Nordic Track work out on the 5th Day. I laugh because you could get the impression that I'm on contract with Nordic Track!!!!! Actually it is a pretty old machine and I'm not even sure they make them anymore. It is really a simple contraption that simulates cross country skiing. Skiing cross country is a real workout and the machine does a decent job of simulating it!!! I went and donated blood after my workout on Day 5. The city has made a special push for blood donors during the holidays and the staff at the Blood Bank said they have been unusually busy. Thanks to all who responded with a blood donation.......there really is no substitute.

Today is Day 6, December 31, the last day of 2009 and I had a good run to close out the year. It was chilly, wet and foggy but one of those nice quiet days for a run. I don't know if it is my imagination but foggy and misty days like today seem to be quieter. It seems as if all the traffic noise etc. is muffled as if it were blanketed in cotton!!!!

We had a nice mass this morning for the last day of the year. Today is the 7th Day in the Octave of Christmas so I guess officially my 12 days are off by one day. Oh well!!!!!!

Let us pray together for our families, our communities, our nation and for all of God's people throughout the world. Hopefully 2010 will prove to be a year when we finally begin to welcome the Prince of Peace in a more profound way.

In the mean time...........KEEP ON RUNNIN'

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Third Day of Christmas- December 28

Another good workout. I was laughing with a fellow runner because both of us have encountered people that thought we were crazy for running. We've had people get really upset saying it was to hot to run or too cold to run. I even had one lady say she was going to call the police! Oh well......we just keep on running.

Today, December 28 is the feast of the holy innocents, it commemorates the boys two and younger that Herod had killed after his visit with the Magi. I guess it teaches us something to be reminded that there was violent resistance to Christ even as a baby. It seems the very idea that God could be so close to us is threatening to some. We shouldn't be surprised that even to this day the strong resistance continues. Maybe we like the idea that we can pretend we are God. Let's use these Days of Christmas to rejoice that God has loved us so much and rid ourselves of the ways we resist His coming.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Second Day of Christmas- December 27

Another beautiful day, still pretty chilly but nice and sunny. I confess I ran out of daylight and ended up on the Nordic Track after dark. It is always a good workout but I miss the fresh air.

Today was Sunday and the Catholic calendar celebrated the Feast of the Holy Family. This is celebrated on the Sunday immediately after Christmas. It always seems appropriate to me that we celebrate the family in the midst of the holidays when so many of us are gathering with our families. It is a good time to reflect on the blessing of our families.

I'm also aware of the difficult time that many have because of the loss of loved ones. The holidays can be especially difficult if we have recently lost loved ones or if we are far away from home and unable to be with family. I have been blessed as a priest to always have family within a reasonable driving distance. I try to especially pray for the priests who are half a world away from their families during the holidays. We are blessed with many priests in our diocese in Tyler who have left home and family far behind in order to serve the people of God. We need to be especially thankful to them during the holidays.

As we approach the New Year why not go ahead and get started on that "new years resolution" to get some exercise!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

First Day of Christmas- December 26

Well I made the first run of my "Twelve Runs of Christmas". It was a nice day for a run, a little cool but nice and sunny. I guess you could count December 25 as the first day of Christmas nut I doubted I'd get a run in on Christmas day and I was right.

I hope that my 12 runs of Christmas will remind us all to keep celebrating the birth of our Lord for the whole Christmas season. The Catholic liturgical calendar offers us a whole season to celebrate the Feast of Christmas. It is still easy to slip back into regular routines leaving "the season" as something that only happens in Church.

One suggestion I make is to continue gift giving during the Christmas season. Gifts given during the season really aren't's still Christmas!!!!!!!

I hope you can get back out there and get some exercise. All of us have some "turkey and pumpkin pie" to get rid of!!!!!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 7's been a while but I am still here. Getting in some good runs as we zip through Advent.

I do have my next set of runs on the calendar........the 12 runs of Christmas beginning on December 26.

Have a blessed Advent.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Hello out there. I'm sorry I've gotten behind on posting to the blog, just busy with the usual stuff. I intended to take a bit of a break after my October runs but the time kind of got away from me.

The picture of St. Peter's reminds me of the Thanksgiving I spent there a couple of years ago. It was interesting to be out of the country for the Thanksgiving holiday. It made me that much more thankful for the blessing we have here in the good ole USA. We certainly have our problems but this is a great country because of the goodness of the people here and the freedoms we enjoy. Let us pray that we can live these freedoms more responsibly.

It has been great running weather lately and I got in a nice run at Faulkner Park yesterday. I hope to get in another out there this afternoon. I actually saw another runner out there yesterday. I believe that is the first time I've seen another runnner on the trail. There were lots of bikers too and I frequently see people walking but it was good to see a running comrade. I guess the park was busier than usual with people anticipating that they were going to eat too much turkey.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving we all reflect on the blessings of family and friends in our lives. Let's remember to be thankful all year........not just on one day. A good thought for our exercise also.......good thing to do all year not just one day!!!!

I hope to organize myself for another set of runs during Advent and leading up to Christmas. In the mean time have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The 8th of November

I had a good run today after a couple of days off after completing my 31 runs in 31 days trek. I'm planning to put something together around the Thanksgiving holiday............turkey trots seem to be popular and I can definitely supply the turkey!!!!!!

The picture reminds me of the theme that the Catholic liturgy sets for November. We celebrate All Souls Day on November 2. This is a traditional time to pray for all who have died. As Catholics we offer masses for the repose of the soul of loved ones and remember them especially in our prayers. Many people both Catholic and non-catholic have expressed to me how comforting it is to be able to pray for loved ones who have died. Some Christian traditions see this as simply a Catholic thing but it has always seemed to me that it is a logical aspect of our belief in Jesus Christ. The Catholic doctrine of Purgatory reminds us that the absolute separation between this life and the next is not reality. Our faith reminds us that life is a journey that continues through all the phases of this life and into the next. My personal experience of the loss of loved ones serves to deepen my faith that this is the reality.......those who have passed from this life continue to be alive in God and so we pray for them as we hope they pray for us.

Pretty heavy stuff on a November Sunday!!!! I pray that whatever your experience of death and loss may be you may find the ancient tradition of praying for the dead to be a source of great consolation and deeper faith.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Day 30 & 31

I finally got a chance to finish up the first installment on my blog with run #30 and 31.

#30 was a Nordic track day. It was actually a nice day but I just didn't have time. Someone asked me if they still make Nordic Tracks. I'm really mt sure. I may be working out on an antique!!!

#31 Got'er Done

had a good final run of my thirty-one. I haven't decided what my next installment will be......maybe something with Turkey Day.

Day 29

I had a good run. The weather has been pperfect. I hope you are getting out to enjoy these fall days

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 28

I managed to get a run in before the rain returned. I ran in the neighborhood around UT Tuler.

We honored two mothers last night at the Tyler Catholic School Foundation dinner. Mary Prudhomme and Martha Ann Roy Lehnertz exemplify the qualities we celebrate in our mothers. They were women of faith and family who dedicated their lives to others. As we celebrated them last night I celebrated my mother also and I'm sure the people present thought of their mothers also.

Day 27

I had a nice sloppy run today! We've been blessed with so much rain lately that the trail I run on in Faulkner Park was very much like a swamp for my last run.

I'm planning to head out for a run in a few minutes. Storm clouds are approaching but maybe I can squeeze it in before more rain.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 26

I had another good workout on the Nordic Track.

I'm still catching up on getting my runs posted. I'm glad I'm better with the exercise than with getting my runs posted to the Blog!!

I went to a conference on spirituality and health and Gertrude the world's oldest person was quoted. When Gertrude was asked, why have you lived so long she said, "God, ask him, I took care of myself the way he wanted me to". Gertrude at 114 sounds like a very wise woman. Got exercise?

Day 25

Had a good workout on the Nordic Track

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 22, 23,24 Catching Up

I guess you could say the weekend kind of slammed my schedule at least as far as keeping up with the blog postings. The weather has been standard for East Texas, "sunny..........I mean sunny.............wait it is cloudy". I guess it's called "mostly changable". I've had some good runs and some good workouts on the Nordic Track when the weather wasn't cooperating.

I'm heading into the home stretch. Thanks for all the support and I hope here and there you've been inspired to keep up or "get with" your own exercise program. I'd have to say that the whole RunFatherRun experience has been an inspiration to me and I hope it has inspired you in some way.

The Catholic liturgical calendar is counting down to the Feast of Christ the King and the end of another liturgical year. The cycle begins again with the First Sunday of Advent. The image attached to this post is the Christmas window from the Cathedral. As of yesterday Christmas is two months away. I guess it will get busy soon!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Nice Day

Just thought I'd share this picture of Fr. Joe "at work" on a pretty day.

Day 21 Runnin' Down Hill

At day 21 I'm pleased that I have been able to keep up with the running pretty well. I admit it has been a challenge to fit them in but I'm always glad I did.

Today was a quick run in the neighborhood South of the Cathedral down College Street etc. It is fun to just kind of "run where the wind blows", I discover new little side streets and house that I'd never paid attention to before.

I've always noticed there is something about running in an area that gives me a much better picture of the actual layout of things. I might get lost in a car in a new area but after I run there a few times I'm really much more oriented. I guess it is some primordial instinct!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Got Exercise.

Day 20

I had to go to West,Texas today (the town) yes there is a West,Texas. I guess they named it West after they had exhausted their more creative ideas like Waxahachie and Italy!!! I had a good run in the countryside outside West.

The beautiful weekend we had was taken over by clouds and rain but it really wasn't bad in West.

Keep on Runnin'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 17, 18 & 19 Catching Up!!!!

The weather has been what I call "perfect running weather" the past three days. It has been a challenge to wedge a run into my schedule these past days but I managed to get it done and I'm glad I did.

Day 17 I ran in the neighborhood near the Cathedral. It is always challenging to play "find the turf" since I do my best not to run on concrete or asphalt these days. Saturday was a packed day but getting the run in really helped give me the energy to keep going.

Day 18 was another busy day with 4 masses but I managed to run in the Stonegate addition off of Paluxy and South of the Loop. I even saw a few parishioners along the way. It is always fun to see the reaction of the kids when they see me running. They seem surprised to see a priest doing normal things!!!!

Today, Day 19 was another beautiful day in the Piney Woods. I ran at Lindsey park which is a soccer and baseball complex on the West side of town.

I hope you got some exercise today............perfect day for a nice walk.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 16 Get 'er Done

The picture is of the Statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. It is special to me because today, October 16, is the memorial of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque who had a special devotion to the Sacred Heart. My mother Monica Clare Margaret Hart Strickland was born on October 17, and always had a special devotion to the Sacred Heart. It is one of those very Catholic images that our non-catholic brothers and sisters don't really understand. I believe it is important to all of us that we recognize the clear and scriptural foundation of sacramentals like the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. They flow from century after century of faithful disciples of Jesus Christ the Son of God reflecting on the Gospels. The Gospels clearly speak of the Sacred Heart of Christ pierced as He dies for us. It seems tremendously appropriate for all Christians to reflect on the beautiful Sacred Heart of God's Son as it beats its very last as an expression of love for all humanity. It's not just a Catholic "thing" it is a gift to all who believe in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, Redeemer of the World. God bless you Monica Claire Margaret.

Sorry I got so preachy above but after all I am The Running Priest!!!!! As I hoped I managed to get a great run in this afternoon. I have to laugh because it was not easy to "stay with the program". I had a day of non-stop meetings and just barely managed to squeeze in a run before a wedding rehearsal at the Cathedral. I was literally on the phone dealing with an issue and trying to change into running clothes at the same time......a bit of a challenge to say the least. It was a beautiful October afternoon after I finally got out there and managed to get in a run with just enough time to get cleaned up and over to the Cathedral for the rehearsal.

As I was reflecting on my hectic day and the "barely squeezed in" run I realized that I can't remember a single time when I "got the run in" and said afterward "I wish I hadn't done that!!!!!!!!!" It seems I'm ALWAYS glad I got a run in....the only regrets come when I don't manage to run and often think "I wish I'd been able to run".

Have a great weekend and get out there and get some exercise.

Day 15 I Confess

I bet you don't often have a chance to hear the confession of a priest!!! I have to confess that after planes, trains and automobiles yesterday I wasn't able to get in a run, a treadmill session or even a Nordic track!! I'm determined to get one in today and it looks like a really nice day for it!

Don't worry and please don't deduct from your donation!!!!! I'll plan to do a make up run on November 1, for 32 minutes so that you are sure to get all the "virtual running" you paid for!!!!

Have a blessed day. Got Exercise???

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 14

Another good workout on the treadmill, it will be good to get back to the trails in Tyler. I only saw a couple of my canon law classmates. I guess a lit of places are really struggling with their budgets so mist of the participants are from fairly close by.

The talks have been helpful, one I went to was about proper evaluation of seminarians, I'll have to pass that on to Jorge Sanchez our pastoral year seminarian.

I'll sign off now........Got Exercise?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 13

I had a good workout on the treadmill today. Thirty one minutes on the treadmill isn't exactly a run but it felt good.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 12 Thanks to All

I realized I haven't said thank you to all of you who have pledged your support for my running project. I don't have any totals yet but I know a number of you have been really generous. It has bee fun. Thank You!!!!

I managed to get out to the Kentucky countryside today for a nice run. This is called "bluegrass country" but it looks pretty green to me!!! Have a great day........Got Exercise???

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day 11

I had a good workout tonight on the treadmill in the hotel fitness center. Certainly not the same as a run in the park but still gets the blood pumping. The machines were full of gadgets, even a virtual fitness trainer!!

I'll scout out the area tomorrow to see if I can work a run in between sessions.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day 10

The run today felt really good. I ran down Front street to Vine and around to 4th street and then wound my way back to the Cathedral. I do my best to stay on turf these days because I have some problems with my feet so it is always a challenge to find the "green stuff" in the midst of streets, sidewalks and driveways. The temp etc. was just about perfect for running today, cool and crisp. I was glad to be able to get outside again after the Nordic Track Trek yesterday.

Reflecting on the readings for this Sunday as I ran I kept going back to the portion of the Gospel where the young man walks away sad. My homily will somehow focus on that basic theme for this weekend and I would encourage all of us to reflect on it. How am I tempted to "walk away sad" from the call of Jesus Christ? In our sinfulness and weakness I believe all of us face that temptation. Sometimes living the Way of Jesus Christ the Son of God just seems to be so far beyond what we can manage we can think all we can do is "walk away". Whatever the challenges of living Christ in our own personal journey, in our families and in our society let's not "walk away sad" but instead trust in the Lord and continue to see His Way.

I'm off to a Canon Law meeting in Kentucky after masses tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how I can get Day 11 taken care of with the travel and all. Hopefully next installment will be "live from Kentucky".


Follow Up

I wanted to report that I did get in a good Nordic Track Trek. In some ways it's harder to use a treadmill or other exercise machine because it can be so boring. You have to get creative with music or something to move the clock along a little faster.

Exercise equipment makes a great clothing rack but I encourage you to move those shirts and sweaters and put your exercise equipment to good use. Have a great Saturday!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Day 9 A Rainout?

Just making a wild guess but I'm guessing today will be another Nordic Track day. I'm doing things a bit differently today, writing my blog post before I go for a run or Nordic Track Trek!!

As I've been working in my office at the Cathedral this morning I've been watching the steady rain and not seeing any sign of one of those last minute changes in the weather that East Texas is famous for, we'll just have to see.

A friend who is a fellow runner sent the picture of the beautiful yellow flowers....not!!! You may recognize these plants as the source of your sneezes and headaches at this time of year. East Texas may be the top producer in the world of these little yellow buds of allergy producing stuff.

Got Exercise??

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day 8

I ran through the Azalea District today taking a route that wound through streets like College, Rusk, Robertson, Dobbs and Shaw. Recognize any of those?

It was very humid and I don't know if it was just because it was Day 8 or because of the humidity but it was a hard run to finish. I had to motivate myself by saying "Remember the Bloggers!!!!!!!" Hopefully I'm inspiring you to get some exercise, obviously you're inspiring me to keep it up.

The stained glass window in the picture is one that many who regularly attend the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception may not recognize. It is in the Bishop's Sacristy on the right as you face the main altar so usually only the Bishop and altar servers who vest there would get to see it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Day 7 A Very Special Day

I had an early run this morning down College St to Bergfeld Park etc. Then I joined our St. Gregory Catholic School community for the National Walk to School. I thought it was a great experience that reminded me of simpler days. I rode the bus but however we got ourselves to school every day I'm sure we all have memories of that daily trek.

We also celebrated Our Lady of the Rosary in our Catholic calendar today. This feast of the Catholic liturgy originates from a papal decree in the Middle Ages. Many probably wonder why the Catholic Church continues to hold onto these ancient traditions in our modern world. Certainly many ask us why we focus on Mary, isn't it all about Jesus? We respond as Catholics, ABSOLUTELY it's all about Jesus and we honor Mary because she is the original disciple who is all about Jesus. Let's follow her example and ponder the works of God in our lives. I believe we need that more than ever in our modern world.

Got Exercise????

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Day 6 so Far So good

I had another good run on the Faulkner Trail this afternoon. It was a lot more humid today and almost 90 degrees.

Continued to reflect on today's Gospel passage from the Gospel acccording to Luke. Today's passage is the encounter with Martha and Mary when Jesus says Mary has chosen the better part. I think most of us feel for Martha and envy Mary. Especially in today's world we are "busy about many things". The passage seems to clearly indicate that being busy and worried about many things is not just a modern problem. It also reminds us that we are called to seek the better part just like Mary did. The business still needs to be taken care of but being focused on "the better part" gives us the strength to do the business well.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day 5

I had a good run this afternoon. I ran at Faulkner Park on the bike trail. I always enjoy the woods after a heavy rain like yesterday, everything is peaceful and quiet.

By the way, I wanted to apologize for typos on these posts. I've written several of them on my iPhone and sometimes I hit the wrong letter. iPhone has a great autofill feature but sometimes it assumes I've transitioned to a different language!!!!!

I hope you got some exercise today!!!!!

Our grade school, St Gregory Catholic Elementary, is participating in the national Walk to School event on Wednesday this week. I plan to walk/run with the should be interesting. God bless.

A Runner's Tribute to Saint Francis of Assisi

The Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi yesterday, October 4th and as we remember this italian saint who lived hundreds of years ago he reminds us that we must care for Mother Earth as a gift from God.

Saint Francis celebrated the beauty of every aspect of creation and reminds us to respect these sacred gifts. The diverse beauty of our planet is something we can celebrate through technology in ways that Francis never imagined but we must also be careful that the same technology doesn't bring harm to our fragile world. Let us celebrate Saint Francis by doing all we can to protect the world he loved so much.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Day 4

Well gang I must confess I didn't run today, too much rain. I know that's a wimpy excuse but I didn't think it would be very smart to get soaking wet. I did get in a good workout on my Nordic track so hopefully that counts. My cat always reacts to the Nordic track. She seems to waiver between attacking it or hiding under the bed. She usually chooses the bed!

In my homiily today I asked the question, "is this God's plan?" I think we can apply that to all of the important decisions we have to make. Too often the world says we should just follw our own plan. That seems to get us in trouble all the tiime as individuals, as nations and as a global society.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Day 3

Had another good run today. A bit warmer but that's how it goes with weather in East Texas. I ran out at Faulkner Park on the bike trails. There are more and more bikers out there especially in this gorgeous weather. So far no collisions!!!!!

On today's run I was reflecting on the readings for this Sunday. I think it all comes down to a basic question. Is what I am about to do God's plan or my plan? We can apply that to all of our choices and I think it will help a lot.

I'm trying to include a picture from last year when I had a chance to run in the Italian countryside in the Tuscany area. If the picture doesn't make it I guess you'll just have to use your imagination!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Day 2

Great day for a run. I was a little short on time so I took the route down College to Hamvasy back up Chilton then cut back over to College. Pretty quiet and peaceful run.

Today we celebrated the feast of th Guardian Angels and I asked the people at 7 am mass if there angel had "grown up". I think it's a good question for all of us to ponder because we probably need our guardian angels more now than ever. Isn't it a consoling thought to realize that the angels represent the will of God that we all share everlasting life with him.

Godbless and have a great weekend.

Have a Beautiful October Day

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Well gang I had a great run for my first official day. If you are one of my virtual companions you'll want to know that today we ran at the UT Tyler campus for 31 minutes. It had looked like rain earlier in the day but by about 4 pm it was clear to partly cloudy "with a chance of meatballs"!! We ran in and out of the nature trail that winds through the woods along university headed toward the main entrance to UT Tyler.

It appeared that the UT baseball team was having a practice as we ran by the back of the baseball field. Occasionally I see criters as I run through the woods but it was pretty quiet today. I often reflect on the day as I run and visit with God along the way. God seems to share some of his best stuff while I'm "runnin' and sweatin' " I suppose Our Lord likes the idea that as I run I'm a bit more aware that every breath I take is a gift from Him. It has been a very busy and stressfull week but a good run always seems to help. God bless. I encourage you to get out there and exercise. Whatever form it takes exercise that gets the heart rate going is A GOOD THING. See you tomorrow for DAY 2.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

First Attempt

Well friends I suppose I've entered the "blogosphere." Is that a place where you breath "blogxogen"?

I hope this Blog will be a companion to my little effort.

My plan is to give you a few tidbits now and then about how my running is going. The sites I see etc. etc.

Had a good run today after a stressful day of phone calls, meetings etc. etc. The running seems to feel especially good after a rough day. Did you exercise today? Make sure you start tomorrow if you didn't.