Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Continuing to Build

The construction of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul continues as you can see. Brick is going on and soon the wooden trusses will be installed. It will be exciting to see the Chapel continue to develop in 2011. The contract indicates a completion date of sometime in September. Let us continue to pray in thanksgiving for the generous donors who have made this possible and to pray for the safety of all the workers involved. I'm reading Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett and it reminds me that all the workers who are involved in constructing the Chapel have their own stories of joys and struggles. Let us pray for them as they serve our community in such an important way. The skills they use are God Given and we pray that they are a blessing for the individual workers and for the community they serve.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Blessed Christmas to All

Apologies for slow posting lately but I did want to wish everyone a Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year. I'll try to get some more Chapel Progress pictures posted and reflect with you a bit regarding the exciting events of 2010 as we approach the beginning of 2011.

God Bless you in the Love of His Child.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Great Inspector

You saw the earlier post with Chapel Inspectors but now you have the chance to see the Grand Inspector!!!!! Believe me she put the architect, designer and contractor through their paces making sure the Chapel would be kid friendly and solidly built. She wanted to make sure that when she's all grown up and running things the Chapel will still be in great shape and very low maintenance. You could hear the crew saying repeatedly................Yes ma'am, Yes madame inspector!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great job Ms. Sattler!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Chapel Inspection

Some of the Chapel Committee took a tour of the progress on the Chapel on December 2 and then had a meeting with our Liturgical Designer to discuss preparations for the stained glass windows. I think the Chapel Committee members would join me in saying that we have learned a lot in this process from pews to stained glass. These Advent days remind us to be especially grateful for the wonderfully generous gifts from so many individuals and families that have made the construction of this Chapel possible.

I often get the question from Catholics and non-catholics.........Why are you calling it a Chapel........it seems to big to be a Chapel. It is large and I suppose that was the overwhelming impression of the Chapel Committee members as we looked around. We have all seen much larger churches but the Chapel has a feeling of ample space and presence that I hope will contribute greatly to the worship that takes place there. This is all possible because of the loving sacrificial donations of so many.

Let us continue to pray together during these Advent days.......in thanksgiving for the greatest gift of all.......God's own Son and in prayer that we might live in His light always.

Today, December 3, we celebrate St. Francis Xavier a missionary of the 16th century who is described as "the greatest missionary since the Apostles". Let us pray that St. Francis Xavier may inspire all of us to "go out to all the world and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.

I have had some great runs lately........the weather in East Texas has been its usual "changeable" but today is beautiful and sunny with a temp of about 70 degrees.......I hope to get in a good run at lunchtime. If you haven't gotten any exercise during these busy Advent days.......why not get out there and join me. A nice brisk wall or even just a leisurely stroll will do you good!!!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Chapel Photo Album

These photos show the Chapel main entry, a view from the altar to the main entry and a view of the Day Chapel.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Building a Sign of Faith

As you can see the Chapel continues to take shape. It is interesting to see it from different angles around the area. I realized yesterday that I can look out the back window of my house and see the Chapel rising on the campus.

Yesterday, November 9, we celebrated the anniversary of the dedication of St. John Lateran. This beautiful basilica in Rome is not as well known as St. Peter's but it is actually the Pope's cathedral. As Bishop of Rome the Pope has a cathedra church or cathedral like all other bishops. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Rome you certainly want to see St. John Lateran. There has been a Catholic church on that site since the 4th century. The present structure was built in the 17th century.

I can imagine that many non-catholics and even many Catholics would wonder a bit why the Church would have a day on the calendar to celebrate a building. I suppose there are many answers to that question. Of course part of the answer is that St. John Lateran (the Pope's Cathedral) is the mother Church of all Churches in the world. As we build the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul which is part of our local Cathedral parish for the Diocese of Tyler, I find it inspiring that this new Church especially through its connection to the Cathedral is truly connected to all the other Catholic communities around the world in all the different languages and cultures.

I suppose the reason for celebrating a building that I find most compelling is that it is part of the sacramental character of our Catholic faith. Christ has given us the sacraments as sensory tangible manifestations of His Grace and Life. Certainly a building is not a sacrament but it is a sacramental. Very often sacramentals are small images etc. that help enhance our experience of the seven sacraments where Christ is truly acting and especially in the Eucharist is truly present. I guess I don't often think of a building as a sacramental but I believe it fits the definition especially in the case of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. It is a reminder of the faith and goodness of so many faithful people who have lived Christ in this community and so many who are still living that journey in their Catholic faith. Let us all say a little prayer as we pass this new Church literally rising on the Loop in Tyler. Let us pray that it truly will be a place where God's people grow in faith for years to come.

Guess I got a little carried away!!! By the way I am still running. Beautiful weather here lately. I hope to get in a nice run after a meeting I have in a few minutes.

God bless you today and always.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reaching Higher

The Chapel is definitely reaching higher now. I thought you would enjoy these pictures as some of the steel goes up. Exciting stuff.

Also today I was contacted by a generous donor who wants to donate a beautiful crucifix for the main altar. I had the chance to go by and see the crucifix where it is stored. It is a gorgeous bronze, the classic Christ figure is life size or a bit larger on an 8 foot cross. Beautiful piece that I believe will be perfect over the main altar. A special prayer of thanks for this wonderfully generous donor.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The walls are going up

The Chapel continues to make progress. Letus pray as these walls rise that this place will truly be holy ground and a place to worship God for generations to come.

Had a good run at the noon hour today. Pretty warm for last days of October but I heard a report recently that it is supposed to be a warmer than usual winter in these parts. Pretty great running weather over all.

I've heard and read a number of comments lately regarding how bad off our nation and our world is. We certainly have to acknowledge that there is much evil in the world, there are dire problems and many ignore faith. We all have the obligation to continue to grow and learn. As disciples life should always be a journey seeking a closer relationship with Our Lord.

We do have to acknowledge all that is wrong with our world but we also have to be aware of the abundant goodness that God always makes available to us. If we study history virtually every generation has its serious problems and seemingly insurmountable difficulties. The Saints are people who proclaimed and gave their lives for the values that the Church still teaches, rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God's Divine Son.

I suppose I would summarize by saying that we are ALWAYS obligated to seek and live the truth. The beauty of our Catholic faith guided by the Holy Spirit is that day in and day out the Church has proclaimed the truth through the ages. Often the world rejects that truth but as a loving mother the Church continues to proclaim the truth with great strength. Let us listen and learn.

Friday, October 22, 2010

On the Move

I think this picture says it all........the Chapel is well on its way. Have a great day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Three Thousand Words

I guess if a picture is worth a thousand words then............

We should see some steel soon..........talk about getting verticle.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Living Stones

As I mentioned in the earlier post, we placed "Living Stones" in the foundation of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. I thought you would enjoy this picture of them in place before they are incased in concrete!!! Great to know that we will literally be founded on the thoughts and prayers of so many who helped to make this Chapel happen. A special thank you to all who were a part of the "Living Stones" from all who signed one to those who helped gather them and those who helped get them in place "just in time"!!!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pouring the slab

It may not be easy to see but there are a lot of workers in this picture smoothing the just poured concrete for the foundation of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul.

Due to the efforts of many "living stones" were placed in the slab at the main entrance to the Chapel. These were stones that parishioners signed and put their favorite bible verse on or wrote a little prayer. These stones were part of the original efforts to build the Chapel and have been added to as we've progressed to this point. I find it inspiring that these "living stones" pave the way for all who will enter the Chapel in the years to come to worship God and to grow in faith. They serve as a reminder that we are all connected in the communion of saints and faithful that is the Church. We "pave the way" for each other as we all journey to fulfill God's will for us.

I had a good run this morning with a running buddy that I've managed to reconnect with recently. He and I found some new trails and had a little adventure "blazing our way" through uncharted territory. Nothing too exotic..........just some good ole East Texas woods. We laughed because we both thought that before we know it they'll build another housing development where we ran today!!!!!

These fall days are really beautiful. They make it easy to get out and exercise........see you out there!!!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A view from the altar

It is probably difficult to tell the difference between this picture and the last one posted but this one is the view from the altar area of the new Chapel. I stood on the slab that has been poured for the elevated area of the altar and took the picture. It was about 4 in the afternoon and I could imagine the sun streaming in from the west which will be the left side of the Chapel if you are seated in the pews.

Today is 10/10/10........we'll all have to stop and say a prayer for our nation, our families and our world at 10:10 PM on 10/10/10.

I've always been intrigued by those day and date alignments. The first on I remember was 7/7/77 the summer after I graduated from high school. I remember remarking to my mother wondering what the future would hold from that day forward. Little did we know that my brother would die before that month was out. That tragedy in my family in so many ways laid the groundwork for my entering the seminary that August. I remember people telling me that dealing with a loss like that at 18 really made me grow up fast and I have been amazed by the ways God has used that experience to make me a better priest.

We can't know what the days beyond 10/10/10 will hold. I'm sure they will hold tragedies and triumphs as always but most importantly let us remember........whatever the future holds.........God holds us in the palm of His hand.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Beautiful Days and Moving Forward

These beautiful October days are perfect for a run, a walk or any other outdoor activity that you enjoy. Get out there and celebrate the beauty.........you'll create memories that will help you deal with 100+ temperatures next summer!!!!

The picture doesn't show a lot of progress but there is great progress on the foundation etc. of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. A thank you to all the workers who are part of building this beautiful place to worship God. Many of those working on this building will probably never enter it to pray or attend a mass but I pray that they will all know that they are welcome and that as the Catholic community gathers to pray there in the years to come these workers, their families and all of God's people will be part of our prayer.

I recently attended a workshop on the renewal of the Romand Missal that the Roman Catholic Church uses for our most important prayer, the mass. The workshop discussed the precise wording of prayers in the mass and emphasized how much of the mass comes from Sacred Scripture. One specific word choice caught my attention.......rather than speaking of Christ's salvation for All.........it speaks of Christ's salvation for many. The precise meaning of this wording is to acknowledge that Christ does offer Himself for all of us but He leaves us free to choose to embrace His gift or not. I believe that makes Christ's love for us even more profound. He completely pours Himself out but still loves us so much that He gives us the choice to embrace His saving gift or not. The mission of the Church, of every baptized Christian is to "go out to the world" and share the life and message of Jesus Christ. Let us work faithfully so that "the many" mentioned in the prayers of the mass becomes the overwhelming throngs of humanity who HAVE chosen to follow Christ. Because God loves us so much that He leaves us free to choose there will always be some who choose to reject Christ let us do all we can to make sure that ultimately that number is very few!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

September 19 Making Progress

The construction crew is making progress with the Chapel. It is interesting how much work goes into the foundation. I suppose it is appropriate and really quite biblical. If the foundation isn't firm the building will collapse...........and we DEFINITELY don't want that. So many centuries have passed and new technologies have developed but the basic wisdom is still there........make sure the foundation is solid before you move ahead with the rest of the building. All that I have seen indicates that the foundation of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul will be FIRM!!!!!

I had a good run this aftenoon. It is amazingly hot and muggy for mid September but the weather people assure us that is about to change. I'm ready!!!

The Gospel for this Sunday reminds us that real wealth is the Life of God. Hopefully we were all reminded today that our life in Christ is the Pearl of Great price. I'm sure we've all known very poor people who were truly wealthy because of their faith and conversely we've known very wealthy people who were actually quite poor because they had no faith. Of course the Gospel calls us to give help and aid to those who are materially poor but we always have to remember that the ultimate purpose for assisting the poor is so that they can have the basic needs of life to flourish and seek the lasting wealth of the Kingdom of God. If people are hungry and truly in need it is very difficult for them to "seek the higher things" that God longs to share with us. All of God's people deserve their basic needs so that they can then have the strength and freedom to seek the Life God longs to share with us.

Have a Blessed week.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September 11 Reflections

I suppose that many of us are in a reflective mood as we mark the 9th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Hopefully the ultimate reminder for all people everywhere is that we need to pray and seek the wisdom of God in order to overcome the violence and hatred that so easily develops among us.

I have a prayer application on my iphone that allows you to see a globe spinning with points of light representing others who are using the application in prayer at that moment. As the globe spins it is a great reminder to me of Almighty God's perspective. A world filled with His precious children that he has given life. How it must grieve the Father, Son and Spirit to see how we use the free will God has given us to attack and destroy each other.

Certainly the headlines nine years after 911 indicate that we haven't really learned very much. How patient and merciful God is. Hopefully we can all strive to learn to live with each other seeking the guidance of that divine patience and mercy.

Let us pray for all who died on that sad day nine years ago, let us pray for their families who still grieve, let us pray especially for young people all over our world that anger and bitterness may never lead them to commit such devastating and destructive acts. That all of us given life by the One Loving God might hold that life for ourselves and others as a sacred gift.

On a lighter note I share a picture of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul....... as I told a friend we are just beginning to see "something verticle". It will be exciting to see the Chapel gradually grow out of the ground. Let us pray that it will truly be a place to worship God and deepen the desire and ability for all of us to respect life from conception to natural death.

Friday, September 10, 2010

September 10

Just realized I've let several days slip by again without a post to my blog.

Running has been good with cooler weather lately. Chapel construction continues with the work on the foundation. I'll try to post a picture soon when there is a bit more progress evident.

Let us all pray for our nation and for our world as we commemorate 9/11 tomorrow.

God bless America.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Running and Digging

I thought I'd share this photo of Chapel construction in progress. As you can see "lots of dirt". The photo is looking at the excavations for the Chapel foundation. I have a friend who talks about the "red dirt" in East Texas and you can certainly see red dirt in the photo.

Beyond what you can see in the photo there has been a lot of work done on the parking and some work done where the re-located ball fields will be. Thanks to cooperation between the school and construction crew things have gone pretty smoothly with the beginning of school on August 16. It has been hot and dry which seems to be the best weather for this part of the construction. We could use some rain but I'm sure the construction crews would prefer to keep moving dirt.

I have been able to keep up with my runs..........hot but good. I hope to schedule another "batch" of runs soon. I'll keep you posted.

Chapel funding is about $600,000 short of having the construction and initial furnishings fully pledged thanks to so many generous members of the Cathedral community. I recently visited a church under construction in another diocese and they were just about the reverse of our situation with about $500,000 in the bank and looking at debt around $5,000,000. Even though we continue to work to cover our entire cost of just under $5,000,000 we have to be very grateful to God and His generous people that we have only several hundred thousand still to cover.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August 12 Hot and Fast

A bit of an update on the progress with the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. The dirt is flying on site and with the start of school looming on the horizon the construction crews are working hard to have as much drive and parking area available as possible. They are working on the foundation of the Chapel also so as you can imagine the corner of Loop 323 and Easy Street is a busy place right now.

We have had some great meetings discussing the interior liturgical design of the Chapel. Another busy agenda there with stained glass, altar furnishings and pews to look at. The basic theme that is developing is a journey of the saints depicted in the stained glass windows along the Chapel walls and culminating in the main window over the altar with Christ in Glory surrounded by the 12 apostles. The initial drawings are very exciting and even though we have to keep costs down as much as possible we agree that the windows will be beautiful and inspiring.

I'll do my best to share some site photos once it is more than dirt moving and then also share sketches of the windows etc. as they develop.

Running has been good lately too heat advisories and all!!!!!!!!!!

I really have tried to be sensible about the heat and run in the late evenings as much as possible. It really has felt good. After school starts I'll have to put together another set of runs!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Scenes from a Groundbreaking

Finally have a chance to share some pictures from the official groundbreaking for the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul by Bishop Alvaro Corrada on June 29,2010.

Hello Again............its August

Sorry for letting July slip by with no posts. It was a busy month with several trips out of town.

Great things are happening with the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. Crews are working hard to get things in shape for the beginning of school and other activities.

I have been running but haven't organized myself around another "set of runs". I'll try to remedy that soon. I have to admit I will probably wait until the temperatures are mostly below 100 degrees instead of trying to get in too many runs with 100 plus temperatures. I may be a crazy runner but I'm not that crazy!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Building Excitement

We have a construction trailer at the site of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul and we should see some dirt moving any day now. The ground breaking was cancelled due to a down pour but we got great press coverage anyway. As people look back at newspapers years from now the ground breaking for the Chapel will go down in history as a great event even though it didn't actually happen. We will probably have a blessing of the site in the next few days but keep it pretty low key.

I'll do my best to keep you posted on Chapel progress as the construction gets under way.

I guess you may start to think this blog should be called the building priest instead of the running priest but I really have been running. I'll have to get organized and get another set of runs underway. It was just about this time last year that the original idea for therunningpriest.blogspot.com came to me while I was running!!!!!!!!

Thanks to all who have supported my efforts. God bless America on July 4, 2010!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Runnin' into June

Have had some good runs in the June heat..........actually ran at Bachman Lake in Dallas after dropping a friend off at the airport. I enjoy taking the opportunity to run in various locations when I'm on the road. Bachman Lake is one of my favorite places in the Dallas area..........can be kind of exciting as planes from Love Field fly over.........you can see all the stuff under the plane very clearly.........always glad they keep flying.

Still counting down for launch day for the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul...........generous pledges continue to flow in and we are right at $1,000,000 in new or continuing pledges with about $600,000 to go for the Chapel to be fully funded as we begin construction........exciting stuff!!!!!!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Finish Line # 30 and 31

I actually finished my 31 runs several days ago...........just been "running" to much to report in.

The Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul is coming along well. We are still gathering pledges and thanks to the generosity and sacrifice of so many we are getting there. The next couple of weeks we are really trying to close the gap on our needed $1,600,000 more in pledges...........we are just over half way there.

We are asking all Cathedral parishioners to make a pledge if they possibly can. If you are reading this and want to make a pledge WE ACCEPT!!!!!!!!! Just send your pledge to.............

Msgr. Joseph Strickland
Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul Pledge Drive
1015 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, Texas 75701

God bless.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

# 27, 28 and 29 A Highway Runs through it

Had some good runs this week in an area that used to be wilderness. If you are familiar with Tyler it is along the Grande Extension recently completed. I ran between Paluxy and Troup Highway. They've put in a sidewalk along the highway with about a yard of grass in between the road and the sidewalk. It makes a great running path for me.

The earth moving that I mentioned in my last post went very well. I think you'll enjoy the picture.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

#26 I feel the earth move

The picture of course honors Mary the Mother of God and as we honor Jesus Christ's own mother we honor all of our mothers. Let us pray that Mary will intercede for all mothers and for all of us before throne of Almighty God.

Great run and an exciting day. I ran around the perimeter of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul this afternoon and later today at 4 PM the Catholic Community of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception will gather on the site for a historic "earth moving event". Today we will "move some dirt" as we begin the initial site work for the Chapel.

The symbolic event this afternoon will be followed shortly by real construction workers beginning the site work for the chapel.

We are right in the middle of our "9th Inning Lap" to raise the pledges necessary to cover the 1.6 million we still need for the chapel to be fully funded. Great generosity and excitment has already been expressed by so many and we are asking everyone to join us as we build the first new Catholic Church in the city of Tyler in more than 70 years.

We plan to have a formal groundbreaking with our shepherd Most Reverend Alvaro Corrada, S.J., Bishop of Tyler presiding as soon as we have the pledges and are ready to begin building the chapel.

As you can imagine with all of these exciting plans to reflect on my run went by in a flash this afternoon.

As I sign off..........a special prayer of blessing for all mothers living and deceased on this Mother's Day 2010.

Friday, May 7, 2010

#23, 24 and 25

Hey Gang.

A bit more "on track".........all puns intended.........these last few days. It is warming up but not terribly humid yet so the runs have been good. Actually ran on our Bishop Gorman Catholic High School track at noon today. I don't usually run on tracks but it wasn't bad for a change.

If you are reading this in the Tyler area join us on Sunday, May 9, at 4 PM for some "dirt moving fun" as we launch the site prep for the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. If all goes well we will be starting the actual building construction after the site prep work is done.

If you wish to make a donation to the Chapel.........WE ACCEPT.......just give me "the running priest....AKA.......Msgr. Joseph Strickland.......Fr. Joe.........a call!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

#21 and 22 May Days

Slow going with lots of interference in the schedule but managed to log two more runs
in the last couple of days.

I'll have to post a picture of the roses that the St. Gregory faculty planted in my back yard when I moved in. They are blooming beautifully. Appropriate for these beautiful may days.

I'll keep trying to get those runs in................promise not to "stop and smell the roses" until AFTER the run.


I spoke at all the masses last weekend and the people were very kind and receptive. We need 1.6 million in pledges in order to get the Chapel fully pledged. We want to get as close to that as possible before signing a contract for the construction but we do have a firm bid in hand.............so please get those pledges in. All parishioners at the Cathedral in Tyler will be receiving pledge cards and information in the next few days.

I realize with the wonder of the internet you may be reading this and not be a part of the Cathedral parish in Tyler, Texas. If you want to help with the Chapel.......YOU ARE MOST WELCOME!!!!!!!!! Just give me a call at 903 534 1077.

We had a great gathering last night as the first of several with our generous donors. They had some great ideas that we will pursue. Things like getting the students involved and reaching out to Alumni. The enthusiasm is a great blessing.

This Sunday, May 9, at 4 PM on the Gorman campus on the site of the Chapel at the corner of Loop 323 and Easy Street we will be celebrating the beginning of initial site work and "moving some dirt" all are welcome. You'll even have the chance to take home some "chapel dirt" as a momento.

By the way...........blessings to all mothers this Mother's Day.........bring mom out for the "dirt moving celebration" and we'll have a special remembrance for her.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Run #20

Finally broke into the 20's...........sorry about the slow pace of this set of 31 runs but it has been an especially crazy time.

Things are good and there is light at the end of the tunnels!!!!!!

If you read this say a prayer for "the running priest" and all of us priests throughout the world starting with the Holy Father. I was thinking the other day..........if I am blessed to reach old age (no wisecracks any youngsters out there!!!!!!!!) Ahemmmmmmmmmm If I do reach old age I think I will be able to look back and realize that I lived my priesthood during some very challenging times for our dear Catholic Church......and I realize all of you Catholics out there can join in and say..........yea Father and it was a bit of a bumpy ride being Catholic at times.

But as my dear mother would say............quoting the first Pope....."Lord to whom shall we go"

Let us pray

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Run # 19

Beleve it or not my last run was in Rome........yes Rome.......as in Italy.......not Texas!!!! I had a great run along the Tiber and then the next morning unexpectedly was back on a plane to Texas. I was actually lucky to get back home with the Volcanic Ash Cloud hanging over Europe!!!!

Thankfully wasn't breathing any Volcanic Ash along the Tiber.

Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul is still moving along well. It will be so much fun when I can post photos of the construction as it unfolds. I know many of us look forward to that day!! And it is approaching.

I am set to speak at all Cathedral masses on the weekend of May 1 & 2. Then shortly after, as early in May as the school calendar will allow we will begin the initial site work.

We still have pledges to raise so that the entire cost of the Chapel is pledged. Thankfully we don't have to have all the money "in the bank" as soon as we have pledges to cover the cost we can begin construction on the actual Chapel itself.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Runs # 16, 17 and 18

Some great running weather lately. Run # 18 was the St. Gregory fun run. It was a perfect morning for a run and I came in third in my age group. Managed to keep my time below 8 minute miles so not too bad.

Lots of meetings going on for the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. Plan is for me to speak at all masses at the Cathedral on the weekend of May 1 & 2 and update the entire parish on where we are with plans, costs and the pledges we need to get started.

If your schedule allows plan to join us for a special event on the afternoon of May 2, at the Gorman School Campus at 3:00 PM. You will see "the running priest" in a whole new role!!!!!!!!!!!

Exciting things in the air!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Run 12,13,14 and 15

Some good runs for Holy Week. Managed to catch up with a running buddy the last several days that I hadn't run with in months. Good to have the companionship again and we got in tosme good runs.

I'm writing this on Holy Saturday afternoon and this evening the Church will celebrate the Easter Vigil in many ways THE liturgy of the year.

I pray you all have a Blessed Easter and that our Resurrected Lord brings you strength and hope.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Run #11

Had a good run today around the loop from my house.

As we enter into the celebrations of Holy Week it is great to see the spring flowers
popping and the trees beginning to bud.

Have a great Tuesday of Holy Week.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Days 9 & 10

Finally made it to 10 runs........won't make any promises since we're heading into Holy Week but I'll do my best to get some runs in along the way. The weather is perfect for running right now so I will try to get out there!!!!!!!!

THE CHAPEL OF SAINTS PETER AND PAUL continues to progress. As I've mentioned before the plan right now is to present an update to the entire parish at the end of April. I'm really excited about the way plans are coming together. We hope to see some dirt moving with initial site work sometime this spring. I have a fortune cookie slip I got a few weeks back posted in my office....it says..."Rome was not built in a day....be patient". We've all heard that before and I thank you for your patience. I'll add another familiar saying, "Good things come to those who wait"....Let us continue to pray that the Lord will guide us to those "good things". Have a blessed Holy Week.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 7 & 8..........Running into Spring

Well at this rate it will take me a while to get to 31 runs. I'll do my best to get in some good ones this coming week.......starting today. Did manage a couple of good runs this week but a couple of days out of town sort of knocked me off schedule again.


We've had meetings of the full committee,several meetings with the architect and another meeting with the Liturgical Designer since my last update. Things are really coming together........keep an eye out for a full parish update and plan for moving forward the last weekend of April.

Meanwhile we are entering into Holy Week. Let us pray together that the troubles that plague our world may diminish and answers may come more clearly into focus as we celebrate the Life, Deat and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. If you usually attend the liturgies of Holy Week we'll see you there........if you haven't had the habit of attending I'd encourage you to check the schedule at your local church and do your best to attend any liturgies you can. You will be blessed.

Meanwhile................keep on runnin'

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Days 5 & 6

Some great running weather lately. Had a good run Sunday afternoon and then ran on the track on Monday.

Looks less than sunny today but I'll try to get one in.

Things are hopping with the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul.........meeting later this week for revised cost estimates, trying to arrange a meeting next week to plan a strategy for pledges to "get this Chapel built", and working on site plan to get things done later this spring and clear the way for construction of the Chapel.

A word of thanks to the volunteers..........your fellow parishioners who put in countless hours to keep the Chapel efforts moving forward. I'm really excited about the progress on multiple fronts........a bit of a challenge to keep it all moving along but a good challenge. We meet this Friday, March 19, which you may remember is the feast of St. Joseph.............for me a good sign that the Holy Spirit is guiding us. St. Joseph is often the saint people pray to regarding real estate deals!!!!!!!!!!! Let's all say a prayer to St. Joe that he will pray with us and bring the good work of the Chapel to fulfillment.

Meanwhile...............I'll keep running.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day 4

Got in a great run today right about noon. A bit cool but nice and sunny.

No rash promises about keeping this up EVERY day but...........27 days to go!!!!

Have a blessed weekend.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Confession is good for the soul!!!!!!

Well gang...........I have to confess that my plan for 31 runs in March has kind of fallen apart. I have managed to run some and Nordic Track some but my schedule has been so erratic that I'm not sure when I've done what!!!!!!

Obviously since it is March 12, I've lost a little ground since the last post was March 3!!!!!!!!!!

If you've made any pledges I promise I'll make up for the shortfall in recorded runs!!!!


Thankfully I've made much better progress on the Chapel plans. We are meeting with the architect, meeting with the funraising group and meeting with the initial site work group all at the same time!!!!!!!!! HEY MAYBE THAT'S WHY I HAVEN'T KEPT UP WITH THE RUNS!!!!!!!!

We are moving forward with plans that look at a 20% cost reduction in the price of the Chapel and furnishings. Our architect and other advisers are doing a great job of finding cost savings while still maintaining the beauty and stature of the Chapel.

We hope to have some news to share with the Cathedral parish shortly after Easter.

Let us continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us to the very best outcome for this important project. God bless...........now to get back on track as THE RUNNING PRIEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 3

Had a great run. Beautiful sunny day.

I was out of town for a couple of days at a pro-life event in College Station. Governor Jeb Bush spoke and it was a great event in support of the most vulnerable among us, the unborn.

I was most impressed by Governor Bush's comments linking how we treat all of those who are vulnerable in society. If the unborn who are the most vulnerable are not safe then the same attitudes threaten the disabled, the elderly virtually everyone that society "decides" are less valuable for some reason. I thought he really hit the nail on the head when he said that we have to return to the notion of absolute values for our society. I believe he is right and I also believe it will only happen by the grace of God. Sadly we have lost our way when it comes to the virtues proclaimed by God's word.

I hope we can all use this Lenten journey as a time to strengthen our own resolve and encourage others to embrace the basic truths that God has revealed to us through His Son. These truths are a tremendous challenge and we all fail but God's abundant mercy is always there for us.

Keep on running and when you stumble just look to the Lord once again.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March 2- Time Marches On

It felt to get out for a run today. Still a little cool but nice and sunny and for me that always makes the difference.

I hope the Lenten season is moving along well for all of you. It is a different Lent for me with my new responsibilities but it has been good so far. Very different not to be at the Cathedral but I'm certainly involved in Lenten activites in many places.

My special prayer this Lent is for Catholics who have not been practicing their faith. Let us pray that all will always know that they are welcome and that Our Lord is always ready to bless us with his mercy.

God bless.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1- A Nordic Day

I didn't manage to get a run in because of the blustery weather but I did get started with my March through March with a good workout on the Nordic Track. My cat has an interesting approach to this machine. She seems to be afraid of it but she doesn't run out of the room. Instead she just kind of crouches as if she is ready to pounce on it any minute and come to my rescue!!!!

I'm attaching renderings of the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul. They are on display at St. Paul's Chapel in the Chancery building but I know some of you may not have had the opportunity to see them there. We continue to work on reducing costs in every reasonable way we can while at the same time we are planning to meet next week to get started on the additional fundraising that will be required. Let us pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit so that we can bring this project to completion in the very best way possible in service to our Catholic community in Tyler.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tyler's Winter Wonderland

Tylerites of the two legged and four legged varieties have been surprised by the amount of white stuff we've seen. I was actually in West, Texas today for meetings and they got alot more snow than we did here in Tyler. I'm sure the kids were hoping for a free day...........well at least they got a "late day".

Didn't manange to get in a run today but I'm headed to the Nordic Track in a bit.

Monday, February 22, 2010

February 22........The Chair of Peter

Well February has kind of slipped through my fingers. When I last wrote I had hoped to get in a Saint Valentine's Day series of runs but obviously that didn't happen.

I am planning to run through March with another 31 runs in 31 days. Your pledges to the Chapel of Saints Peter and Paul and to the Soceity of Saint Vincent de Paul are welcome. In October you donated just shy of $9,000 which was split between the two causes. THANK YOU!!!!!


We had a good meeting with Bob Brown our architect. Lots of things to look at as we balance reducing costs with maintaining the beauty of the design. If you haven't seen the drawings of the Chapel they are on display at St. Paul's Chapel. I encourage you to take a look. It is a challenging process but I am pleased with how things are moving forward. So many of you have been such a tremendous support and I know we all look forward to getting the Chapel started. We hope to have some adjusted cost estimates soon and we will share them as soon as we do.

Let us continue to pray that the Holy Spirit will guide this good work to completion. Please encourage your friends to check my blog for updates on the Chapel. I'll do my best to post new information as it is available...........in between my runs!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Yes I'm still here

Howdy. I know it has been a month since my last post. As you probably know it has been quite a month for me. As of February 2, 2010 I have left my position as rector of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and have been named Vicar General for the Diocese of Tyler by Bishop Alvaro Corrada. I replace Msgr. Xavier Pappu who has done a great job as Vicar General for the past nine years. His work helped move the position of Vicar General from being mostly a title to actually being a functioning office. I know I will benefit from all of his hard work as I move into the office of Vicar General full time.

I have to laugh because we often speak of "full time" positions in the Church when in reality we have other jobs as well. I'm not sure exactly what full time means but I have a feeling I will still be very busy. I guess it really isn't very different from what all of us deal with.......after all fathers and mothers, husbands and wives have "full time" jobs that don't include all that they do for the family etc. etc. I think of an old saying "idle hands are the devils workshop" so I guess it is a good thing that I won't have to worry about idle hands!!!!!!!

I'm still adjusting to actually being gone from the Cathedral after almost 16 years. I guess it will take time to embrace my new schedule, new office, new house and new duties. I will always cherish my time at the Cathedral but I have to admit I'm glad to lay down the pressures and responsibilities of that office. I pray that Father Anthony McLaughlin who takes my place as the new rector will be able to build on and expand the good things that are happening in the Cathedral family. He is a talented man and I know he will bring many good things to the Catholic community of Tyler. I hope I will be able to support him in all kinds of ways since my "big move" is only three miles down the road.

Speaking of "miles" your probably wondering.........what's up.........isn't this blog called "the running priest"???? I have to admit the running priest has been more the "box moving priest" lately but I go on retreat this week and I plan to take the opportunity to get back on the running track!!!!!!!!!

I'm thinking of a set of runs to celebrate Saint Valentine's Day.................I'll keep you posted as that develops.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The 12th Day of Christmas

Well. Finally posting my 12th run.

We celebrate the baptism of the Lord this Sunday and officially end the Christmas season. I pray this Christmas has been a blessing for you and your loved ones. God Bless.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Days 10 & 11, January 4 and 5

Had a little get away for my day off but managed to get a couple of good Nordic Track workouts in. I guess I should have called this session "The Twelve Nordic Track workouts of Christmas" between the weather and the schedule I think I did more Nordic Track than actual runs for these 12 Days. Oh well the NT is a good workout and in some ways it requires more discipline..........at least mental discipline. When you're running you "gotta get back anyway" so you might as well keep on running. The NT tempts you to stop early so you have to "stay with it" and complete the time you've committed to.........in my case 31 minutes and 31 seconds!!!!!!

I think my next session will be something to honor St. Valentine's Day. We often hear that we need to put the Christ back in Christ-mas and I whole heartedly agree........maybe we can also tackle putting the "Saint" back in St. Valentine's day!!!!! I have to admit I'm biased (as the running PRIEST I guess I should be) but it really is amazing how many holidays, place names, and customs find their origin as part of faith. Faith is thankfully very much woven into the history of our nation and our cultures.......let's all work to keep it that way.

Monday, January 4, 2010

8th and 9th Days of Christmas- January 2 & 3

I had a couple of good Nordic Track workouts for the 8th and 9th Days of Christmas. The picture just reminds me of what the weather feels like around here these days........not really quite THAT cold but it has been pretty chilly for this East Texas kid.

Sunday January 3, we celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany. It is always one of my favorite Feasts in the calendar of the Church. As you probably know Epiphany means "shining forth" and as we read of the Magi, the three wise men it always reminds us that Christ has come to all people for all time. It seems we need to remember that message more and more in today's world.

I don't want to get too preachy but I will share a couple of points that I made at the Epiphany masses that I celebrated. I tried to emphasize the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ God's only begotten Son and I encouraged the people to celebrate this Greatest Gift throughout the year by making sure they come to mass every Sunday and by taking the time during the week to reflect on the Word of God for the coming Sunday. These are pretty basic steps and I acknowledged at the masses that I was more or less "preaching to the choir" because the people at mass are pretty committed to being there. But I think it is still worth saying because even faithful Catholics can be tempted by the business and distractions of the world to skip a Sunday here and there. Of course Sunday mass is an obligation in the Catholic faith but hopefully on the feast of the Epiphany we can be reminded why the Church has raised this to the level of obligation in her law........BECAUSE IT IS SO IMPORTANT.

So much for not getting too preachy!!!!............well, anyway let's all treasure the opportunity to celebrate the Greatest Gift of All every Sunday at Holy Mass and take the time to reflect on the Word of God so that we can hear it more profoundly when it is proclaimed on Sunday.

I know some of you reading this may not be Catholic............I'd just encourage you to apply this to your own Sunday worship and recommit with us to honoring the Lord's Day every week.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 7, January 1

I had a good run on the first day of the year. Nice sunny day, cool but really perfect for running.

I'm sure we all saw fireworks televised or otherwise as we rang in 2010. Let us pray that the new year brings greater harmony among nations and all of God's people.

Only 5 runs to go for the 12 runs of Christmas.