Starting Over with George Smith

An editorial article in our local paper by George Smith inspired me to write him a short letter. Rather an email not a letter. We don’t write letters anymore except those who want to use script to send a very kind and personal note to a friend. Anyway Georgia’s article was about starting over. The gist of his article was that we all at times in our life must start over. We reach a point where our mistakes, foibles and tragedies have overcome us and we give up at least for a moment. Then our faith takes over and some of us give up and give in and accept that no one’s perfect and that we must start again from where we know is a perfect beginning. George is an amazing man, for you see he has ALS. And even in the midst of this disease he continues to write and share his thoughts about life, the outdoors, and our great state of Maine. Remarkable, and sad. But his article says it all. For it seems to me that every morning when he wakes up and realizes he has ALS he must start over again understanding accepting living with this tragedy and trying to make lemonade from the lemons life has given him. He seems to have done a great job with this challenge. Thanks George for a great article.

Get out in the community

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181108164316.htm

The message here is that face to face contact with other human beings is preferable to the superficial immediate gratification and popularity on social media. It’s ok to stay in touch with old and new friends. But as the article states social media use will have negative consequences with over use.

Chimney Pond…. Almost

Saturday, August 25, 2018, I climbed the trail from Roaring Brook to Chimney Pond in Baxter State Park with my older brother Doug the III, and my younger brother Jeff. I made it to the 1 mile marker at Basin Pond which is 2.2 miles from Roaring Brook. I am disappointed I could not make it all the way to Chimney Pond but proud of my effort. Just gives me something to shoot for next year.

We three are the last in our family of origin. Our brother Rob died in 2001, at age 40, from pancreatitis, my Mom, Sally in 2004, at age 73 from emphysema and my Dad Doug Jr. in 2008 at age 82 from TTP complications. Just half of my family of origin left in 2018. We miss them all but have continued our relationship as brothers. We enjoy getting together often to eat, play family board games or hike.

AT Chimney Pond

It was a drizzly day, the rocks were wet and slippery so it was very slow going. Add to that the fact that I was 70 lbs heavier than the the last time I was here more than 20 years ago when we climbed with my Dad and family (see insert). It was August of 1976, Daniel was only 7 years old, Matt just out of high school. I had been working on the Brennan campaign. Dad was 70. Also with us was Doug Crate, Jeff Crate Gabe Crate, Paul Crate, Zach Crate and of course Allison who took this picture.

So here we are. I am way out of shape, my brothers wanting to continue the family tradition started many years ago by my grandfather at Camp Katahdin. When he would bring up boys from Friends Central outside Philadelphia for a 6-8 week camping experience that included climbing Mt Katahdin .

I was exhausted as we climbed. I had the great fortune of using some walking sticks loaned to me by my barber Joe at Headquarters on Main Street in Waterville. I had my hair cut the day before our trip and he mentioned he had them and that I would be welcomed to use them for support. Boy was I glad I had them. Without them I would have fallen flat on my fact. Joe has done a lot of hiking, including part of the Appalachian trail and when I told him of my goal he was happy to contribute to my effort. Thanks Joe.

Interesting conversation as we climbed the trail. Doug a Zen Contemplative Christian, Jeff an evangelical Christian and me a Maronite Catholic all had our views about spirituality, but in the end all centered on Christ. So for me it was a successful ecumenical and family affair. We also talked about wives, mostly how appreciative of them we were and of course we talked about our children. Jeff has the most grandchildren, then Doug.

A great day for the Crate Family.

Divided but Moving Toward the center.

I sense today, maybe it’s the summer weather changing to autumn, that our country is beginning to cooperate in the political arena. People are tired of the divisiveness and fighting. They simply want our Congress to work for all the people. As of today I see the extremes moving towards the center for the overall good of this wonderful country we live in. Sending my prayers to all so we can work together and make this nation better than in the past. We can become our best self as a country. I send my gratitude to the police officers serving for this honorary week. I hope we all can continue to work together for the good of our nation. Thanks be to God. Amen.

From St Faustina

The 25 spiritual secrets from the remarkable nun St. Faustina are a strong foundation for the battle we encounter living in the world. http://aleteia.org/2016/10/08/25-secrets-of-spiritual-struggle-that-jesus-revealed-to-st-faustina/?utm_campaign=NL_en&utm_source=daily_newsletter&utm_medium=mail&utm_content=NL_en

St Charbel Relic Visiting Waterville

Waterville church to celebrate visitation of relics of as St. Sharbel

Waterville’s St. Joseph Maronite Catholic Church is celebrating on Thursday and Friday, April 28 and 29, the visitation of the relics of St. Sharbel, the healer. The Maronite Catholic Churches of the United States will be celebrating the Year of Mercy as announced by Pope Francis by having the relics of St. Sharbel visit each Maronite Catholic Church and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his beatification, which took place at the close of the Second Vatican Council. He was canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1977, according to a news release from St. Joseph Maronite Catholic Church. All are invited to be a part of the spiritual celebration.
According to the release, miracles attributed to him number over 1,000, many are associated with healing. He is called “Instrument of the Divine Physician” and “Model of the monastic life.” Although he may not be familiar throughout America, St. Sharbel, whose feast day is the third Sunday in July, is a prominent saint among Maronite Catholics and those of the Eastern Rites. For more information on St. Sharbel’s life, miracles and St. Maron Monastery in Annaya, Lebanon, where Sharbel is entombed, visit www.saintcharbel-annaya.com.
Veneration of the relics and silent prayer in the church sanctuary will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday. The welcoming ceremony will commence at 5 p.m. with a procession. Everyone is invited to join St. Joseph’s Choir, the Knights of Columbus, church organizations, parish representatives and congregations, as they proceed around the church on the corner of Appleton and Front streets. Mass will be sung at 6 p.m., with the blessing of the relics of St. Sharbel. A free spaghetti supper will be provided by the three area Knights of Columbus councils.
The church will open at 5:30 a.m. Friday for silent veneration of the relics. Public prayers will be offered on the hour, beginning at 6 a.m. with the rosary, the chaplet of St. Sharbel at 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., little office of St. Sharbel at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Safro (morning prayers) at 9 a.m., prayers for healing at 10 a.m., St. Sharbel prayers at 11 a.m., novena of St. Sharbel at noon, rosary at 1 p.m., the chaplet of the divine mercy 2 p.m., Songs of Inspiration at 5 p.m., and divine liturgy for the sick at 6 p.m., with the blessing of the relics of St. Sharbel. Silent veneration will continue until 10 p.m. with a closing prayer.
Throughout both days, videos and displays of St. Sharbel’s life and the Lebanese community will be available in the church hall, where there will be refreshments. Prayer cards and St. Sharbel chaplets will also be available. A book will be made available for intentions, which will be sent to the monastery in Annaya to be prayed for by the monks and pilgrims there.
This event is intended to deepen our knowledge and, in the words of Archbishop Zayek, “our love for St. Sharbel, but even more so, our love for what he loved: prayer, penance, sacrifice, the Mother of God, and the Eucharist,” according to the release.
St. Joseph Maronite Catholic Church is handicapped-accessible by elevator; parking is available on Appleton Street, in the side lot next to the church, at Head of Falls or in The Concourse.
For more information, please call the church office at 872-8515, email stjoesinmaine@yahoo.com or visitwww.sjmaronite.org.