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24 July 2010

Dear Friends,

Someone said, ” the best laid plans of mice and men gang oft astray”. I am leaving for Lodi tomorrow morning but before night falls this Friday I am going to let you know that I am alive and well. I find that my first month here is always difficult. Jet lag is not a problem. It is simply that sudden change from one world to another. One goes through the motions of being “home” but it takes a month to feel comfortable here in the States. There are people to say hello to,and so many little things to be done around the house and yard. It is not always easy to find things that I put away before I left the previous year. Sometimes I cannot remember where I put them etc. It took nearly a week to take my phone off of vacation and to get hooked up to DSL on the Internet.

Most important of course was getting a fishing licence, launching pass and put the new 3 years registration sticker on my boat. Equally important was getting my boat battery charged up and my Mercury motor started. It took time. I finally got new spark plugs and it is running fine now. The Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers often have a strong current, so one wants a motor that starts when you need it to start! I have been fishing several times and now I have plenty of fish to eat, more than I have when I am home in my parish. There I pretty much live out of the garden with occasional fish, usually dried, and once in awhile a chicken from my growing flock.

I had lab test 2 days after I arrived and a doctors appointment during my first week here. It has been 16 years since I had my open heart by-pass surgery so I asked that I have a test to determine if I had any blockage or not. I have a lot of work ahead of me in the next few years. When I don’t feel good sometimes I immediately wonder if it is my heart. A week after my nuclear heart scan in Franciscan Skemp clinic in LaCrosse I got the good news ” no concerns on cardio stress test”. Short but sweet.

I have talked in St. Peter Lutheran Church here in Prairie du Chien and included in the three parishes in the cluster at Spooner in nothern Wisconsin.

My schedule will not be complete until I talk with the new pastor in Bloomington. He now has 4 parishes to cover – Bloomington, Patch Grove, Cassville and Glen Haven. Ordinarily that would be two weekends for me but now it will be done. I will let you know how that works out.

My schedule or now:

24/25 July – Lodi 31 July/1 August – Rhinelander 7/8 August – Sun Prairie 14/15 August – Waunakee I will be in the Bloomington/Cassville are on one of the two following weekends. 4/5 Sept – Prairie du Chien at both parishes

Sunday 12 Sept. Mark your calendar.

On that Sunday I will celebrate with friends and relatives my 50th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. The actual date was 11 June. That was a Friday this year and the day of the official opening of our diocesan shrine of Divine Mercy at my parish of St. Peter’s in Nkololo village, Tanzania. The opening of the shrine was the greatest gift that I could receive. We also celebrated on that day the 25th anniversary of his ordination as a Bishop. I will celebrate with my folds in my parish by going to each of the 4 centers during Oct. and Nov.

The celebration of my 50th will begin with the11 a.m. Mass at St. Gabriel’s parish at 506 North Beaumont Rd. I will say the Mass and preach at it. There will be about two hours from the time Mass ends until we gather at Huckleberry’s banquet hall for lunch, drinks and lots of conversation and catching up on old time. During that two hour interval everyone is welcome to stop by my house at 1015 So. 14th St. to visit a bit. I have a house plus a back yard and a garage. The Sukuma saying is that “guests are never crowded”. I’ll round up some chairs so that you have a place to sit. Come one, come all!

To get to my house from Hiway 18/35 go to Hardee’s then turn east at Wells St. Go to the one and only stop sign on Wells street. Then turn right on to 14th. I have the first house on the right hand side. Everett Fagan is the name on the mailbox. Lots of relatives will be here plus some of the priests that I studied in Rome with in 1987. Come and say hello. At 2 p.m. we will gather at Huckleberry Banquet Hall at 1916 South Marquette Rd. There will be plenty of food and drink available. You need not stop for lunch somewhere else!

There is a big Huckleberry sign that is very visible from the hiway 18/35. A BP service station is a part of the big building. The banquet hall is in the rear of the building, a restaurant in the front part.

Everyone is welcome. No invitations will be sent.

Karibu sana! You are most welcome!

Father Paul

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