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21 September 2010

Dear Friends,

Time remaining before my departure from O’Hare airport in Chicago on 14 October already seems too short to get everything done. There are many things to be done yet around the house and yard as well as to finish my church dates for the coming year. I am still waiting for my mechanic at Nkololo to send me his order for John Deere parts. What is on my mind now does not bother most of you at this time of year, namely writing my Christmas newsletter. It is not easy and takes several days.

I have to have the letter done before I leave here on 28 September to go to Madison and then fly out the next morning at 6 a.m. to Texas A&M University. I will be traveling with Wally Orzechowski from Mt. Horeb, WI. He is spearheading my plans for building a hospital at my parish of St. Peter’s in Nkololo. He is in charge of the Community Action Program in Southwestern Wisconsin. He is the one who first contacted the Architectural Dept at Texas A&M that deals with medical designs. I already made a presentation there on 1 September. We are going now to see final plans. Building a hospital is a major project, second only to building a 400 sq. mile parish from scratch. We will need a lot of prayers as well as financial support.

On Sunday, 12 September 2010, I celebrated my Golden Anniversary of Ordination with a joyful 11 a.m. Mass at St. Gabriel Parish in Prairie du Chien, followed by a reception at Huckleberry Banquet Hall just a few blocks from my house. The whole weekend was an exciting and heart- warming event and the weather could not have been more cooperative. About 45 relatives on Mom’s side of the family plus Fagans and friends gathered at my house for a joyful reunion on Saturday. Some of us had not seen each other for more years than we could remember. The time together was very meaningful to me as I have missed almost all family get-togethers for most of my life. Those that I did attend were usually sad ones.

Many traveled from far away. Two priest friends who I studied with in Rome in 1987 arrived here on Thursday evening, having driven from Long Island, NY and Bismarck, ND. I had surprise visitors from Kenosha, WI, Paducah, KY, Pennsylvania & Evanston, IL to mention just a few. Relatives also traveled from far-away places like Texas and Maryland.

I also received many beautiful cards and helpful gifts that I appreciate very much. I would like to thank everyone personally but there simply is not enough time to do so. So I say : A Big and Blessed Thank You.”

As I said in my sermon on the 12th, the Sukuma proverb says “the bird that sings all day never builds a nest.” I have a few nests to build so I say good-bye for now and God Bless you all.

Love and prayers,

Fr. Paul

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