On Saturday morning, the St. Simon class of 2021 will graduate. Many of these students have been at St. Simon School all ten years of their elementary school and they have a tight bond. Fortunately, I have gotten to know the class quite well through the process of the Sacrament of Confirmation. They are a wonderful class, full of smart and witty students who are faith-filled and kind to each other. I have rarely seen such a respectful and kind class of students. Now maybe it was the pandemic, but I suspect they were this way before the shutdown! They will make us very proud, and I am delighted to know them even if only for a year. They have persevered through the pandemic attending classes online and/or in person and we are exceedingly honored to have them graduate. Class of 2021, congratulations! Thank you for being such a blessing to us.


Speaking of gratitude, when I gave the Cairns retreat in January, I mentioned that Cairn #4 was gratitude, and it is built on the other three cairns of self-awareness, humility and love. I reminded us that when we experience unconditional love, the natural response is gratitude even if we don’t always give a name to it externally. But when it happens, we are humbled by the experience of that love and we become aware of the need for love to survive our toughest days.


When I first heard of my brother Paul’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, I was numb. Then I got angry and went through the usual stage of grieving (denial, anger, bargaining, sorrow, acceptance). It literally caused my heart to go haywire triggering my heart condition of aFib. It was necessary for me to immediately choose to have a minor heart surgery called ablation to attempt to permanently fix it. So I asked for your prayers and I received them in abundance with a massive outpouring of love and support. Wow!


Over these last few weeks, I have personally felt the love of this community in amazing ways and I have felt humbled by such an outpouring. I have received so many notes, texts, emails, cards, goodies and most importantly prayers that I was truly overwhelmed by the response. Thank you so much for such an abundance of love and support. It has carried me through this last week and will continue to carry me through the months ahead. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU.


To give you an update: the ablation procedure went very well and the surgeon was very satisfied, calling it a great success with no surprises. That is always good to hear. While I will take it easy for a few weeks, I expect to be at full pace within two weeks or so. I thank you again for your support and continue to ask for your prayers for my brother Paul and his fight against pancreatic cancer.


I want to share the prayer that I prayed when I awoke from my surgery and now continue to pray it as it is truly beautiful.


Blessing On Waking

(John O’Donohue)


I give thanks for arriving

Safely in a new dawn,

For the gift of eyes

To see the world,

The gift of mind

To feel at home in my life.

The waves of possibility

Breaking on the shore of dawn,

The harvest of the past

That awaits my hunger,

And all the furtherings

This new day will bring.