Recent events were occasions of grace

This will be the last weekly "Along the Way" until early August. In keeping with the practice of many years, I will not be doing a column during the month of July.

As much as I enjoy keeping in touch with you in this way, I do look forward to a change of pace and the opportunity to step away from the daily rounds of pastoral activity.

It will be good to spend time with friends and family, to have some quiet moments to pray and think about the events of the past year, to read and to reflect — at least in general terms — about what will be coming up in the year ahead.

Since I last wrote life has been filled, quite pleasantly, with events of many different kinds. We had the spring general assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in Seattle last week. On Monday of this week, the bishops of the eight dioceses in New York state met at the archdiocesan Pastoral Center in New York City. We’ve had ordinations to the diaconate at Sacred Heart Cathedral and the Abbey of the Genesee; an ordination to priesthood at Sacred Heart; graduations from Aquinas Institute and Our Lady of Mercy High School; a 150th-anniversary celebration at Holy Trinity, Webster; several development meetings; and the dedication of the new Ascension Garden Cemetery in Henrietta.

All the above have been occasions of grace that touched many lives. An added grace for me will be the chance to let them settle in and speak to me before another intense round of activity.

I hope that you will have a similar opportunity for refreshment and renewal in the weeks ahead. Moving around among you for many years convinces me that many people — are you among them? — are leading very full lives and find themselves stretched very thin. If that is your experience, I do encourage you strongly to find some time to let things settle so that you can take a deeper and longer-range look at the activities that fill your days.

It is a consolation to know that our Lord dealt with similar issues during the years of his public ministry. Let me recommend that you spend some time reading and opening your heart to the experiences of Jesus as presented to us in the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Mark. It could be a wonderful summertime prayer.

You will be in my prayers in the weeks ahead. I ask for your prayers as well.

Peace to all.

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