I have two things to talk to you about this morning.
When I came into church early yesterday morning to set up for a baptism I noticed it felt a little warmer.
When I walked through the door I ran into the air conditioning man who was distraught.
He explained that something major had gone wrong with the new wing air conditioning unit and that it would not run.
It is all still under warranty and I am sure they will make it right.
So if you are one of those people who always gets cold sit in the new wing
and if you are one of those people who are always hot sit in the old wing.
We hope to have it fixed as soon as possible.
They are also going to work on the sound that the Old Wing airconditioning unit makes.
We are the only church in the Archdiocese that offers temperature preferred seating.
The second thing is this.
Last night two neighborhood boys I think grades 4 and 5 were riding their bikes in the parking lot across the street.
We know them, they swing on our swings,
and play basketball in our parking lot all the time.
They are always very polite and remember our names.
I just happened to be over by the pavilion and they showed me a bike trick.
Then the prayer garden caught the eye of one of them.
I didn’t really pay that much attention because they are good kids.
This little boy just stood there and look at the statue.
It was as if he had never seen anything like the it before
I yelled out “don’t touch it buddy it’s fragile.”
Then I told them it was better that they not ride their bikes in the prayer garden because it was like a church and I started to walk back to the friary.
When I glanced back and noticed both of them still there I walked back to reinforce the message that the statue was fragile and one of the boys said someone already damaged it.
I looked and the finger of the Blessed Mother was missing.
After a little coaching one of the boys dug up the two pieces of the finger where he must have buried them in the dirt.
Evidently, he had reached up to grab the blessed Mother’s hand and the finger broke off.
They were both very afraid and sad.
I walked over to their house and spoke with their Dad who was also very kind and respectful and explained what I thought had happened.
I told him I would give him a call when I figured things out.
Then I came home to check the security tapes.
And I saw when the little boy must have buried the pieces.
You may not know it but there are ten security cameras over there.
I am so grateful that I didn’t yell or raise my voice.
I felt sad for the boys and very sad for you our parishioners because I know how proud you are of that prayer garden and the statue and I apologize that this happened so quickly.
I promise we will do our best to get finger repaired and hand strengthened.
After it was all said and done
I came back to the pieta and sat at Mary’s feet to finish my prayers.
And I noticed that the beauty of our Pieta was so much more than a missing piece of marble the size of my little finger.
and what it teaches
still draws us into the mystery of mercy, forgiveness and healing.
It calls us to forgive even and especially when it’s easier to stay angry and bitter.
I also realized that this was an accident not an attack.
If we are, who we claim to be, followers of Christ and Children of Mary
this moment calls us to completely forgive the little boy who reached up to shake Mary’s hand and broke her finger.
I am sure that our Blessed Mother would be the very first person to forgive him and so should we.
This afternoon I am going to go over to the family and let them know our feelings.
I am going to tell the boys we still care about them very much and that they are still welcome to swing on our swings and play basketball on our court just don’t touch the statues.
If we can’t get the finger fixed perfectly it will serve as a reminder to all of us that as Children of God and Sons and Daughters of Mary,
the Mother of Mercy
We are called to be instruments of healing forgiveness and mercy in every circumstance.
So that was yesterday I am sure today will be better.
Have a good Sunday everybody.