Thursday, May 31, 2012

June Newsletter

thumbnail of june newsletter
The electronic version of The Word From Two Saints for June 2012 is now available and can be viewed by clicking the links below...
If you signed up to receive the parish newsletter electronically, remember that you will not receive a paper copy by mail; so please take a few moments to read the online version now!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lessons from St. Francis for the City

Hurrying to the next thing at the beginning of what promised to be a hectic day, I was distracted and made a turn too early and ended up on Grand St. instead of Parsells.  Getting near to Culver Rd (my destination was St. Mark's & St. John's), I thought I saw the biggest chihuahua I had ever seen crossing the road.

Then I had one of those twilight zone moments. You know the kind: when you see something totally out of context. This does not belong here.  But there it was, a fawn, clearly just a few weeks old.  If I stopped I was going to be late for an important meeting.  But I had to stop.

She was clearly lost and a bit bedraggled. One side of her head was covered in chewing gum.  I had no sense her Mama was nearby.  They'd gotten separated.  I approached her and she did not move or appear the least bit timid.  She let me pick her up and she was fine, until her instincts kicked in. She made a noise to wake the dead.  Two people ran out of their house probably thinking someone was beating a dog.

I put her in the back of my station wagon and she calmed right down.  The animal shelter on Verona Street said I had to call animal control, but to do that I had to call the city referral number: 311.  I told the person on the other end of the phone what the situation was and she told me it was dangerous to handle a wild animal.  I suppose it is, but danger had never crossed my mind.  What should I do? I said.  "Animal control won't help you with this. Just let it go right where you are."  Really? I said.  But it will get run over or a dog will kill it.  "We can't help it," she said. "Let nature take its course."

I was stunned.  Now I understand all the logic involved in that response.  But I had a living thing in the back of my car that was not going to survive on its own.  WWFD.  What would Francis do?

To make a long story short, while I went to my meeting, John called any number of people and finally found someone near Buffalo who runs a deer sanctuary and would take the fawn.  So after my meeting the fawn and I drove to Batavia and met a nice young woman who took her, assuring me I had done the right thing.

I don't know if I did or not.  Someone we had tried to reach through our dogs' vet called later in the day and scolded me because her mother could have been around or coming back.  I hope not. I hope I guessed right.

I am haunted by "Let nature take its course," as if that is always the right thing to do.  "Nature" is as beautiful and cruel as the day is long.  I have trouble treating it as if it were a sentient being.  I neither worship nor take my marching orders from "Nature," I worship and take my marching orders from God.  But, of course, even all that sounds simpler than it is.

I know that of all things I am most sentimental about animals, and sentimentality can get us (and the object of our sentimentality) in a heap of trouble.  I hope I did the right thing. I suppose that's the most you can do most days.

I'll take solace from St. Catherine of Siena:  "The reason why God's servant love God's creatures so deeply is that they realize how deeply Christ loves them. And it is the very character of love to love what is loved by those we love."

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Two Saints Health Survey

This morning (Sunday, May 20, 2012), the paper version of a parish health survey was distributed during both coffee hours. If you were not there, please take a few moments to take the online version.

Below is an introduction written by Carter Williams....

In this effort to listen to all of us at Two Saints about what our health concerns and hopes are, we are doing something that was a cardinal rule with Frank. He approached others with the aim of finding what they wanted. Then his advice and help would be directed toward achieving their goals. This meant he wanted first to listen. (I wasn’t always so good at listening and on occasion he reminded me to hush, and listen to the other person.)  
After Frank’s memorial service, a friend who had been the ombudsman (resident advocate) at Monroe Community Hospital, made a point of telling me about Frank’s role in a conference that occurred when one of the residents wanted to go home. Those who were caring for her -- nurses, physical therapist and others -- felt that she could not manage at home, and listed all their reasons. It was an impressive list of all they felt she was incapable of doing. But the woman was convinced that she could live at home because of the services she could arrange, and Frank, who was then Medical Director of the hospital, said quietly and firmly that in his opinion it was perfectly possible for the woman could go home, and that was what happened. He had listened to the person. His knowledge of community resources and her fervent words, resulted in a can-do decision.
He would be hugely interested in what you say today. He would be listening intently, believing that you are the authority on your own health needs, both curative and preventive. He would be confident that together we could figure out a health-promoting plan that would serve us well.