Advent, Christmas and New Years Greetings!

I pray this finds you blessed and in joyful expectation of the celebration of Christ’s birth.  

What a year 2008 has been.  I am now beginning my 10th month with Catholic Charities and it has been quite an experience.  With an annual pool of nearly 1,000 volunteers, there is so much to do and seemingly too little time in a day.  I have been so blessed in my work interacting with staff, volunteers, the people of God we serve, and the community at large.  Developing a new position from the ground up is exciting, demanding, invigorating and draining.  There are so many people who give of their time, energy, talents and treasure to the ministry of Catholic Charities that I am in awe every day.  We serve around 60,000 people a year – many times those who are marginalized or on the fringes of society.  God is using me in a role that is much bigger than I am, so I must continually rely on Him for strength and guidance.

God has also blessed me with a home.  In early fall I felt led to look for a home to purchase and subsequently found a nice 3-bedroom, one-bath very near the location of our new facility.  I will be able to walk to work when the new campus is complete.  My home was completely updated throughout with new paint, tile, carpet, countertops, appliances, even electrical switches and plates.  It is basically a new home in many aspects.  I have also been blessed with a lot of furniture from different sources.  Each time I wondered how God would provide, He surprised me through the people of God.  I am so humbled to have been the recipient of such kindness and goodness from so many people.

New mailing address:
    P.O. Box 581961
    Tulsa, OK 74158

I have traveled some this year – to Houston and around Oklahoma for my job, to Kansas for the weddings of a niece and a nephew, and to St. Meinrad to graduate with the first of two masters degrees. I am currently writing the thesis for my second degree and, God willing, will graduate this May.  I also was able to witness the deaconate ordination of many of my former classmates at St. Meinrad.  The time of seminary formation has given me vital tools and experiences that have helped prepare me for my current ministry work.  I still play lots of music, both sacred and secular, and get many opportunities to
engage in dialogue/ministry with people.  I continue to pray, “God, open a door and I will walk through it.”  Doors continue to open and I try my best to walk through each of them in God’s will.

May your Advent and Christmas season be a delight, and may 2009 bring you closer to the love of God in all you do.  If you are ever in my neighborhood – give me a call; I would love to host you in my new digs.

In the service of Christ,

John

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