Sunday, October 5, 2014

Love, Death, and Families

By Deacon Lawrence N. Kaas

I've been asked, to write something for this Sunday's bulletin, but what to write?

How about something of an 80-year-old, celibate, Deacon. Right off someone is going to ask, "well, priests retire at 70 what about Deacons?" We are required to send a letter of retirement to our Bishop when we turned 70 years of age and so I did. I got a letter back from the Bishop when we turned 70 years of age and so I did. I got a letter back from the Bishop saying, "your time clock is not run out yet, you can go on for a while." I was so proud of him that he even remembered that I worked on clocks. So now 10 years later having had lunch with our Bishop a few months ago and for some reason telling him I was 80 years old, he said, "Ak, only 20 more years ago." I'm not sure what that means, are you stuck with me or am I stuck with you? Ha.

Having been ordained now for 27 years, and having lost my wife, Agnes 10 years ago, there is one thing you could say, for sure, and that is that my life is definitely changed. She told father Andrew shortly before she died that she was glad Lawrence was a Deacon: It would give them something to do! Looking back these 10 years, did she really know what she was saying? First of all living alone, as many of you have found out, is not all fun and games. And yet, when you're 80 years old and have been around this community and parishes most all those years, you have special attachments. Sometimes for no rhyme or reason one comes in contact with people that become your love and joy in the world.

So that begs the question, do I really live alone? Do we find people in similar circumstances really living alone, I pray the answer is no. I find myself falling in love with people that I have just met and are added to my extended family. What's so interesting for me is that every family I come in contact with is different than any other family. That doesn't make them bad, that just makes them different. My family of seven, further proves the point: for each one is different and that doesn't make them bad, it just means they're different, God love them!

So whatever years the Lord has allotted to me: I promise to love you, to pray for you as my extended family. So you be good, be holy, preach the Gospel always, an if necessary use words!

'Thank you' to Deacon Kaas, for letting me post his reflection here.

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