Maria and I did the NEEDS Inc. Food Pantry 5-K this morning. We looked up our score from last year, and we did it in just under 53 minutes. This year we did it in 57 minutes. This was my first attempt at going more than a mile since COVID hit me so hard last summer. I am grateful to see my stamina getting better. Maria wasn't pregnant last year when we did it. Given these circumstances, I think we did pretty well only adding 4 minutes to our time.
It did not seem like there were as many participants this year, but I hope it was still a successful fundraiser for NEEDS.
Have a blessed and safe holiday weekend!
Who is ready for the Firecracker 5-K on July 2 in Cheyenne, Wyoming? I turned in a blazing speed last year of 57 minutes if I remember correctly. I am looking to do it even more slowly this year. However, I want to finish before they close the course after 90 minutes.
Participating in the 5-K and supporting the good work of NEEDS Inc. is a splendid way to begin celebrating the holiday weekend. To all who strive to make our communities stronger, thank you! To everyone who has supported NEEDS in one way or another over these last 50 years, thank you. Have a blessed and safe holiday weekend. Don't take freedom for granted.
Economic times are tough. The Dow Jones Industrial Average just posted its worst first-half since 1962. The NASDAQ posted its worst first-half ever recorded. The ripple effect of these numbers, along with skyrocketing inflation, is that the poor and middle class struggle even more to make ends meet. The outreach of churches and nonprofit organizations becomes even more essential to care for the poor and marginalized members of society.
We strive to make sure each child has the basic necessities of life so they can come to school ready to learn. Do they have food, shelter, suitable clothes to wear, shoes, coats, etc." Do they receive necessary medical care? It is difficult to have a solid learning environment if a child suffers from a lack of basic needs being met. The Cathedral of St. Mary is supporting our work in Community Schools to be sure we are addressing those issues.
Nonprofit organizations all across Laramie County are seeking your support on WYO-GIVES Day on July 13. Some of us gathered at the sign across from the airport recently to grab a quick photo together. (I am the short one in the middle. Yes, I am standing on the ground while everyone else in back chose to climb up the wall.)
As we enter into the month of July, I pray you find time to relax and rejuvenate. Have a safe holiday weekend! Thank God for the blessings we enjoy as a free nation. May we never take that freedom for granted!
Every once in a while a family member will send me a photo with the simple message, "I thought you might be able to use this for your blog." I received the above photo over the weekend. As I looked at it, I kept wondering what I was supposed to see. Did he want me to buy some cigarettes, beer, or what? Then I saw it.
Yes folks, the wheelchair ramp leads you to a set of stairs. What is the story behind it? It would seem that the state is responsible for the sidewalk along the state highway and the city is responsible for the sidewalk along the side street. Apparently, there are no discussions or planning that happens together between the two entities.
Our world is disjointed in a multitude of ways. There are things which we cannot control. However, there are ways each of us can make our little corner of the world better. Today, I invite you to do the following:
1. Be the reason someone brings music back into their lives. Inspire them to dance and sing. Spread joy!
2. Help someone dream again. Be the reason someone finds hope!
Watching the reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe vs. Wade has been heartbreaking. Our society is broken beyond repair. The anger in people's hearts demonstrate a worldview that is inconsistent with life. A court decision may be viewed as a positive step in the direction of preserving life, but if we look beneath the surface of everything being said and done by people all across the land today, it is evident that we are far from being a nation that cherishes life. Rachel will continue to weep for her children.
What has happened in the last sixty years? How did we as a nation become so divided and so lost? How did we as a Church fail to uphold the sacred dignity and value of each human being? In addition to all the lives lost over the last half century due to abortion, it is clear to see that we have also lost the hearts and minds of many who see today as a step backwards for society. How did the definition of healthcare--do no harm--ever come to include the life-taking procedure of abortion?
Our nation is lost--philosophically, theologically, and morally. Sacred Heart of Jesus--have mercy on us!
Congratulations to Grace for 2 Brothers Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Wyoming (Cheyenne Branch) as they held a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning at their new location. Thank you for the work you do to make the local community stronger.
I saw some great photos on social media yesterday. There were picnics in the park, boating excursions, trips to the beach, and even more extravagant adventures. My day was not quite as activity-filled as these escapades, but I did enjoy a good dinner. On the downside, I did have to cook it myself. Thankfully, it took less than ten minutes. Roasted turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, mixed vegetables, and even some cooked apples for dessert. I was living large.
On a more serious note, it was a good day. I had the privilege of serving as a deacon at two Masses yesterday and lead a Corpus Christi procession in Fort Collins, Colorado. Chapter six of the Gospel of John impacts me more with each passing year.
Have a blessed week!
I had the privilege in September of 2015 to lead a retreat for the diaconate community of the Diocese of Springfield--Cape Girardeau. (It is hard to believe that nearly seven years have passed since that time.) During that retreat I met a diaconate candidate who has since gone on to be ordained a deacon. His family celebrated again recently when their son was ordained a priest.
Congratulations to Fr. David Kiblinger SJ who was ordained a priest on June 11. I saw a post on social media that summed it up quite well. "Thanks to Debbie and Deacon Mark Kiblinger for giving the Church a great man. May the Lord bless his ministry and grant him many more years."
I add my words of gratitude as well. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to cross paths with your family, even if only for a moment in time.
I did not steal a picture from other folks' social media posts of the ordination of Fr. Kiblinger. I try not to do that. So I just walked down my own memory lane from photos taken by my wife on my phone at the diaconate retreat from September 19, 2015. Blessings to the Kiblinger family, the Jesuit community, and all of you in the Diocese of Springfield--Cape Girardeau.
When was the last time you sat in a park and watched the squirrels?
As inflation continues to hurt us economically, the simpler things in life may become even more essential. Enjoying a warm day in a serene setting may bring some of the inner peace that the world seems to be desperately trying to steal from us.
The spike in the interest rate announced today is a step toward curbing inflation. However, the ripple effect of everything we have endured the last couple of years is taking a toll. People nearing retirement age are watching their 401k's crash and burn. Young people trying to branch out on their own look for a way to pay $1,500 per month rent or more. How many of us want to cry each time we pull into the gas station? Food prices? Empty shelves in the grocery store? There are reasons why people are anxious and afraid.
Someone recently commented, "We have been through tough times before." This is a true statement, but things are also different in the modern age. The mainstream media and power-hungry politicians seem hell-bent on tossing out any semblance of morals and values long upheld by many people of faith. Holding onto these values now get a person labeled with some very demeaning titles. The not so "social media" has also helped foster a divisiveness in our society that undermines the fabric of our nation.
The United States of America is anything but united. We are separated philosophically, theologically, morally, and economically on many different levels. Stephen H. Dawson asked a good question today. "What would it look like if America split?" He suggests we may find out in less than fifty years.
I encourage you to stay rooted in prayer. Blessings and peace!
This is my personal blog. The opinions expressed are those of Deacon Vernon and the blog's readers. This site operates independently and is not affiliated with any other entity. The information I provide is on an "as-is" basis. I make no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any information on this blog. I will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information. Furthermore, I will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its use.