Diary of a Mountain Priest: The Daily Distribution

Mass at Sacred Heart Parish in Colorado Springs

Fr. Vince Kuna, C.S.C., our parish correspondent has checked in with his June blog post, which fittingly comes as we transition from the Easter Season back into Ordinary Time.

Every April in the Diocese of Colorado Springs, religious and diocesan priests gather with our local bishop for clergy meetings in Estes Park, Colorado. This year’s retreat featured Fr. Denis McManus, theological advisor to Archbishop Timothy Dolan in New York, who presented on exorcism, the sacrament of reconciliation and the new translation of the Roman Missal. The content, as you can imagine, was fascinating and given the presenter’s perfect imitation of several foreign accents, his style was rollicking.
Upon returning to the rectory, however, I realized something was missing from the week. With the late arrival of Easter this calendar year, our retreat was held during the first week of May, about as late as it can be. Every first Friday, Fr. Bob and I make communion rounds to the sick and homebound, the weakest and most fragile of our parishioners. With the busyness of post-Holy Week travel and retreat, we had overlooked coverage for this most important ministry. It reminded me of the apostles’ early ministry in Acts, often an imperfect ministry wrought with oversight.
As the disciples of Christ began to grow, homebound widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of communion. (Acts 6:1-7) A pragmatic bunch, the apostles select seven men amongst the disciples to assist with this ministry. The deacons represent the Good News of this Acts reading. They step forward and complete the task at hand, inspiring “even a large group of priests [in] becoming obedient to the faith.” I had to smile when I read this extract while preparing a Sunday homily. For it hit close to home: both personally and professionally. For in June, the Diocese of Colorado Springs will ordain 17 men to the permanent diaconate, one of whom will most likely be assigned to our parish and undoubtedly assist with communion visits on First Fridays. An ordination which will inspire and assist Fr. Bob and I, who like the apostles, can be absent-minded from time to time.

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