Everyone knows that I am a big fan of Archbishop Michael. Ever since he arrived the Archdiocese of Vancouver back in 2007 (first as Coadjutor Archbishop to Archbishop Roussin), I have admired his leadership, courage, and vision.
It wasn’t the smoothest of starts for us – I believe that he was trying to figure out just exactly who he inherited as his “Youth Guy” whereas I was pretty much intimidated by him from the get-go. Over the years, especially as we spent more time with each other, we start to feel more comfortable together and we engaged in some pretty memorable exchanges (as I detailed in my blog from a couple of years ago).
Awkward exchanges aside, I never had any doubt that he was a strong advocate for me, for our office, and most importantly, for the youth and young adults of our archdiocese. His presence at all of our events and his support (both directly and indirectly) is noticed and appreciated.
I received a CD in the mail this week – the first release from a very talented young lady named Renee Geronimo. I have known Renee for over 10 years now through youth ministry and while we never super-close friends, I have followed her (in a non-stalkerish way) over the past few years on Facebook as she furthered her music career. Thus, I was absolutely thrilled when she messaged me in mid-April offering to send me a copy of her new CD called “lilies and sparrows”.
Upon receiving the CD, I immediately popped it into my computer and listened to it on repeat throughout my work day. It is a wonderful collection of songs, each one with its own unique style and feel. There’s a bit for everyone: some pop, some folk, some soul and some worship. And over-arching the entire CD is the theme of God’s love and power – you can really sense Renee’s love for God and devotion to her faith. Have a listen to the entire CD here.
I’ve had some time over the past couple of weeks to do some praying and reflecting. It’s been a natural time to do so given that work slowed down just a bit – affording me the opportunity to spend some quality time with family and friends.
Like many people, I was deeply affected by the senseless shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14. With Gail being a grade two teacher and all three of our kids in elementary school, I’ve admittedly played the “what if” game in my head (as I’m sure parents all over the world have done as well). I wonder if Kayla would be smart enough to play dead. I imagine Jake and Sean darting behind desks to take refuge. I picture Gail sacrificing her own life to save the lives of her students much like the brave teachers at Sandy Hook.