Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Replacement -- update

So there I was, posting yesterday about how my replacement has finally arrived (otherwise we'd have been down to one priest having to do sixteen Sunday Masses each week), and I happened to mention that I celebrate eight Sunday Masses per (Thursday - Sunday) weekend.

It's just what I do, because that's what needs doing over here; when I arrived in theater, we had five priests covering what two priests cover at the present moment. My colleague here on Post, Fr. B, does eight Sunday Masses each week as well. There's no other way to provide Roman Catholic worship opportunities to the more than 80,000 personnel who live on this post (counting civilians and coalition partners).

And so that's just what Fr. B and I do.

No biggie.

So, imagine my surprise -- and delight -- when I signed into my account online this morning and discovered the following comment left by 'Anonymous':

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Replacement":

So we are supposed to be impressed because you worked so hard, much harder than your fellow priests? Man my fellow Catholics across the pond must be blessed to have such a fine upstanding hardworking chaplain like you there. Man, what will they do without you?

Posted by Anonymous to Curmudgeon: An Unlikely Army Chaplain at 17/6/09 20:22

I seem to have hit a nerve in Santa Monica, California. And this time, I wasn't even attempting to hit anything!

I've remarked before about the spinelessness of anonymous commenters leaving derogatory, ad hominem messages online, so I won't belabor that point.

Well, not too much.

Well, OK. A lot.

(I hope my blog post didn't do any permanent damage to you, Ms/Mr Mous. (I wouldn't presume to call you by your first name, 'Anony', since we've barely met, and you clearly are a very delicate flower, Dear.) And, hey: your response seems a teeny-weeny bit disproportionate to the stimulus, don't you think?)

But to be clear, my post was not intended -- on any level -- to impress anyone with anything, except the fact that my replacement arrived, and that he's going to be busy.

I don't know of any Catholic priest here in theater who's not busy.

As Pastor of this 'mega-parish' for the last ninety days, I've been concerned about the fact that until very recently, it was not clear what plan was in place to take care of our Catholic Soldiers, Sailors, Coasties, Marines, Airmen, civilians, and coalition partners over the summer. Fr. B leaves on his mid-tour R&R shortly, so with both of us gone from here, that could have been a bit problematic.

Perhaps if there were more priests in the military at the moment, the subject of how many Masses Fr. B and I do each weekend wouldn't even have come up.

Or perhaps if Ms/Mr Mous had had the wherewithal to put on a uniform and come to a war zone, she/he/it (s/h/it?) might have a greater appreciation for how many personnel over here at small Posts go without Catholic liturgy and sacraments, for long periods of time, despite our best efforts, and how good the Catholics on this Post have it, that there are sixteen opportunities for Sunday Mass each week at sixteen different locations.

But since Mr. Mous didn't have the courage to leave her own name with the comment, there was never much chance of that, was there?

I'm very grateful to my replacement, Fr. J, for having answered the call; he's supposed to retire within a matter of weeks, and yet he's agreed to come to a war zone and stay on Active Duty because the need for priests in the military -- and especially the Army -- is so acute. I pray that he finds ministering to the communities here on Post as rewarding and graced as it has been for me.

(And Ms. Mous, may God bless you with every good gift I could wish for myself or those I love most!)

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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PaddyK said...

It's almost too easy for one to write absurd, baseless comments on a blog.

Anonymous, did you even read the post? Do you understand that there is such a thing as tone in writing? The post you commented on lacked even the slightest hint of a boast. The author gave all the credit to everyone but himself. The number of masses he celebrated was a plain declaration of fact. He needn't try to impress because those who know the author and possess half a brain naturally understand how truly remarkable he is through his words and actions.

There is no such thing as "supposed to feel." You may feel however you'd like. The rest of us will feel grateful and simply appreciate (and perhaps admire) those who dedicate their lives to serving others ad maiorem Dei gloriam.

Does cynicism feel as empty and boring on the inside as it comes across when typed out on a blog?

What's worse is that there's no patron saint for a sanctimonious, sarcastic ignoramus like yourself. Oh, you poor thing...

Mary Coady said...

Sgt. McGee:
Are you reading this?

This is really sick.


PaddyK said...

Mary, I hope it's clear that my previous comment was not directed at my friend, spiritual adviser, and the author of Curmudgeon. It was a response to Anonymous and his comment.

mg lil sis said...

To all those reading my Brother's blog - kudos to you! and Blessings to those that leave their name (or some semblance of a name)when you comment. To the rest of you: Grow the HELL UP! (Really you don't have an opinion because you have no name/identity, and we don't want to see it!)

Lori P said...

Ms. Mous, YOU apparently do not know anything about a war zone. A military Chaplain has one of the most important and hardest jobs there is in a war zone. I personally do not know any chaplain, but I am a reader and have educated myself on the strain, love, caring, guiding, counceling, compassion, fear, doubt, life saving, etc.... I know that a priest did help save one of my dear friends after he witness horror in Iraq. If you can do better, please, please inlist. They need all the help they can get.

Wade said...

There are times that the Mous family should be found and hung out with last weeks dirty clothes

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