Monday, September 21, 2009


Lobster fra diavolo: mi piace

Pasta Padre Brighenti & Drs. Keith and Christina Burkhart

Saturday we celebrated the Festa di San Gennaro and the birthday of Dr. Tina Burkhart with a delicious dish of Lobster Fra Diavolo prepared by Chef (and Fr.) Ken Brighenti.

Giada De Laurentiis has some serious competition, let me tell you.
My contribution? Sicilian Blood Orange Screwdrivers. (note the martini glasses) and a chocolate cannoli cake via Vacarro's Pastry Shop.
BTW, we used the home and hospitality of another Physician friend, Dr. Elizabeth Frauenhoffer, to cook and eat this splendid meal. She made an incredible NINE LAYER Hungarian Chocolate cake. Schmeckt sehr gut.

Whenever I read in the Gospel about Jesus visiting the home of Martha, Mary and their brother Lazarus, I think how important it is for us priests to have some good lay friends as well as as our good clergy friends. Our Divine Lord had both in His Apostles and in people like Martha's family. Whenever my mother visits from Erie, I make sure to bring her to my friends' homes (like the Burkhart's, Tom & Carla Lang, Liz Frauenhoffer, etc.) as well as to my priest friends (like Fr. Ken Brighenti, Fr. Dennis Dalessandro, etc.) Then it occurred to me that Jesus most likely did the same and brought His Blessed Mother to meet his friends, too. Although He was a Divine Person with a divine nature, Christ also had a truly human nature also and as the Gospel attest, Our Lord was not a workaholic nor was He all business and no pleasure. He worked but He also relaxed and spent time with family and friends. Remember, His public ministry was only three years. He spent the first thirty in Nazareth with Mary and Joseph. Striking that happy balance is crucial today since we see too many examples of the extremes. Some clergy are spiritual couch potatoes and some are obsessive workaholics. Some, however, try to do as God Himself did, work AND rest. That is why Joy and Sorrow is part of everyone's life, especially a priest (deacon or bishop). His parishioners must work all week and when they come home, there is plenty of housework and chores just as every student has some homework and studying to do. This is why Sunday, the DAY OF THE LORD (Dies Domini) gives us a chance to take a necessary 'time out' and spend some quality time with family and/or friends. It also a day of precept where we are obliged to worship and adore our God via the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Sadly, many people do not MAKE TIME for prayer and worship but have plenty of time for work or leisure. I even know some clergy who busy themselves with many sacerdotal tasks but run out of time by the end of the day and discover they left out prayer. As Mother Teresa told a priest who admitted to being 'too busy to pray' : "If you are too busy to pray, then you are just too busy." She made no accommodations or excuses. IF someone as busy as she was in Calcutta could MAKE and FIND time to pray, especially before the Blessed Sacrament (note that, Fr. McBrien) and then work a full day with the poorest of the poor, then how can ANY of us laity or clergy not do likewise? As we continue the YEAR FOR PRIESTS, please pray for us priests. We NEED it.

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