Monday, March 31, 2014

Gorden McKeller (3/24/1951 - 3/27/2014)

Another friend, Gorden McKeller, has gone before us. Here is most of the local obituary.

Gordon Alexander McKellar died on Thursday, March 27. Born February 24, 1950, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, he was proud to be a citizen of Canada and the United States. McKellar graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a degree in geography. He then completed a two-year program in photogrammetry at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology; and, later, after moving to Colorado, he received his teaching certification from the University of Colorado in primary education. He retired from Adams12 Five Star School District, where he taught first grade, in 2005. A lifelong traveler, he met his future bride "on the beach," in western Mexico, marrying Anne Strouss, of Hubbard, Ohio, on July 26, 1975. McKellar was a gentle soul who walked softly through life collecting friends along the way; always with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. He is remembered as adventurous, kind, humble, fun-loving and honest; a man who listened rather than spoke and a person dedicated to his family, students and community. He loved the outdoors, was an enthusiastic camper, skier (snow and water), loved the water, swam the world's oceans, S.C.U.B.A. dived and snorkeled, and was a boater. His other hobbies included snowmobiling, gardening, turning wood and eating vanilla ice cream. He was an avid curler and was a member of the Denver Curling Club for many years and a member of the Homestake Trout Club of Leadville. A believer of open spaces, McKellar was a tireless and outspoken advocate for preserving "The Field," in Broomfield, and a member of that city's Open Space Foundation. McKellar was a type 1,"brittle" diabetic for much of his life and a grateful recipient of a donated kidney and pancreas in 1995. He was dedicated to the promotion of organ donor programs, particularly the Donor Alliance, and his eyes, tissue and bone will live on in others. He never allowed diabetes or its complications to get in the way of a good time or good-read all-company.

Fifth Sunday of Lent

My Companions pray with me: LORD, help us to live with the same love and compassion that Jesus showed Martha, Mary, and Lazarus. May our love of others bring You glory. Please forgive our selfishness and sin: our forgetting Your awesome love. Thank You for all the gifts You shower upon us, especially our companions who love and challenge us. Please give us what we need this week, help us to steward Your blessings gracefully.

Birthdays: Adam Olson (4/3), Mark Schnitzer (4/3), Dani Schnitzer (4/6).

Keeping In-touch: We have been enjoying a challenging, grace-filled, SCC (small Christian community) retreat with some of the companions in our SCC Group and Fr. Eustace. Our hearts are filled with gratitude to the McMurdo family and all our benefactors for the gift of this weekend. Caitlin has left us and Kim will visit us for a few more days before she leaves for the Peace Corps. The Flyers made it to the elite eight but... Rockies baseball begins today... we're undefeated! We'll return home and continue our Lenten preparation for our celebration of the Resurrection in a few weeks.
Extra: Here's a clip that was played by Connie and Marge at our retreat. 1st part is our relationship or feeling that God inspires in us through his creation.  2nd is the relation that God desires to have with us.
The Readings: Fifth Sunday of Lent

Some Commentary: Fr. John Foley, S. J.
My comments and an invitation for your comments: 

This Gospel reminds me how Jesus loves us. He wants us to see; he wants us to live.  But, an irony hits me as I read and reflect on this Gospel. Jesus responds without concern about his friend's illness. "This will not end in death." But Lazarus dies and Jesus cries. Jesus loves his friends and death has no control of him.
This is how I want to live. I aspire to love my family, my friends, and everyone I encounter with all the enthusiasm I can muster. I give no control to death because I welcome the Christ into my life. I will work to live with joy and compassion.

Comments, Reflections, Insights...

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fourth Sunday of Lent

My Companions pray with me: LORD, please grant us all that we need to live a full life that will bring You glory. Especially we ask for the intentions on our prayer list. Thank You for all Your blessings; may we use all Your gifts in the service of others. And we seek Your forgiveness for missing the mark and failing to live in the fullness of Your love.

Birthdays: John Lay (3/24), Bill Prymak (3/25), Mark Ross (3/29), Michael Olson (3/29), Marty Sipos (3/30). In memoriam: Bishop Oscar Romero (3/30/1980).

Keeping In-touch: I'm ready for my Bride to return to me, tomorrow. But I have kept busy with course work and all my other church and civic activities. Marge enjoys her time with two of the grandchildren but it makes her miss the others. We'll participate in our small church community retreat this coming weekend; so please pray for us. Otherwise we're just anticipating Springtime and the return of "the boys of summer."
The Readings: Fourth Sunday of Lent

Some Commentary: Fr. John Foley, S. J.
My comments and an invitation for your comments: 

I can not but be challenged to reflect on my own "blindness" and my failure to live in humility, like the pharisees. There is no sin in our physical limitations. Our sin is our failure to trust in The Lord who desires that we "see."

Comments, Reflections, Insights...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Third Sunday of Lent

My Companions pray with me: LORD, may our lives lived with joy and service bring You glory and honor always. And when we fall, help us to know Your love and Your mercy as we seek forgiveness from those we have hurt and from You. Thank you for all Your gifts, especially the healing process for John Hoiland and the comfort Caitlin is receiving. Please give us what we need, help us to seek Your "living water."

Birthdays: Charlie Stevens (3/17), Lindsay Smith (3/17), Rick Dunn (3/17), Trish Buckley (3/17), Bob Weed (3/18), Chris Norton, (3/19), Karen Carnegie (3/22), Dorothy (Himpleman) Pitzen (3/23), Rachel (Kobza) Vera (3/23), Sallie Dembeck (3/23) . In memoriam: Myron Defrancia (3/17/2012).

Keeping In-touch: We kept busy with the regular happenings of this week. And we eagerly anticipated Margaret's clan's "high holy day": St Patrick's Day... But more enthusiastically does my Bride await her trip to the Heartland to visit the grand children and their parents.
The Readings: Third Sunday of Lent

Some Commentary: Fr. John Foley, S. J.
My comments and an invitation for your comments: 

This is one of my favorite Gospel readings. Jesus asks for a drink of water and the woman wants to initiate a theological debate. The woman's experience, probably one of rejection and subordination, has kept her from encountering Jesus more fully. She invites others to this encounter with Jesus who knows everything she's ever done but continues to ask, "...could he possibly be the Christ?" I know that I have failed to reply to others meaningfully when I felt insecure or inferior... and may have missed The Lord's request for a life-giving response.

Comments, Reflections, Insights...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Second Sunday of Lent

My Companions pray with me: LORD, let us praise You for all Your Glory; let us not be afraid as we contemplate Your wonderful majesty. Forgive us our alienation by omission and commission. Thank You for all Your gifts; help us use them for the building of Your Kingdom. And please provide all we need, especially the needs of those on our list of prayers for renewed health.

Birthdays: Mary (Himpleman) Weightman (3/9), John Lay (my nephew) (3/10), Suzie Perry (3/16). In memoriam: Sam Eccher (3/6/2010).

Keeping In-touch: We saw a wonderful Irish concert last Saturday night. It was a quiet week with Caitlin gone, attending the memorials for her fellow students. It was a good week sharing meals with friends and playing a little more tennis. It's not much fun giving-up sweets and adult beverages :(
The Readings: Second Sunday of Lent

Some Commentary: Fr. John Foley, S. J.
My comments and an invitation for your comments: 

Transfiguration? What does that mean? Can we even begin to imagine what life will be like in the glory of God? Our Lord does not care for temples or tabernacles but He wants us to accept His love and pass it on. The Son of Man has risen from the dead... so we must tell everyone!
Live in joy, and pass the Word!

Comments, Reflections, Insights...

Monday, March 3, 2014

First Sunday in Lent

As you are aware, Lent begins on Wednesday.
I hope our Gospel sharing activities will serve you well this year. And I have listed below a few sites that you may find interesting.

History of Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Lent and Ash Wednesday
Why Do You Pray?
Praydreaming: Key to Discernment
The Liturgical Catechist

My Companions pray with me: LORD, we ask for Your grace and compassion as we mourn the loss and celebrate the lives of Caitlin's friends killed in an auto accident on Friday and of Billy Maggio who completed his battle with cancer Saturday morning. May our fasting and prayer this Lent bring us closer to You. May we renew our lives and become more united with You and with all our brothers and sisters. Help us to live fully and bring You glory.
No calendar events.

Keeping In-touch: We were spoiled by our break in the weather, so we found the cold more annoying this week. We worked hard and played hard and consoled companions in difficult times. We're looking forward to some warmer days and some good news.
The Readings: First Sunday of Lent

Some Commentary: Fr. John Foley, S. J.
My comments and an invitation for your comments: 

We may experience similar temptations as Jesus did: to abandon our mission for worldly comforts, to compromise our integrity for fame or recognition, and/or to seek pleasure or satisfaction rather than live as the loved, precious gifts God has made us to be. I pray that this Lent I will take giant steps toward our loving God and mirror His love to all I encounter.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Billy Maggio (d. 3/1/14)

To all of Billy's faithful Prayer Warriors,

March 1, 2014

With tremendous sadness we write to let you know that our beloved son and brother Billy was received by Jesus into the Kingdom of Heaven early this morning, at 1:12 am.  He died from the many complications caused after his long battle with Cancer. Billy’s death was beautiful. He waited for the arrival of his sisters and then shortly after midnight he began his final battle.

In our hearts we are convinced that our Lord granted Billy his miracle.  He survived his cancer for seven years, the significant and holy number revealed in Scripture. On March 1st in 2006 Billy was granted a new life after his successful liver transplant, Billy always called March 1st his New- Birthday! He was given a brand new life. We all knew that Billy lived his life before Cancer to its fullest; he did the same with his New Life after cancer, for the next seven years!  Through the grace of God, today March 1st, 2014, on his 8th birthday of receiving this gift of life, he was born again into eternal life, in paradise!

Billy accepted his Cross heroically. On May 28th 2013 Billy had his final “VATS” surgery. The last nine months truly became for us a time of expectation, waiting with great hope and labor. His final hike to the mountain top was difficult and painful for our Billy. But in the last moments we believe it was a labor of love and faith which open the door to his birth into the kingdom of God! And seeing our son’s faith and their brother’s courage our family rejoices today with new found wonder at what God has in store for those who love Him! And so our Billy enjoys today, another New-Birth day.

Rest assured all your prayers have been most powerful especially last night helping Billy to gain entrance into Heaven on his anniversary of surgery.  He had a happy, peaceful and beautiful death surrounded by his family with Billy's good friend and fellow cancer survivor Fr. Greg Ames leading the way for us. Billy and Fr. Greg supported each other spiritually, emotionally and physically during each of their battles with cancer.  And as Fr. Greg always told Billy, we would be there to help him reach the summit of life’s highest mountain. Surrounded by your prayers and love Billy stands on that glorious summit today, with Jesus, Mary and all the saints and angels of heaven.

We will all have a giant hole in our heart not having Billy around, but know he will remain with us now in a new way. For as we say in a Catholic funeral, “When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death we gain an everlasting dwelling in the Kingdom of heaven. For one who has faith life is changed not ended!”  Thank you for your faithful prayers all these months.  We will forever be grateful for your constant love and concern for our Billy and for our family.

Billy’s final gift to our world was his donation of his corneas in gratitude for the liver he received 8 years ago.  Even in death, he was thinking of others.

May God bless you always as your have blessed our Billy and his family with your constant prayers.


Eileen, Bill, Jen, Katie and

of course, our Billy