The days of November, always flood me with many memories. This Sunday, November 8th, marks the anniversary of when I was drafted into the Army. I had recently been graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology when I received a letter that started out, Greetings from the President! It was my draft notice telling me to report for active duty at Fort Dix, NJ on November 8th! I remember the date well because it was the day before my 22nd birthday. On my birthday that year I remember turning in my civilian clothes and receiving my OD Green fatigues. As I was being processed in at the reception station, I was asked if I had any college education. I responded that I was an RIT grad; I was then asked do you know a Charles McColgan? I had to think for a minute, the question caught me off guard, then I responded Chuck McColgan! Yeah he was my RA the very first part of my freshman year and I remember him from the wrestling team. My interviewer responded, he is the lieutenant in charge of this office, then he asked, would you like to do this job? I responded what job? He said doing what I am doing now, interviewing troops and initiating their personnel files. I said sure why not! Next thing I knew the Sargent in charge talked to me then Lt. McColgan talked to me and as quick as that I found myself earmarked for the job! To my bigger surprise Lt. McColgan, said to me Happy Birthday, and it turned out it was his birthday too, so he invited me to his apartment to share a birthday dinner prepared by his wife! I was shocked to be shown such kindness, but I think that my Drill Sargent was even more surprised that this no striped private was going to the Lieutenant’s house for dinner! I ending up spending my two years of active duty at Fort Dix as the Vietnam War wound down. I was lucky that I was not involved in the horrors of combat, but I know that many of my peers were. So many soldiers returning from that war and the many wars that proceeded and followed the Vietnam War have suffered greatly from the wounds and scars of battle. Other men and women never made it home and died on foreign soils. As we celebrate Veterans Day this week may we keep our Veterans in our prayers.
Last Sunday I was blessed to spend some time with the youth of our parish who are preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation. I also ask you to keep them in your prayers that they be open to the gift of the Holy Spirit. I gave them the prayer below to pray during their preparation time. I encourage you to make the prayer your own and to ask for the healing grace of the Holy Spirit.
God bless you, Father Bill
p.s. I am now on Medicare!
O God, our loving Creator and giver of all good gifts, bless our parishes, strengthen our faith and grant us the spirit of Christian Stewardship so that we may give generously of our time, talent and treasure to the building of Your Kingdom here in our church and throughout the world We pray for your help in achieving success in this campaign, so that we can help others throughout the diocese. This we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.