UP Catholic 12 23 2016 E Edition Page 14

14 December 23, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC www.upcatholic.org Christmas is a quiet time at Marygrove. This month provides a good opportunity for some cleaning, and lots of quiet prayer. Into the darkness and stillness of winter, the birth of Christ, the Light of the World, stands as a stark contrast. As the calendar begins again in January, and as our retreat schedule kicks into high gear, please know of our continued prayers for you, our patrons, friends, and retreatants. I hope that 2017 finds you contemplating a return to Marygrove for some refreshment and energizing. In the peace of the Holy Family, Fr. Tim Ferguson Bishop Noa celebrates Mass with residents at the Noa Home 50 & 25 YEARS AGO BY LARRY CHABOT FROM OUR SUNDAY VISITOR DECEMBER, 1966 The diocesan paper paid editorial tribute to the 33 advertisers in the current issue. From his military post in Vietnam, Lieutenant Al Treado of Mar- quette reported on his visit to a nun-run orphanage. Surprise: Bishop Thomas Noa walked into the Noa Home in Escana- ba to say Mass and socialize with the residents. FROM THE U.P. CATHOLIC DECEMBER, 1991 Future pope, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, began a third term as head of the Congregation of Doctrine of the Faith. The country is safe for a while, said editor Chuck Gabel, because Congress was on vacation. In preparation for its 50th anniversary, Marquette's St. Michael Parish made major renovations. COURTESY PHOTO During Respect Life month in October, Right to Life of Delta County sponsored a respect life poster contest for area children. Prizes were awarded to two levels, grades first through fourth and fifth through eighth. The cash prize awards were presented on Dec. 6 before the Right to Life meeting. The winners are pictured above. From left to right, Amanda Burton, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Bark River (1st place); Cameron Nelson, All Saints, Gladstone (1st place); Breanne Oxford, St. Joseph/St. Patrick, Escanaba (3rd place); Kyle Young, All Saints, Gladstone (2nd place). Delta County hosts respect life poster contest for youth N ext week when theyre on sale, I need to pick up a new Emergency Santa Hat. I used to keep a Santa hat in the backseat of my car. A friend noticed this once and asked, Whats that? For some reason I replied, Its my emergency Santa hat. You never know when youll need one. The term kind of stuck. How the original hat ended up in my backseat has been forgotten, but I remember putting it on while driving one cold night to keep warm. A kid in a car that pulled up next to me saw it and went nuts. He thought he saw San- ta driving a red Ford Focus instead of a sleigh through Memphis. That was a lot of fun. After that if I was driving at night Id occa- sionally put the hat on and see if kids noticed me. When they did I'd put my finger up to my lips like a shush. That proved it. I was the real deal. I can imagine them telling their friends that they had seen Santa Claus driving down Poplar Avenue. When I was a kid in St. Louis, I thought I saw Santa in disguise in the alley behind our house. It had to be the real Santa as he had longish white hair and a big white beard. He was smok- ing a cigarette and carrying a brown paper bag. I wondered what was in the small bag. As children we have a good imagination and are open to the possibilities and to the mag- ical, or unexpected moments of grace. Once we get older and realize weve seen a few fake Santas, its hard to be open to seeing a real one. Theres an amazing painting titled Kissing the Face of God. In it, the Virgin Mary is hold- ing and kissing a baby, her son Jesus. The artist, Morgan Weistling, wrote about the genesis of the painting: I started to con- template the awesome privilege that Mary was given, being able to hold God in her arms, but also keeping in mind that He was still her baby. This cute little child whom she bore was also God in the flesh. And yet, she cuddled and kissed Him, just as all mothers do with their babies. This thought propelled me right into this painting, which I wanted to be a very human representation of divinity. My prayer is that the viewer will be struck, as I am, with the amazing way that God chose to send His Son into this world in pure humility. Its easy to think of the Holy Family as a su- pernatural trio that were somehow above wor- ries and questions of life. But they were living in the real world just like the rest of us. If I was Mary Im sure Id be thinking something like, For real? And if I was Joseph I know Id be thinking, What did I get myself into? As a cradle Catholic Ive known about this stuff all my life and still it can be hard to be- lieve. But in a way I dont know how to explain, I know in my heart that Ive met the real Jesus and I believe. This Christmas, and always, I hope you can believe, too. You never know when you'll need one HERE AM I John Fee

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