All posts tagged: tomeggleston

A Memory of Peace

Millions of people converged on Krakow, Poland about a year ago. While among them I gained the ability to imagine a world at peace. I can now imagine global peace. I also know that the Church has something to teach the world about it. In July of 2016 I was a chaperone for a group of high school students from my parish who went on a pilgrimage to World Youth Day in Krakow. I went to Toronto for WYD in 2002 as a college student, a young pilgrim. For that reason, to a certain degree, I knew what challenges to expect: lots of walking, battling the elements (sun, rain, heat, mud), and waiting in long lines. I fully expected that alongside those challenges there would be the deep grace that God provides to pilgrims, lovely cultural encounters with people from across the globe, and, of course, the special experience of accompanying high school students in their faith, doubts, laughs, and struggles. All of that happened, but the meaning of the event, which I still ponder …

Embracing a Preferential Option for the Family

Ministry at the level of the parish is often an attempt to focus chaos and point that energy in the right direction. People and groups approach parish ministers (both clergy and lay pastoral ministers like me) with ideas, energy, financial backing, and credentials on a weekly—even daily—basis. The reality of focusing the energy and effort of the parish is tremendously gratifying yet bewilderingly difficult; it requires a deep friendship with Christ (who is the way, the truth, and the life) and a clear, prophetic vision for the reign he came to teach. Within the beautiful bedlam of parish ministry I have found it important to hold onto certain pastoral values in the midst of all the judgments and decisions about which directions to point energy (both mine and others) and asserting priorities ahead of other items which may very well be good too. One such value that is particularly helpful in focusing pastoral care at parishes is what I’ve come to call the “preferential option for families.” The wording preferential option is borrowed explicitly from …