Friday, May 31, 2002

About tonight, and the prayer service/public apology.

I finally decided to turn the television on.

It was already determined that I would be at prayer at six o'clock, the appointed hour. First, it was my job and duty. Secondly, prayer is the only effective way I have to deal with fear --- and I had lots of fear. Fear that my bishop would fail in strength, and become overcome with tears before he could finish. Fear that some church politician would create a statement apart from reality and make it be recited. Fear that the crowd at Mater Christi might be vicious and publicly reject forgiveness, or that the media presence would become a circus.

All the things I feared were unfulfilled, thanks be to God!

Yes, he was a bit gaunt and grey-complected. He entered attended by a single deacon, who presided. The Scripture readings were Psalm 51 and the "Peter,do you love me?" passage from St. John's Gospel. The text of the apology was most definitely his own, with candor that flabbergasted the local news telking-heads. He sought forgiveness for the right things, especially his capitulation to fear in allowing the settlement agreement, rather than dealing with the suit in the open.

The full text is available at www.archmil.org/default.asp and at www.jsonline.com/news/metro/may02/47597.asp

When the prayer service was over, he left with the deacon during the closing hymn, through the sacristry, preventing any media circus but also denying himself any comfort from the people in the chapel.

Archbishop Rembert, I will always owe you a great debt. You taught me, and you showed me by your example, how to live a simple and single and submitted life in this world and time. May you be permitted at least a little of that quiet retirement for which you had planned, and the growth and the healing for which you plead.

And, Bishop Sklba, and whoever comes to be the next Archbishop: it remains my job to keep you always in prayer, and I intend, with God's help, to fulfill that duty faithfully --- for that is part of what it means to dwell in an anchor hold.

karen marie kmknapp@execpc.com

Archbishop Rembert is scheduled for public apology with media in attendence (can you say pillory?) this evening (Friday) at 6 pm cdt. Pray, please, all who may read this --- for the strength to endure, for grace under fire, and for wisdom.

Thank you all.
The Scariest Prayer in the Hymnal: Suscipe

Take, Lord, receive
all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
my entire will.

Take, Lord, receive
all I have and possess.
You have given all to me.
Now I return it.

Give me only your love and your grace;
that's enough for me.
Your love and your grace are enough for me.

Take, Lord, receive;
all is yours now.
Dispose of it
wholly according to your will.

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Yesterday Sean at Nota Bene sought to know about Archbishop Rembert. I've been thinking about that, about our poor dear gentle bishop now retired, but I've been having trouble, because everything keeps sounding like a premature epitaph. But I can try.

I can reminisce a little over when Dom Rembert came to us as his first non-monastic pastoral assignment, and his long and rough adjustment to his new life, and our adjustment to him.

The way that Bishop Rembert always respected us, even when he could not agree (even when he had to rebuke!)

He always taught that our place was to know and love and serve God --- and to demonstrate that by loving and serving others. We were to pray constantly, and that starts with regular prayer every day no matter what, and daily examination of conscience.

He stressed the importance of regular Reconciliation, of frequent Communion, and the use of the other sacraments whenever appropriate; after all, Jesus gave us the Sacraments for good reason. He taught how to build up the virtues and control the passions, and he did not hesitate to use himself as his own teaching example.

He steadfastly defended us his people and also the rights of diocesan ordinaries against the church politicians when there were church politics power games going on. He held that there was only The Church, not the stuck-full-of-adjectives church. He rebuked the Wanderer Forum when they came to town to make political hash of the Faith; when the Call to Action people thought he'd like them because he had rebuked the Wanderer Forum, he gave them what-fer also.

From our diocese went Bishop Brusciewicz (sp?) to Lincoln and Bishop Joseph Perry to Chicago.

He put in his resignation on his birthday in Easter Week, and looked forward to a quiet retirement: but it seems somebody else had something else in mind. Lord grant him strength and wisdom. I am pretty sure I could not endure what he now must.
Thanks to Michael Shirley and Gerard Seraphim (and Mark and Amy) for introducing me to the world of the blog.

For a little introduction:

I'm a retired library worker in my mid-40's. More to the point, I have as my primary occupation praying for this city and this diocese. And recently, that's been two armsful.

I was not raised up here in Milwaukee. In my youth I had a special talent for those tests with the dots to fill in with the #2 pencil, ended up in Milwaukee, and settled in to stay when the scholarship money ran out. So I never met Fr. Groppi, except in newsreel footage, but I live at the end of his bridge. The bridge over which he and his parishioners would have processions, to defend the right of all Milwaukeans to use any of the public parks, and to buy or rent homes in any Milwaukee neighborhood they chose and could afford. They were not welcomed in peace, not then. But now there are two large signs: "Groppi Unity Bridge." And about 1/2 block from the end, hidden between and behind the factories and businesses, is my little anchor hold; tiny house, tinier porch,a peony and two rhubarb plants, a lawn of some viney weed that blooms blue in May (but no grass), a few antennas. Home sweet anchor hold.