Here's an open letter to all of you good and faithful Nativity of Mary parishioners who, every year when the weather forecasters start using phrases like "wind-chill factor" and "icy arctic front," migrate south for a few months.
I thought I'd float this out there to see how many of you are keeping up on parish news – checking the bulletin or reading my blog on the website while you are gone. Send me a postcard if you are reading this and I'll send up a prayer for you. It's important for us to keep connected.
Meanwhile, while you're away, don't let the natives down there make fun of your Minnesotan accent. That just ain't right, dontcha know! If, on the other hand, you are walking around the beach or the desert wearing black socks with flip-flops, they have every right to make fun of you. You have it coming.
The rest of us frozen chosen are still here holding down the parish. Every Sunday I hear people coming to Mass and muttering, "Is it Lent yet? Is it Lent yet?" They figure that a nice daily penance would give them something besides the weather to be miserable about for a change.
We're looking forward too to our Lenten “Nativity of Mary Men's Group Fish-Fry Festival” next month on March 21. You probably don't get too many good fish-fries down there, so at least we've got that. We have decided however that we won't be able to use metal silverware for the fish-fry this year. It has been so cold that we're afraid somebody might get their tongue stuck to a spoon.
To keep our minds active through the dark nights we also have been contemplating something that comedian Steven Wright once asked, "If it's zero degrees outside today and it's supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?" We've kept quite busy thinking about that.
I hope when you go to Mass down there you're greeting the priest afterward and telling him what a nice parish you come from. I figure he owes me some sort of compensation for having you for so long. So see if you can work out a parish-swap between me and him for a week next January. I’ll take his parish for a week and he can cover for me here for a week. Until then, I'll start shopping for black socks and flip-flops!
So long for now. We miss you here at Nativity of Mary. See you snowbirds back home soon!