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Regaining Focus: The Ordination of Fr. Daniel McShane

Photo Credit: stjulia.org

So many times I have walked into the Catholic church and felt distracted by my own constant struggles to attend to the beauty, the message, the MIRACLE happening before me in the Mass. At this stage in motherhood, I am usually bouncing my youngest on one hip and attempting to redirect my boys with my other arm. We have improved, for sure, but even with that improvement, I still struggle to maintain focus. Motherhood aside, remaining focused, being fully present, has always been a battle. There is the constant mental noise of to-do lists, meal planning, mentally reliving conversations with others, it is endless. Truly, this list is never-ending because Satan will for sure use any means possible to pull our eyes away from our Lord. However, this year, I made a concerted effort to change this.

My cousin, Danny McShane, was ordained into the Peoria, Illinois Diocese on May 25, 2019.  

        Photo Credit: The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody

Months prior to this magnificent sacrament, I joined a group of women in prayer and fasting. As a community, we met weekly to encourage each other toward the goals of purification and asceticism. Stripping away the "extra" in life helped me focus on the necessary and fill my time with new ways to fully give my attention to God. As I completed this 90-day spiritual exercise, I prayed a 54-day novena for the intention that my cousin, Danny, would be blessed with a grace-filled ordination and priesthood. Perhaps selfishly, I also prayed that I, and those in attendance, would witness this intention come to fruition by feeling tangible graces at the ordination and subsequent first Mass.

Photo Credit: The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody

I am eternally thankful to say this weekend of masses was quite possibly THE most powerful, beautiful, and extraordinary masses I have ever attended in my life. Our Catholic faith felt tangible to me. Our sacred tradition was on display in full glory, with all the bells and smells of our Catholic Mass. 

Photo Credit: The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody

Witnessing my cousin prostrate himself at the altar, state his vows and be consecrated with holy oils was both exhilarating and a much valued reminder of the need to put Jesus FIRST in everything, every task before us, every time in our lives. We may not all be called to the priesthood, but we ARE all called to sainthood.

First Mass
Photo Credit: Anthony Rund

We are called to follow God right where we are in our lives, right now. Please join me in prayer for Fr. Daniel McShane, that he will continue to follow Christ on his path. And let's also pray that we all will turn off the noise, listen, and immediately follow Christ in our own daily lives. Now is our time.

My husband Anthony and I receiving a blessing from Fr. McShane.
Photo Credit: The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody

Photo Credit: The Catholic Post/Tom Dermody

Your Sister in Christ,

Jill
































































































































































































































































































































































































































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