Monday, 9 March 2015

My Tienhaara Connection.

It was probably in 1978 or 1979  that I first got to know the Tienhaara family of Fitchburg, MA.  At that time I was the Rector at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Fitchburg, MA.

It's a long and complicated story, save to say that I have stayed in  touch with the T's, (thanks chiefly to Facebook) even 'though they were never Episcopalians.   Our lives touched in a tender and gracious way.

The oldest Tienhaara son is Richard.    He is a dear man of God.

Last Thanksgiving  he sent me this e-mail:

Michael:  thank you for your thoughtful words ..I do feel very blessed . I'm thankful that you took the time during my teenage years to introduce me to the love of Christ . I'm not sure where I would be if you hadn't !! My life is richer knowing you.

Those words made me want to cry.


Back in 1984  I participated in the solemnization of Richard's marriage to Elisabeth at a Roman Catholic Church on Long Island.

Richard, Elisabeth  and I have stayed in touch: as I have with R's siblings (Sean, Brian, Kevin and Jessica) via Facebook.


Richard is 6'6" tall.  (Yes, he played Basketball at College level).

When my late and blessed Mother met Richard  on one of her visits from the U.K. to the U.S.A.  she met  said to him:  "come to my home at 47 Devon  Rd, in Bristol, U.K and you  will be able to paint my kitchen ceiling  without needing a ladder".  He has never forgotten that she said that.

Richard and I saw each other last in 2010  when I was in New England for the consecration of my friend Ian Douglas to be the Bishop of Connecticut.  At that time R and I connected for what was a mediocre breakfast at the "Friendly's" which is/was just off the Massachusetts Turnpike in Ware.

Richard was in town yesterday.  He and Elizabeth are visiting her mother who lives near St. Petersburg, FL  He had taken time out to visit his father down in Naples, FL, so he stopped by my home yesterday afternoon as her travelled from Naples to St. Pete.

We had a grand time as we got caught up with news of our respective families, talked about our lives in Christ, and prayed together.

It was such a blessed way to bring a good Sunday to a close.

My pal Richard

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