Tuesday, May 19, 2009
None of us, not even him, saw this coming...
He is a good man and he has been our pastor for five years. I always assumed (and I think he did too) that he would be in our parish for the next, oh 30 years until he retired. I also assumed he'd be around to bury me....
However, he stunned us with the news this weekend that he is now being transferred from our parish to become pastor of another parish and also vicar of one of the counties in our archdiocese. You could hear the collective gasp in the congregation when he made his announcement and we could hear him getting choked up. They are moving him up to bigger and better things, however he is leaving the people he has come to love and count on. He doesn't want to go but realizes he has to and has asked for our prayers for this new journey of his. He came the year my daughter was confirmed. He was there to congratulate her on her full scholarship to high school. He was there when my son was confirmed and he was there to watch them both graduate from grade school.
He is also my kids' first-ever boss. Both of my kids have had the privilege of working at the rectory and he and my daughter have gotten into some fairly heated discussions over who she will marry and whether or not he will allow an outdoor wedding (frowned upon in the Catholic church). He is like a mother hen and matchmaker all rolled up in one - constantly putting out suggestions for possible dates for my daughter. He's like another dad. He's been wonderful to both of my children. He's tried so hard to make our parish feel once again like a community - something the previous pastor didn't even bother to try doing.
God has big plans for this man but, sadly, being with us is not part that plan anymore. While we didn't always agree with all of the changes he brought to our parish, we never wished for him to leave.
He'll leave us on June 15, two days after we close up the parish carnival - a tradition he started three years ago. What will we do now?????