Friday, July 30, 2010

Joy... Pain... Sunshine... Rain.

Sorry that I haven't written in a bit. The Haiku was a flash of genius in my normally predictable and unimaginative life. Still, it got me thinking of a few more poetic shots across the bow towards those who annoy me. You know what they say, "When life throws you lemons, make a pipebomb." Wha, just me?

Anyway, I recall saying to myself last May that I was looking forward to an uneventful summer. My first one, in fact, since the last time my summer did not involve packing, moving, unpacking, and getting to know a new place. That last time was 2007. That was the year Anna Nicole Smith died and Al Gore won a Nobel prize, just to set the stage.

So, last week, I was formally and officially installed as Pastor of St. Lawrence Parish. My Bishop was here along with 14 priests (no easy task on a Sunday). It was a glorious day, a bit on the hot and humid side (it is July, after all), but still a great day which found me in a daze I hadn't felt since my ordination weekend, wondering if it all was really happening. Here's a pic:

Joys and sorrows are a part of every person's life, and the same can be said in the life of a parish. This past Wednesday, my predecessor as Pastor of St. Lawrence, Father Joe Szulwach, passed away. Though we knew his health was not at all good, the quick decline we witnessed and his past rallies from death's door made it still a bit of a shock. His body will arrive here on Monday afternoon, and his funeral is scheduled for next Tuesday. Though I've had some experience with a dying Pastor, I'm still nervous about making sure I've done everything properly. Tomorrow, in fact, I'll have another "first" in my Priestly life: vesting a deceased Priest.

So next week is August, and I've often said that in the lift of a parish Priest, summer ends on the Feast of the Assumption. That's when thoughts turn towards September and the emergence of all the meetings and programs that come out of summer hibernation.


teorabelle said...

Our hearts are sad right now, but that is because we are left here. Father Joe showed us how to celebrate life and he guided us through our grief when we lost our loved ones. Now we must celebrate his life and remember what he taught us about our faith. He is now free of his suffering and resting in a better place. May God grant him eternal rest. He now prays for us from above. Thank you Father Joe for being here for us, Paulette M.

teorabelle said...

Congratulations Father Jay! We are proud to have you here with us at St Lawrence.
May God guide you in your new offcial role as Pastor.
My prayers are with you as it certainly starts with an enormous task.

Spes Non Confundit said...

Please be mindful of your own health, Father Jay. The ministry of pastor can consume a man. You are too wonderful to lose.