Thursday, June 16, 2011

Come, Follow Me

In the last 17 years I have served in various positions in 6 parishes in three dioceses (not counting temporary positions). Today I packed up my office and left the the rectory where I work for the last time. My reasons for leaving each parish differ. Only one was involuntary, one was due to a church closing, and for 8 of the 17 years I worked at more than one parish at the same time.

One of the first questions I get asked when people find out I am studying theology is always "What are you going to do when you graduate? Are you going to be a nun?" (Some confused people ask if I'm going to become a priest). My answer has always been the same, "I will go wherever God wants me". Of course, that answer is totally unsatisfying for the questioner, but it is the truth. 

I was taught that all ministry requires a certain amount of dying to self and submission. Although I am not required to make a promise of obedience to a bishop or other superior, for my work to be ministry it must be authorized by a bishop or his delegate (usually a parish priest). This requires that I, at least in part, submit to his will and that I submit totally to the will of God. 

After much prayer, and an invitation from a bishop, I have realized that God is calling me to yet another diocese. The challenge is great, the work is exciting, and I am ready to put my hand to the plow and not look back (Lk 9:62). I am also excited to be getting back to working in liturgy - it is truly where my heart lies and where my theological roots are grounded.

I will miss the parishes where I currently work and all the friends I have made there. I will miss the familiar places and the comforts of "home" but my eyes are fixed on Jesus (Heb 12:2).
Please remember me and my family in your prayers as we embark on this "missionary" journey and for my parishes as well during this time of transition. 

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