Well, I have been at St. Michael’s for two weeks now. I have felt very welcomed by the parishioners and that has been great. The staff has also been great. I realize now that I had forgotten what it was like to be in a new place. When I go to work on something in the office, I frequently have to start by finding someone who knows about the parish history of whatever I am about to work on. As the new guy I need to be told where the hospital and nursing homes are. While I have nine years of experience working in three different parishes as a priest, there are things like these that are unique to each parish. That’s why getting to know both the staff and the parishioners is so important. They are the ones who know these things.
Yet, perhaps the greatest challenge for me comes from simply getting to know people. It is very important to me that I get to know the parishioners by name. However, it takes a lot for me to know names and faces, especially figuring who is Anna vs. Ann or Anne, and Diane vs. Diana. In meeting new people I am also aware of my introverted side. I can be social yet meeting new people takes a lot of energy for me. Again, the people have been understanding. It also helps that it is summer and that things are a little slower so I can pace myself.
Please continue to pray for St. Michael’s as well as all the parishes who just received new leadership and for the priests in those new assignments.