I am now seven days into my new assignment at St. Mary’s of the Lake and St. Benedict’s. In my first article (“From an End to a Beginning”) after the move, I wrote about the people I was meeting and my first Mass as the Parochial Administrator here.
Since then, of course, there have been more firsts. On Friday, I presided at my first wedding here. I am grateful for the nice couple. It was also the first Friday of the month. Here, that means Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I am so glad that we have Eucharistic Adoration here. I myself spent some time before the Blessed Sacrament in the evening (for more on Eucharistic Adoration see my article “Homily – Why are We Here for Adoration?”). `
I have most of my stuff unpacked. It is nice to have all 20 boxes of books unpacked in my office that I have room to move around, not to mention being able to settle in.
I met with some of the family for the funeral for a funeral I will do this week. Normally, when I begin a new assignment I know no one. That has been very different coming to my home parish. Meeting with this family is no exception. While I don’t know them well, I have met the deceased and her husband in the past. Funeral ministry is very important to me. When the funeral is for people I do know not, it can be a time to build a relationship with the family while giving them hope in eternal life. When I do know the family, it is a time of hope and the conversation involves an established relationship.
Then came my first weekend Masses here as the Parochial Administrator. The Saturday evening Mass is at St. Benedict’s (about six miles from the rectory). In other multi-site parishes I have served in, the first I do when going to one of the other churches is to program my GPS with the address so I know how to get there. This time I started down the road and realized I didn’t program my GPS and I didn’t need to. I have said Mass before at St. Benedict’s. In fact, it is the church where I lectored for the first time.
Does that mean the Mass was without emotional significance for me? No. In fact, just as I did at my first Mass assigned at St. Mary’s last Wednesday, (see my article last week “From an End to a Beginning”) I had goosebumps during the homily. So much so there were times during the homily where I almost had to use my notes.
I have met a lot of people, some who I immediately remember by name and others that look familiar that I need to relearn their names. Of course, there are many new faces to. While it makes the learning curve easier to know many of the people, I am grateful to see new faces. A good parish will always see new faces.
Yesterday brought another first as the Parochial Administrator, my first home visit. It was to a couple that I know of from the past but not real well. So, I am grateful for the time with them and to get to know them a little better.
It has been a busy week. I am grateful that it has been a good week.