Last Sunday was my two-month anniversary at Saint Richard’s. I didn’t really notice, because who notices something as ridiculous as a two-month anniversary? Moreover, it doesn’t feel like it’s been two months…as they say, time flies when you’re having fun. And I’m having a lot of it. And I’m learning a lot, too – about what it means to be a pastor, but also about all of you. So before I become fully assimilated (and it will happen; resistance is futile), let me share with you an outsider’s perspective on the people of this parish…
*This place is a zoo, figuratively and almost literally. We have a bear, we have geese, we have deer, we have crows, various other small critters, and there’s a story about a goat coming to Christmas Mass. It’s a zoo. But on the other hand, it speaks to the peace and the beauty of this place, which we take for granted as we zip up the driveway at 40 miles an hour and go the wrong way against the one-way signs. It reminds us that, as the English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ, wrote, “The world is charged with the grandeur of God.”
*This place is busy, and I mean busy. It seemed like there was a fair bot of things going on in July. Who was I kidding? I’m writing this on a Monday, a day you might think would be slow, but we’ve got back-to-back-to-back events lined up till about 9 PM or so. How the Hardest Working Parish Staff in the Diocese (that’s their unofficial title) manages to keep the schedule straight, I’ll never know. But our busy-ness is a sign of our vitality and of how alive we are in Christ. So, “let us not grow tired of doing good. For in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:9)
*This place communicates well. We have the website, the bulletin, the parish app, the Facebook page, twitter, Instagram, the video board in the narthex, the weekly email and the occasional mass mailing. And it’s not a one-way street; we get plenty of emails, notes, and calls from all of you that help us to serve you better. Let’s keep communicating, not only with one another, but with the rest of the world. “Proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching.” (2 Tim 4:2)
*This place prays well. Maybe that seems like it should be a given, but in some places it’s not. But our Masses are generally well-attended; the lines for confession are generally long; and we baptize a lot of babies. We sing at Mass, we have no shortage of volunteers…the only thing we need to work on is making sure we have folks for Eucharistic Adoration. It’s not a bad position to be in. But we can never grow slack. “Rejoice always! Pray without ceasing!” (1 Thess 5:16-17)
I’ve learned quite a bit in 2 months. Hopefully we have a lot more time together. Let’s keep listening to the Lord, to see what He wants to teach us next.