Sunday, June 12, 2016
I FEEL LIKE I AM ON DEATH ROW! WOULD SOMEONE CALL A PRIEST FOR THE "LAST RITES" PLEASE?
I feel like I am dying or at least being pastor of St. Joseph Church in Macon is on death row. I need the Last Rites please, please, please.
I also hate the attention I am receiving for departing. I long for the good old days in pre-Vatican II times when someone left the seminary or convent--they were ushered out in the middle of the night and everyone the next morning wondered where they went--just think of the "Nun's Story" with Audrey Hepburn!
I have the 7:45 AM Mass and the 9:30 AM Mass which is my "Last Supper." Following it will be my farewell reception in our social hall below the Church. When I came here in 2004 the church was being restored and was competly in scaffolds and Mass for the first two years was in the basement, the social hall. Mass wasn't too bad down there though. But it is better suited for receptions.
And literally I will walk from the reception to my car, get in, and drive off into the sunrise of the Eastern Coast of Georgia!
I think I have been in denial about my departure from here. It is surreal. I can't believe 12 years have passed. I feel as though I'm simply going on vacation. But I'm not! I am leaving my parish family whom I have come to know and love over the last 12 years.
When I departed my former parish in Augusta for Macon, I felt that I was committing adultery on them by becoming the new pastor here. But in my maturity today (some call it old age or dementia), I realize I am married to the Church of the Diocese of Savannah not any one particular congregation, so I don't think I will feel like an adulterer once I get to St. Anne's in Richmond Hill.
Please pray for me as I become the new pastor of St. Anne's, for Fr. Joseph Smith the departing pastor there and for Fr. Scott Winchel who is concluding his pastorate in Cordele and will become the new pastor here. Pray for all the parishes having to say good-bye and hello!
Life is a series of chapters and for me they have all been wildly interesting. God is good!