Sunday, June 8, 2008


Naturally during this time of transition from one assignment to the next tends to make one nostalgic. Aiding this train of thinking was the reading of Fr. E’s latest post concerning his thoughts at the beginning of his ministry as a newly ordained priest.

Much of any available free time today was spent in packing. I have learned to pull drawers all the way out in order to discover and stray items that might have fallen out over the years. Such a discovery was made moving in finding odds and ends from the priest who occupied the rooms previously.

One great find was a letter written to myself ten years ago to be opened on my tenth anniversary. It was a good thing to be moving for it had been completely forgotten and would have remained there unread for at least another year otherwise. It was fun reading what my younger self wanted me to remember and be encouraged by.

Which led to the digging out of a diary from the packing box that chronicled the days leading up to ordination. Reading through an entry was found about Noose Night. Noose Night was when a transitional deacon would invite underclassmen to his room and have a little party during which he gave away his neckties. I liked my ties and apparently the other gentlemen did too because the disappeared readily.

1998 was also the year the last time the Vatican sent a collection of artifacts to Cleveland. (If the event is anything like last time it will be ourtrageously mobbed.) There was a note about stopping in the gift shop. When I was in Africa I had made a friend who had also written to my mother. He was about to be ordained also and so my mother had me pick up a pyx as an ordination present for him.

Sometime in April, just weeks away from ordination, I had my first baptism. “Derek Matthew and Rebecca Ann. It went well,” I wrote, “except that I almost drowned Rebecca, but no one seemed to mind.”
It is funny how one forgets unless there is a journal or pictures to stimulate the memory. That is why I always encourage young persons, particularly seminarians to journal (and not on the Internet. Get a plain book and write!) Life is a whirlwind and there is so much to remember and there are many blessings which we should always hold on to in order to give proper thanks to God.


Anonymous said...

I've found old things, too, and I used to journal a lot. It's amazing when I go back and read.

Um...I just hope you don't have as much junk as I do...otherwise your move is going to be a nightmare! lol

Make sure you keep saving the good stuff, though!

Anonymous said...

I started to journal....until it was opened & read by someone else. Since then, I can't get myself to start it up again... LM

Anonymous said...

Is the picture of the chapel the one at Borromeo?


Anonymous said...

LM ~ When I was a teen, I had a diary that I kept, but my mentally-ill Mom picked it up and read it and made all sorts of crazy (really!) assumptions. I never wrote anything down like that again. Until adulthood and it became a different thing. I still wouldn't want anyone to read it, though.

Anonymous said...

I've never been a big fan of journaling anyway...but my spiritual director asked me to start journaling & writing. So I started both...journaling in a separate book & writing on my blog (not to be published). I'm still writing, but the journaling part... I can't start it up again. I'm meeting with my spiritual director this Saturday - so we'll see what he says.

Fr. V said...


No, not Borromeo - it is a seminary chapel however - in Zimbabwe. The guy in the picture is the one about whom I wrote.

Anonymous said...

Isn't this what we love about the Church --that a Catholic church in Zimbabwe is first thought to be one in the U.S. (and surely vice versa)! Over 2000 years later, despite anything and everything despaired of or disparaged, the Catholic Church is truly catholic.

As for journaling, I guess it'd be great for a priest or Religious to do so, but after my mom pieced together one of my mere notes, and after the junior high principal did the same (did these people have nothing better to do??), I decided to toss the diary I'd gotten for my birthday. Fortunately, it didn't hit anyone. I have tried journaling as an adult, but get such heebie-jeebies about anyone finding it, I rip out the page, rip it into tiny pieces, then eat them.

Well, almost. I know how you feel, L.M. and Adoro.

Are you still journaling, Fr. V? At least, until just now?


Unknown said...

I go through spats in journaling, never got in the hang of it for the long haul. Probably should talk to my spiritual director about it.

Anonymous said...

I had to post an addendum comment:
I talked with my Spiritual Director this morning about the journaling catastrophe (someone reading my journal & questioning me about some of the writings). I explained how frustrating and angry I was.

He told me NOT to let this hinder my journaling. Keep going...keep writing! Then, with a wink & a grin, he ORDERED me to continue writing (although he was not kidding). In other words, obedience.

No matter how difficult or how uneasy I feel about starting this up again, I must continue.

Right now I am not able to see the benefit of journaling, especially since the incident, but God does. I have to trust him...especially since He is the one who sent my Spiritual Director to me.