Monday, June 16, 2008


Writing in my journal on 4 May 1998 with ordination bearing down on us I wrote that is was a bit like being on a long slide, “going fast and furious with nothing in sight to slow the ride down so best sit back and enjoy it.” There were quite a few events and meetings to go through. There was an afternoon tea with the faculty. Fr. M. came and gave a talk on the last day of our final retreat at which it was noted, “Though it was already quite hot out the boilers had yet to be turned off so the room was pretty steamy.”

But by far the most anticipated event was the meeting with the bishop to find out where it was each of us were to spend the next five years of our lives (and consequently have all of our stuff on one place for five years. Typically a seminary moves a number of times through the year. A process that one tires of quickly.) Oddly enough the grapevine had me assigned to St. Clare where I found myself on a later assignment. So sure it seemed at the time though that I had already ridden out to St. Clare to reconnoiter the parish.

We were invited down to the bishop’s residence. After a talk in his living room it was the fashion of the bishop then to shake each seminarian’s hand and hand him an envelope as he said, “Congratulations N., you are going to . . .” Now we were seminarians, deacons, soon to be priests and we were all about prayer and fatherly advice, but knowing that the next five years were contained in that secret white envelope with our names printed on the front on the coffee table before us made the protracted invocations and admonitions almost unbearable. Finally we stood and the bishop calls us each forward handing us our envelopes. Face to face with the bishop, he shakes my hand and smiles, “Congratulations, you are going to Saint Ambrose in Brunswick.”

Telling me that did not help me understand where it was I was going in the least. Where was Saint Ambrose? Where was Brunswick for that matter? So we went about the rest of the meeting that involved being introduced to our future pastors. While the other men were busily talking about their parishes I found myself wanting the meeting to be over so I could get a map out and take a ride to wherever it was I was going. Be that as it may people kept slapping me on the back and saying, “You have a great assignment!”

My cousins threw an assignment part for us. At the party was a young lady I had come to know and respect was leaving in August to become a Nashville Dominican. Since that time she has taken her final vows and is now known as Sister John Paul.

Such were some of the events that lead up to ordination.


Anonymous said...

like being on a long slide, “going fast and furious with nothing in sight to slow the ride down so best sit back and enjoy it.”
Are you feeling a little like that now? It's got to be exciting but trying to work at your current parish and meet with people at your new parish, all while trying to pack!! WOW, makes me tired just thinking about it...!!
You'll do great and I'm always praying!!


Anonymous said...

I either fuss or get all misty here. Well, I'm not fussing. You're in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I hope you don't assume anonymous comments are from me. I NEVER get misty.


Anonymous said...

I do...I get misty all the time. I'm a crybaby. I admit it.

So...Fr. V...there's that Dominican connection again..

Anonymous said...

Fr V-

I remember meeting you a short, I for one am glad you got a surprise and were sent to St. Ambrose. What a blessing you were to me and my vocation (I'm finally making the jump and starting the Jesuit Novitiate in August).