Saturday, November 14, 2009

MONDAY DIARY - EVERYTHING IS THE SAME - EVERYTHING IS DIFFERENT

If you were among those who have not heard the news yet, I am no longer the administrator of Saint Sebastian Parish in Akron. As of 2:50 of Tuesday past Bishop Lennon has named me pastor.

A summons from his office came a couple of weeks ago to meet him in his new office in downtown Cleveland. All of our diocesan offices have moved across the street from the cathedral to what I call “The Revco Building” a business which no longer exists and the building is now called Cathedral Plaza – which sounds very European and suggests a cobblestone – well – plaza with maybe a fountain and some benches and a statue. In reality it is a downtown business building without so much as a front stoop.

The new (to us) building is very nice. I will grant that the old building, which had a lot of character, was rather impractical and had many maintenance problems – but there was something homey about it. Then again, I didn’t have to work there. The new building is very sleek and corporate and perhaps after we’ve been in it for years it will look more lived in and Catholiced up.

A guard greeted me at the door and I showed her my ID, signed in, and jumped into the elevator to the bishop’s floor. His new office is very white. A carved wooden table in the conference room from the old building sits in front of a glass wall that gives a grand view down Rockwell Avenue. The meeting is both relaxed yet very formal for this is the actual moment the assignment takes place. The ceremony in the Church after is just that: a ceremony and celebration.

There are a couple of things that need to take place in order to become pastor. First a Profession of Faith is made. This largely consists of the Nicene Creed but goes on to include everything contained in God’s word written or handed down by the Church. It is read aloud and signed and witnessed. Then an Oath of Fidelity on Assuming the Office to be Exercised in the Name of the Church is given in which a new pastor promises to preserve the unity of the Church, carry out all of their duties, shall hold fast to the deposit of the faith, follow the common discipline of the Church, and promise obedience, “So help me God, and God’s holy Gospels, in which I place my hand.” This too is read, singed, and witnessed.

Bishop Lennon then pronounced that I now held the position of pastor of Saint Sebastian and offered his congratulations and the official papers of appointment which read in small part, “After proper consultation, I hereby appoint you Pastor of Saint Sebastian Parish, Akron. . .” Also contained with the paperwork was the ceremonial for the installation Mass to be celebrated by Bishop Pevec who is very special to me – and of course you are all invited.

I knelt down and received my bishop’s blessing and then headed down the elevator and out the door to a gray Cleveland sky that was just beginning to spit rain. Crossing the street to the Cathedral I slipped inside to say a prayer of thanks and ask for guidance. Within moments someone came up and asked to have a confession. Not ten minutes a pastor and already a sacrament celebrated! A fitting way and a good foot on which to start a new endeavor.

12 comments:

knuckledragger said...

Bravo Zulu, Father!

Carol said...

Amen to that!

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Congratulations.

Thanx for the invitation. Sorry can't attend the Installation Mass all the way from the UK.

God bless.

Cracked Pot said...

Father, I wonder if something will change for you (within yourself), now that you have been named our pastor. Your being our "administrator" has looked about the same to us (on the outside) as your being our pastor and we don't expect any "drastic" actions from you. But I wonder what happens within a pastor's heart that is different than what happens in the heart of an administrator (though also a great responsibility and a great honor).

Anonymous said...

.....and the heavens are smiling. Congrats Father V. What a beautiful gift.

Elena said...

It's about time. (We all thought of you as the pastor anyway!) Congratulations!

MJ said...

Congratulations. When is your Installation Mass? Definitely want to be there.

Matt W said...

Laus Deo!

Adoro said...

Congratulations Fr. V! I wish I could be there for the installation Mass. But nice to know the next time I come to Cleveland, you'll be Pastor! :-)

Father Cory Sticha said...

Congratulations!

Fr. V said...

Thank you all!

Michelle said...

Prayers for you and the parish now in your care ... though I have to say a typo (the Oath of Fidelity which was "singed") gave me quite an image for a moment...of little wisps of smoke rising from the paper!!