Pastor’s keyboard: By the time you read this, I will have come back from vacation with seven of my brother priests. The church encourages us to recharge after a very hectic Christmas season, and I have not done that until now. I would like to express my many thanks to the family friend of one of the priests I vacationed in my group. We are staying at a home in South Carolina on Hilton Head Island.
Whenever I am invited to go on vacation, part of me never wants to leave. I’m a lot like my dad. We love the work, and it often defines so much of who we are. As a priest, I do not like the idea of leaving all of you, and the many task I could be accomplishing. Yet repeatedly, I read in the New Testament of how Jesus took the apostles away (usually after a lot of work and travel) to a quiet place to pray, rest, and recharge. Yes, it does not say that exactly, but you get the gist of it.
I am one of those who would like it if I did not have to rest, but so often, I can feel the (mental and physical) batteries depleting by the end of Christmas. I try to ignore it, but then I must remember I am only human. So, what do priest do on vacation? Somehow, I ended up going on vacation with priests who are all younger than myself, and mostly are athletes. They keep talking of bike rides, paddle boarding, hikes, and various adventures. For me, and for them, it is more time to pray, read, nap, and have great conversations about the Lord, His church, our parishes, families, and our interests. It is simply wonderful.
Every day we go to a local parish for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, we pray the Liturgy of the Hours five times a day, we pray the rosary, and offer Mass for you, for our families, and the world. Every time I go away, I find that I cannot wait to return to the parishes, and my other ministries. Yet I am also reminded how much I need time to recharge my mind, body, and spirit.
Know that you are all in our prayers and Masses. Please continue to keep me in yours. Lent is about to start, and I hope I am now ready.
Your father and brother in Christ,