It doesn't get much better than this.. I'm sitting of the porch on the "Second Rectory" of Immaculate Conception Church in Glenville NY. Lauren Heckman and Jake Patterson are getting married this afternoon and I've come up to celebrate with them. What a beautiful place. Yesterday they had the rehearsal and dinner then we came back to church for a Holy Hour (That's a first in my book) I slept well and now I'm sitting on the porch watching the people leave from daily Mass… it looks like a good crowd. I have to admit that parish life, the rhythm of parish life appeals to me. (The grass is always greener) I still enjoy campus ministry. The kids (oops) students still make me smile and I think I still have something to offer them, but I know that there will come a point when it will be time to move on, time to try something new, something different. Just sitting here makes it easier to see myself in that next moment of my priesthood. What would my day be like, What would be my next step. How could I best spend my time as a parish priest ? I think that is one of the greatest challenges for a priest today.
As our numbers decrease there is so much more to do. How are we supposed to pick? There are still 24 hours in a day. How are we supposed to spend our day in service to God and his people? The new model isn't there yet. We still hold on to all of the administrative tasks even when it seems so clear that the people in the nursing home should come before the parish center roof. But who will take care of the roof ? I struggle with this on my college campus as well. How should my time best be spent? Should it be on endless committee meetings (if you like meetings, at CUA you would think you died and went to heaven) or should it be "Chillin" with the students in the Dining Room or Ministry of Presence on campus just walking around saying hello to everyone you meet. What does God want from me need from me? This beautiful moment of the porch gives me the chance to think about all of these things and to pray about them… "Lord What Do You Want Me to Do ?" Help me understand. Help me discern wisely how I should spend my day how I should use the time that you have given me.
There is a little boy probably 4th or 5th grade who must have gotten up early and just keeps riding his bike up and down the street checking out his little kingdom. He looks so peaceful as he rides back and forth up and down route 50. He is probably figuring out his day and seeing which of his friends are around. The summer school bus just picked up two kids who didn't really look that happy as they climbed aboard. There must be a lake or something around here, or maybe it is the Mohawk River. There have been several cars with kayaks on them. People who have Kayaks know about life and how to live it. There is something peaceful about a kayak. Just a snap shot from 400 Saratoga Road.