This blog has been about JOURNEY. I have throughout my priesthood referred to our path in life as a journey that we make with the Lord and with those that he places in our lives. My journey has involved ministry in priesthood, and I have sought to share my reflections on that journey in this blog.
As I approach seventy at the end of May of this year, the early retirement age in this Diocese, I have contemplated making that decision. My primary reason is because of health issues. I have spoken of this often of late, and on January 4th, the Feast of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, our patron, I wrote to Bishop Edward Malesic expressing my desire to be considered for retirement this year. In a letter that I received this past week, dated the 24th of January, he has granted me permission to retire from my pastorate and active ministry with the 2017 summer assignments. The letter was received two days after I applied for Social Security (I waited until 70 to do so). So these are consequential moments in my life, and I must admit, they are scary times.
So, in the next four + months, in addition to Lent and Easter and all of the other normal things in parish life, I will be preparing for a major change in life. Pray for me, and for the good people of this parish family.
One of the joys of these last few years has been this outlet of "Journey Thoughts". Even though I might have to change the subtitle to "Reflections of a retired priest", I intend to continue reflecting upon my/our journey into the mystery of the Lord's love. So, at that bend in the road, my direction may change but my journey continues in the grace of God.