Friday, July 28, 2017

A New Day, A New Beginning, A New Place

     On a rainy Friday afternoon on this day in July, I have moved into my new home and officially began my retirement from active ministry.   The first day of retirement was Thursday, July 6th, but the apartment at the Diocesan Priests' Retirement Residence - Neumann House - was not ready until early this week.  After remaining at my previous residence these past three weeks through the very gracious kindness of my successor, Father John Moineau, the move happened these last few days, and I arrived officially this afternoon, in time for supper.  I have two nice rooms and a bath, and there is a chapel, dining facility, common rooms and beautiful grounds.  There are about fifteen men living here, and I have known them all for many years.  I am looking forward to my years here and developing my new vision of ministry as a priest.  The director of the facility told me that he felt bad about the delays in getting the apartment ready, and said that he felt like the airport tower advising me to keep circling the runway until the runway was clear.  I was running out of fuel, but now that I am here, there is the relief that comes with finally landing after a prolonged holding pattern.

     Neumann House is a retirement residence built years ago by the Diocese of Greensburg at the Bishop Connare Center, a retreat and conference center run by the Diocese that was originally our Minor High School Seminary, then called Saint Joseph Hall. 

     The complex opened in the Fall of 1962, and as a Sophomore in High School, I was a part of the founding group.  My arrival today marks fifty-five years since I first rode down the driveway and moved in.  The place has changed tremendously over the years, but the experience of beginning something new is the same.  Those early days helped prepare the present Father Len Stoviak ... may these next years continue the blessing.

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