September 2006

New role for my job

I got elected to a new post today: member of the board of the clergy pension fund.


Or maybe not. The fund is facing a serious deficit because of a recent actuarial re-evaluation. The challenge is to make sure we catch up, to ensure a reasonable retirement for our priests. All in all, another form of service for my brothers.

Overheard at a gaming support group

Hi, my name is Father Thomas Dowd. I’m a Roman Catholic priest, and…..I’m a gamer.

(multiple voices) Hi, Father Tom.

I started gaming when I was 12 years old. It was the summer before I started grade 7. A friend got me into Dungeons and Dragons. “Just try it,” he said, “you’ll like it!” So we did, and he was right. Pretty soon, I was saving up my allowance money to spend on gaming rulebooks, odd-shaped dice, and adventure modules. I also started to get my friends into it. I even recruited my younger brother to play!

Getting stuck

One part of moving that I really can do without is trying to tie up loose ends from my “previous life” — it seems so hard to make a “clean transfer” from one thing to the next. With regards to the hospital, where I was employed until September 1, this involves things like: (1) change of address, (2) pension fund transfers, (3) claiming my last paycheck, (4) helping with the transfer of responsibilities, and finally (5) getting my vaccination record update.

Which actually means getting *ME* updated.

Now that was random

I had a strange encounter this morning: just before 9 am, as I was walking along deMaisonneuve boulevard on my way to Fort street, I found myself suddenly face to face with a young man with olive skin, muscular build and an earring.

May Joe rest in peace

I learned today that a man I had been visiting regularly at the West Island Palliative Care hospice died during the night. Joe was a great guy — his dying process was a real spiritual journey for him (and me). I had lost touch with him when I moved downtown (and changed jobs), so I was pleased when his daughter contacted me yesterday and asked me to visit with him. He was no longer conscious, so I could not give him the Communion he so eagerly received on all the other visits, but we did anoint him once again and I prayed the Apostolic Pardon for him.

Back on the job

I started a new job today: Assistant to the Director of the Office for Pastoral Personnel. I have a lovely large (but somewhat dusty — *cough* *cough*) office on the top floor of the archdiocesan building. Some people are saying that this is a sign that I am literally “moving on up”. I say it is a sign that hot air rises.