I had a meeting with the Cardinal Archbishop today, at his request. During the meeting, he informed me that, because of internal restructuring that is going on in the diocese, he wants me to start working in the fall as part of the diocesan curia. I am to become the assistant to the Episcopal Vicar in charge of pastoral personnel. The Cardinal also wants me to live at the cathedral residence downtown (he was willing to be flexible on this, but he made his own wish clear), and he also mentioned to make sure I continue to have some sort of Sunday ministry in a parish.
This one has to be a first: I’m getting transferred before I even get transferred! As my blog readers know, I was recently reassigned from St. Luke parish to St. Thomas à Becket parish, while continuing my work at the hospital. Well, the Cardinal let me know point blank that I will have to leave the hospital ministry as of the fall. As well, I won’t be living at St. Thomas à Becket parish, and the nature of my Sunday parish ministry will have to be reexamined. In short, a lot of balls are currently up in the air.
UPDATE (Friday, June 2): I had asked the Cardinal if I could speak about this change to others, and he said yes, so word is slowly getting out (and now, with this blog entry, it’ll get out a lot faster). How do I feel about it? At first, I was quite “disturbed in spirit”. I’ve only been a priest for 4 years, so it seems to me I am a bit inexperienced to be taking on this new responsibility. As well, I entered the seminary from the corporate world, and I have never pined to go back. To be blunt, I don’t know any seminarian who spent his years of formation saying to himself, “Gee, one day maybe I’ll get to work in an office!” But, as the reality of the move began to sink in, I found myself living a rather inexplicable joy. I’d find myself talking to people about this new move, and smiling like an idiot as I did so. Something just feels right about it all — I can’t explain it any better than that.
In my limited but practical experience of living my promise of obedience, I’ve discovered that whenever I respond to the call of the Church with an open heart, I am always happy, and the Lord has all kinds of new delights and challenges waiting for me. I have a feeling that his will be a tough assignment, in some ways, and yet I’m more and more eager to take up the task. I guess that’s just His grace at work — at least, I hope so!