Monday, April 20, 2009

Trip to Madison

Myself and two other adults took 6 of our "youth group teens" to visit our former pastor. I managed to meet the pastoral associate from St. Vincent as Fr. George had her come on our Women's Cornerstone retreat. With her help we were able to keep it a complete surprise and he had no clue to expect us. Samantha, one of the adults, and I were planning our own trip down to see him, and said to him in our recent e-mails hope to see you soon.

As Sam and I walked in first he wasn't too surprised, but one the 7 others came in the smile that came across his face was similar to one he has on in the above picture. I don't remember the last time I saw him smile like that, about a month after our Jubilee Mass for our 100th anniversary at which the above picture was taken, Fr. George was told he was being moved, so November, December, and January were not happy times in the parish. By a complete twist of God's insane humor Fr. George was actually coming to say the 12pm Mass at St. Anthony's, the Mass that Jerry, the other adult, and I are normally at. Fr. George laughed when I said, did you see that I took myself off the EM list for today.

To see his face go from, the classic emotion less face to a smile that couldn't be wiped off as well worth the trip down even if we knew he was coming up to us. He told us where he distributes Communion and that the 1st 4 rows for for the Communion kids, so we sat in the row right behind the Communion kids. Fr. George went to put his alb on and then came back to us. I think we honestly left him speechless and I'm pretty sure with tears in his eyes. He welcomed us as he does all who visit his parish, but we got the special greeting of "a delegation of youth from St. Anthony's." Despite focusing much of his attention on the teens and typical of myself I do the work and get no credit, it was well worth it. Fr. George is missed and most certainly will be for a while. We all commented on how strange it was to not have a deacon at Mass, our parish has 4, Fr. George's has none, and it was also strange to have a priest who chants. Fr. Martin and Fr. Brian both do not sing so in the idea of rather have it spoken than sung badly, they speak the normally chanted parts of the Eucharistic prayer.

Samantha and I happened to be walking around St. Anthony's after we got back, and happened to see our new pastor twice and he said hi girls, and Deacon Dick asked, what are you doing, as he had seen us in the Jubilee Garden and then again as we walked back. We said we were down in Madison this morning visiting the man saying Mass right now. Fr. Martin our pastor laughed and I was glad to see a smile on his face, it hasn't been an easy month for him. My goal now is to bring a smile to Fr. Martin's face. I want to finally have my "we need to talk" meeting with the pastor. With Fr. George leaving I didn't want to bother him with petty issues in the parish he was leaving, and Fr. Brian was just temporary administrator, so I waited to see the new pastor. Now I'm planning on asking/telling I'll take over running the Confirmation program and take young adult ministry from our youth minister, who just had her first child, and I'll take pro=life ministry over too, I just need a pay check. I'll gladly take a part time position so I can go to school courtesy of the Diocese of Paterson. We shall see what will happen and if I have the nerve to say anything.

I forgot to add that at the end of Mass someone turned to us and said "thanks for your pastor." We joked about it and said, yeah yeah it's not like we gave him up or wanted him to leave, you guys stole him from us, we did keep our comments to just our group. But it was nice to hear someone say thank you, I think I shall do the same for St. Ann's.

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