Our parish is grieving this weekend because our beloved Pastor announced at the Masses this weekend that he will be leaving us in less than a month for a new assignment with the Archdiocese. The Archbishop has asked him to become the Moderator of the Curia which in layman's terms means he will in effect be the CEO of the Diocese.
This is a huge job and he is well qualified but when he spoke to us at Mass you could hear in his voice that it was only out of obedience to the Archbishop that he is able to leave us. He asked to come to us four years ago, and he has cherished his role as pastor and parish administrator, something he was never allowed to do before because of his duties within the Chancery. We were his first official parish assignment, and he really loved being here.
So, while we are all saddened to lose our pastor, maybe we should take a page from his book. Obedience is part of what we believe about being members of this church. If Fr. Bill can do this out of obedience to the Bishop, then we can accept the new interim pastor who will serve from February till July and welcome a new pastor in July, just as humbly as Fr. Bill is accepting this move to the Chancery that he must make in the next four weeks.
I know for my part, my prayers go with him. And I will remember every lesson I learned from him while he was our pastor. How arrogant would it be not to be willing to share his amazing gifts with the greater church of south central Indiana?
For the next month I am really going to cherish his homilies, and his hugs.