Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Our Parish Priest

We sat back down nothing too unusual, we knew a second collection was coming.  What we didn't know was what would come next.  On Divine Mercy Sunday our beloved by many, parish priest told us he would be leaving us in July.  He told a story about a phone call he received, where he was going and who would be coming in his place.  I barely heard anything.  My tears flowed and my head hung low.  I wasn't able to look at anybody and hoped nobody would look at me and I asked my husband if we could duck out the side door. 

We came to this church for two reasons.  The first was that it made sense for our children to attend church where they also attended school and the second is that we absolutely loved how Fr. T was so present among the children.  He genuinely connects with them and it was apparent from the first couple of "test" runs at Mass two years ago, before becoming official members of this church.

After about a month of attending church, by the grace of God and permission from my husband, I called Fr. T to ask him if he could be my spiritual director or if he knew somebody who would.  He graciously and willingly accepted and I've been guided by his knowledge and faith for almost two years  I've been tremendously blessed and thereby my family as well.  I've learned, cried, confessed, healed, prayed, shared, listened, and laughed.  I am very sad to have this end.

My children have gotten to know and connect with Fr. T as well.  We've had him over for dinner, where the kids bombarded him and really, I think they took over hosting him to which, he finally had to be rescued.  Quite often the kids will make pictures for him and they offer pray for him.  I remember one time Henry had just turned four and he gave him something, I can't remember what it was, in the collection basket {kids at our church walk their own offering to the priest near the altar while we give our offering at the pew} after Fr. T was going to give it back to us.  We said no, he gave that to you.  I think that was the start of the kids always wanting to give him something from their heart.  And now they've learned that when they give Fr. T something they will get a thank you card in the mail.  They are so excited for that!

Adam also really likes Fr. T and thinks he's great for our kids, their school and he's never ever minded that I go for Spiritual Direction.  He respects him and is sad to see him go.

We've seen Fr. T drive a convertible at the Homecoming Football game carrying the King and Queen, gather the children around the altar many times for stories, homilies with props for kids are common {but truth be told, they work great for adults too}, many songs shared as well as videos via youtube.  He attends school sporting events, gives the kids high five's as he recesses the church, on school Mass days the kids are raising their hands in excitement to be called upon, and there are the many, many other things he does for the Parish and school.  He also attended parents day for pre-school and I can say without a doubt, the kids love him. 

For us, it's all about the connection with kids, in particular ours.  Because he's a priest they can relate to and admire, it's an easy thing for me to add in conversation with Henry that when he grows  up he could be a priest like Fr. T.  {Visiting The Handmaids has offered a conversation similar for the girls.}

Here another example that will give you an idea of who Fr. T is:

I went by myself to the Easter Saturday Vigil.  For the homily Ft. T asked if there were any kids who wanted to come forward to gather around for a story.  He then went in the back as the kids gathered and brought out a lamb.  It was the cutest little lamb.  It was bahhing and bahhing, made for good laughs and the church became even more magical.  All the kids were excited, it was the perfect time because as you know Easter Vigil can get long.  Fr. T told a story of Lambert the Lamb and I the kids were so engaged.  I would say, the kids at our church think it's cool to go to Mass, ours do and they look forward to seeing Fr. T there.
As a family, we went to the Sunrise service on Easter Sunday and Fr T was concelebrating.  He did not deliver the homily and therefor the lamb and the Lambert story were not present.  After Mass we had rolls and Fr T joined us and said the lambs would be arriving for the 8:30 AM Mass and if we waited we the kids could see them.  For some reason Karley was a little skiddish and I didn't get a picture of Henry.  I was able to only get a few pictures, you just tell what a good soul our priest is. 








I think when kids are formed with example like Fr. T, they will be less likely to ever leave the church. This is one of the many reasons we are so very sad Fr. T will be going to another church.  We are going to miss Fr. T tremendously and yet we do wish him all the best at his new parish.

God bless Fr. T and thank you for all you have done for our family and our Parish family.

Tina




5 comments:

  1. I am sorry Tina. He has been such a blessing to you and your family, on many levels. I have even been blessed by his wisdom (via you... thank you!)

    God's plan is always better, though we may not understand it. May the shepherd of your parish, guide your souls well.

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    1. Thanks Kristen.

      Lucky for us our diocese is small and we will still see him around and every once in awhile we'll have to take a road trip.

      Thanks for your friendship!

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  2. Comment from Colleen via e-mail:

    Ouch, that whole obedience vow Priests take is tough on us laypeople. We have so many great friends that are priests and hang our at our house that no matter where they get moved in our Diocese, I never feel they are gone. However, I would be really sad if our parish priest (also a friend) was replaced by a priest that didn't exactly share his talents. Pray, pray, pray for a good replacement priest!!! And trust that God has always taken care of you in the past, and always will in the future :)

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  3. I'm late in catching up with my blog reading but what a beautiful story. There are so many negative stories it is refreshing to read the positive impact of Fr T in you family's life. Thx for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Bobbi....he will be sadly missed by many!

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Thanks for making my day!