On Friday I received word that I’ll be moving to a new parish in July.
Whenever a priest moves there are mixed emotions on all fronts. People at both parishes are usually sad to see their local priest move. Despite the many protestations of pop culture, I’m fairly convinced that most human hearts don’t jump at the prospect of change; not this kind of change anyway.
At the exact same time, one feels excitement. The excitement of new challenges, new possibilities… even something as mundane and the opportunity to rearrange all your pictures in new quarters. Like I said: it’s a mix. And that’s before the priest even considers himself. While priests are called on to think of themselves last, we do still have to think of ourselves. In my case, moving is always a challenge because in my heart of hearts I yearn for stability. Perhaps it’s God’s sense of humor that in ten years of priesthood I’ve lived in five places… six if you count the time I did emergency fill-in work for two months at a parish… living out of a suit case.
What’s a parish, and what are priest, to do? How do all of us process these changes that must come at some point? Below is my homily for Trinity Sunday. I hope you find it edifying, a helpful spiritual proposal for how to process such moments in the light of our Catholic beliefs about the Holy Trinity.
Please be sure to pray for my current parishioners at St. Francis Xavier whom I am sad to leave, and the people of my new parish, St. Mary Mother of God in Gallery Place who I am so very excited to meet… and if you think of it, offer up a prayer for me too.