|Here come the Monday Train!|
You know I like trains, at least if you’ve been reading this for more than a year or two. But there are exceptions to that, and one of them hit us this week: the Monday Train.
Though last week was the second our school was in session, it began with quiet Labor Day. This week was the first full week after summer ended, and it began with the first full-strength Monday of the new season. It came through the rectory like a mile-long load of coal from West Virginia pulled by four CSX diesels. You have heard, perhaps, of being thrown under the bus? That’s nothing compared to being hit by the Monday Train.
By the time Monday noon rolled around, the staff and I were gasping for breath and laughing at how manic it had become, and how suddenly. Phone calls, drop-ins, follow-ups, deadlines, and situations! It was such a lovely summer of manageable days and quiet afternoons, leisurely lunches and good humor. And it is OVER.
That’s not to say we didn’t get any work done over the summer; quite the contrary. There was a steady, even measured chipping away at the quarry walls as we hewed out the necessary blocks of diligence and accomplishment. In-boxes were emptied and loose ends tied; reports were signed and submitted; plans were considered and chosen. All this was accomplished under a remarkable torrent of turnover among the priest residents of the place; for details, see my previous letters. Let me assure you, it was no mean feat.
Which brings me to the happy point of sharing with you the amazing amount and quality of work done for you, for me, and for Jesus by the folks who work here in the rectory and in the administration of our school. When I write that, it would seem that there be a cast of thousands, but they are astonishingly few. Stakhanovites would blush with shame to see how paltry their production next to the workload effortlessly carried by gentle, smiling church folk.
Ron, Jackie, Corine, Norma, Carol, and Dao here in the rectory do things in an afternoon that a building full of bureaucrats could not pull off in a month. The same arithmetic applies to Mr. Ted Ewanciw’s “tiny but mighty” team of Molly, Karyn, Kate, and Nicole over in the school, but let me focus for now on the folks here around me.
Each of them fulfills what would be two or even three jobs in any other organization. Each of them has an astonishing roster of “other duties as assigned” which they work out without anyone having actually to assign them. The range of details and projects, the amount of special consideration and accommodation they routinely apply to the people they assist, and the level of good humor and generosity they maintain in the face of This Particular Supervisor would leave you somewhere between astonished and indignant if I could possibly list it all.
Not only do they take remarkably good care of me, but you should ask our two new rectory residents how they are managing to adjust to life around the parish. Let me just say that the staff has admirably cushioned the impact of their new situations, as near as I can discern.
Never was it so obvious to me how much I count on the people who serve in this rectory office, so clear how hard they work for you, nor so manifest their conviction that the Lord has called them to this particular intimacy with Him in their daily work. This should bring joy and gratitude to you, as it does to me, especially when comes the Monday Train.