Help is on the way! For those of you who were lamenting the lack of variety in programming here at WSTB, your ship has come in. Our weekend seminarian for this academic year, Deacon Clayton Thompson, arrived last week and made it clear he has something to offer. Whether you met him or missed him, you can learn more about him from the little introduction he presents in today’s bulletin.
No one could be happier about this than I am. I am not sure it has occurred to many of you, but one of the hardest things about being a parish priest is preaching all the time, but not because it is a burden to preach, no indeed – that is an element in the air I breathe, one of the things that gives me life! It is a burden because it means I am so rarely preached to. God knows I need it!
I would be negligent if I were to fail to mention Fr. Clint McDonell, who has been stepping up since his return here one month ago. He is a huge help, and his taking a Mass every day is really above the call of duty for a student resident. We all got spoiled with our last student priest, Father Nick, who really loved being involved around here as much as possible during his five years with us. Father McDonell, though still new, is similarly doing more than I would dare ask, and he seems to be enjoying every minute of it. Of course, when he celebrates or preaches, it makes it possible for me to be somewhere else, so I do not benefit from his preaching in the same way you do.
Both Father McDonell and Deacon Thompson are delighted to have the opportunity to work with and for this parish, with and for you. For us who are priests (or who will be priests) it is indeed work, but it is work like being someone’s dad is work. That is, it is work without which we would not know who we are, why we are, or what we are for. Sure, we can gripe about it with the rest of them, but it is what keeps us alive and gives us joy. Not just preaching, not just offering Mass, but being priests of Jesus Christ with and for you, which means we get to see you as Jesus Himself sees you. You are our delight.