Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Before I was off for my day of continuing education workshops, St. Joseph’s had our staff appreciation breakfast at the dining hall. I enjoy seeing our students sitting at table with staff from different departments that they don’t interact with on a daily basis, like maintenance workers or folks in the business office. I wandered the tables and thanked everyone I saw for their work. I reminded the students to make sure to say thanks as well. It takes a whole lot of us with many different talents to make achieve success at the school.
It’s been up to a year since I’ve seen many of the other priests from the more distant areas of the diocese. Many came up to ask for a health update. I’ve had lots of prayers and support that’s helped pull me through. I appreciated their asking.
Dr. Marcie Moran gave a wonderful talk about grief. She used such every day examples that we could all relate, either through people we’ve worked with or from our own experiences. It may have different expressions and different intensities, but grief touches and shapes all our lives. We need the support of others during those times that seem impossible to get through.
The best part of gatherings like these is chatting with folks over a meal or during breaks. Fr. Ed was an Anesthesiologist for many years before he decided to become a priest. He joked that he’s still putting people to sleep; only he doesn’t charge anything for it now! With a sense of humor like that, I doubt that many folks are lulled to sleep during his homilies.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Our two visiting exchange students from Germany, Jana and Thekla, gave presentations to our students about their school and life back in Handrup. They showed pictures of their school and homes and families. Their churches are much older than we have been a country. I sat in with the 1st – 4th graders to listen and learn. Afterwards came time for questions. Our youngest kids asked things like “Do you have any stores in your town?” or, “Do you have any place to ride 4 wheelers?” and “What is your dog’s name?” Germany seems so far out of the world view or many of our students, but we keep trying to expand their horizons. I complimented Jana and Thekla for their ability to present in a 2nd language.
We began our annual continuing education days for the clergy of the Sioux Falls Diocese. The conference is being held just across the Missouri River in Oacoma, so I don’t have a long commute. At evening prayer we remembered by name all the priests who worked in the diocese and are now deceased. The ones I know brought back many memories. Tonight we had a jubilee dinner for priests and deacons who celebrated silver and golden anniversaries. Each had a chance to get up and say a few words of reflection about how they have been blessed by those they’ve served. As with any service profession, I’m edified by the goodness and generosity and faith. When I look at their example, it stirs me to do better.