Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hello - AGAIN!

Well, folks, it's been a long two months. First I was informed that I was to be moved along with 42 other priests of the Diocese of La Crosse. Then came the very fast and intense month of preparation for the move. As you can imagine, it isn't just a matter of getting one's things packed up and ready to move (thanks for all of the help Mom!!! :)), but there is also the attempt to wrap up things at the current parish assignments and prepare for the new pastor's arrival. This is made more difficult when there are positions to fill in both parishes/schools. However, ready or not, the day came to move. With the assistance of a number of wonderful parishioners, old and new, the job got done and no one got killed. I, however, ended up going to the clinic for a cut nose that occurred when I tripped over some things carrying a load outside. (Dang-it!)
Having arrived at my new parishes it's been a time trying to get staff positions filled for the new school year while figuring out how everything works around here and where everything is. The toughest part has been the three funerals right before leaving my former assignment messed up my plans for my annual retreat and moving messed up my vacation. However, there are plans to correct these very important mis-steps in the very near future.
My new assignment includes the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary at St. Mary's Ridge (between Cashton and Norwalk), St Augustine of Hippo at Norwalk, and Sacred Heart of Jesus at Cashton. These include an elementary school at Cashton and an Hispanic ministry at Norwalk. Bonus: instead of being an hour and 20 minutes from home I am now only 20 minutes from home. My dad likes this VERY much. These parishes are all very rural and my rectory is at St. Mary's Ridge and thus the view is fantastic.
There are a great many challenges here and so your continued prayers are GREATLY appreciated. Chief among these challenges is a school that is severely underfunded, undersupported, and underutilized. The second major challenge is an Hispanic ministry that has struggled along for nearly 20 years. It was (I believe) the first Spanish language Mass offered in the diocese and still struggles along with no developed community and low attendance despite a sizable Hispanic presence in the area. Sadly, the evangelicals are having a field day.
So, that's where I've been the last couple of months. I hope to get in the rhythm and be posting regularly again. God blessings be with you all!

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