My first trip to Hawaii was to the island of Kauai. I was touched by the tropical sounds and smells the minute I deplaned. But we arrived at 11:00 PM and it was utterly dark. There were no city lights and no traffic to follow. Outside of the airport my vision was only as long as the beam of my headlights. I did not foresee this and I struggled to get my bearings.
In that light, so-to-speak, let me tell you about another surprising, and unforeseen turn of events. Just recently, I have been offered the opportunity to return to the ministry staff of St. James Cathedral. After much prayer and reflection, I have accepted this offer and will conclude my service to the parish of St. Vincent at the end of the month. And while I am excited for the new challenge, the feeling is also bittersweet.
It’s bittersweet because my colleagues in ministry here have been the best group I have ever worked with. Really. Wanda, Nan, Patrick, Shelley, James, Stephanie, Shirley, Mari, Tracey, Jennifer, Laura, Kim, Katie, Diana, Jose, Louise, Marty, Raphael, Brita, Vanessa, Fr. Frank, Fr. Clarence, Fr. Tom, and Fr. Bill: you are the best. I will miss you.
Also, I will forever have a place in my heart for this gem of a parish. You are warm-hearted, caring, faith-filled, and oh so diverse! In St. John’s Revelation he has a vision of the Elect[i]. He sees a great multitude, which no one can count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue, gathered around the throne of God. To my mind, St. John describes you, the people of this parish: from every nation, race, people, and tongue. This parish is like a snap-shot of heaven. If you want to know what heaven will be like… just look around you at Mass!
One last thing I’d like to share; an announcement! I’d like to invite you to one final bible study session together. October 19th at both 2:00 and 7:00 PM, in the Living Room of the Willenborg Center we’ll explore the story of Joshua leading Israel across the Jordan River into the promised land. God is always in the midst of our transitions, and I feel like this is a nice way to remember that very thing.
Dr. John Simpson, Adult Faith and Family Ministry
[i] Revelation 7:9-12