This week has been an emotional roller coaster for me. I was emotionally exhausted last weekend after announcing my departure to you. (Just as drained as I was on the previous weekend after all of the beautiful Triduum and Easter liturgies.) I have known about my new assignment for some time; I was sad and grieved when I first learned. I then “got over it” and “moved on” by focusing on my duties. Telling you returned all of my feelings to the forefront of my attention. I am still sad, especially as I encounter those who hadn’t heard.
This week I had the privilege of attending a meeting of a new cohort of ministers from all over the country focused on ministry to millennials. It is sponsored by an organization called Parish Catalyst. I was recruited (heavily) by one of the founders of the organization to be a part of the group. I knew that would most likely be leaving campus ministry and I told the gentleman so. He didn’t bat an eye and said: “Fr. Carl, I want you there. I will pay your fees: bring your successor.” He did and I did. The process they led us through was amazingly helpful. But even more so was being able to spend two full days with Fr. Lukasz (pronounced LU-kăsh) and going over all aspects of the ministry at St. Catherine’s. I certainly did not have anything similar when I came here after Fr. Peter I (Rogers). After our time together in Los Angeles, and since (he and I flew back together on Wednesday night), although I am still sad to leave you, I am genuinely excited for both you and Fr. Lukasz. I think you will quickly fall in love with each other and be able to do great things together. I am greatly comforted by this hope.
The next of the process for me will be to visit my new assignment, St. Mary Magdalen’s (affectionately known as Mary Mag’s) in Berkeley. My predecessor in Berkeley has always been excited for my coming there. I will visit them over the first weekend in May, during finals week at the U. Just as Fr. Lukasz is meeting the staff, members of the community, members of the Parish and Finance Councils and just having a good look around, I will do the same in Berkeley that weekend. It is a regular parish about the same size as St. Catherine’s, it is near Cal Berkeley but is not the Newman Center (there is one, but it is run by Paulist priests), has a lot of university types in the community and a parish grammar school.
My last day with you will be June 14. I will leave Utah the next day. Fr. Lukasz’s plans aren’t as firm yet, but he is expecting to be here around July 1. Know that you will be in my prayers, and I ask that you keep me in yours!