September 7th 2023
Annual priest gathering. Up early and over to the clergy workshop. Two words in one: one I don’t really like and the other I do. It says in the Bible “he who will not work cannot shop” or words to that effect. And I like shopping. Got there early enough to chew the fat over bacon and eggs. The guys are mostly “morning people”. You can tell the ones who aren’t. I’m one of the “aren’t”. I know my kind.
A whole morning of stuff. Most of the priests and some of our deacons. This year we are featuring a guy from HQ in DC mostly on encounter, revival, mission, outreach, witness, going out. I go to the mall and the golf course and I meet people there, right? Folks are always really friendly at restaurants. I always leave a big tip, because Monsignor Hinckley constantly reminded us it reflects well on the Church. Going out to the perifries. Heck, there are places on the edge of my diocese where I haven’t been for a while. So I’d better get there sooner rather than later. I know folks miss me! Have to keep them happy.
HQ priest gave a presentation: Only 15 percent of Catholics go to Mass. It’s more in my diocese, pretty sure. Then a thing on faith sharing, carigma (sp?), small groups, encounter again. Buddy, I’m doing that. I’ve got a whole expensive office for it. We have to “equip” people, whatever that is. HQ guy did a slide show on the Eucharistic Congress next year. Mercifully it’s not all that far. In theory we could drive instead of fly. It’d be long but anything’s better than flying. HQ guy says “congress” isn’t a favorite word for a lot of people. He says the congress prep events should have potlucks. Sounds good to me. There was something about Eucharistic subcontractors? Not so much. I didn’t get that part. Solidarity fund. 25 or 30K have signed up? For a stadium event? Check my notes on the action items: ongoing formation for priests, cultural divercity, something about a new program of studies and formation for seminarians, something about the “razzio”, which sounds like the name of my favorite Italian place. Pastoreal charity which I think is something like more charity donations to pastors. Hispanic ministry. I just ordained Fr. Luis! Check that box.
HQ guy presented the topic: “What is a synod?” Thanks for asking ’cause I sure don’t know. Even after the presentation I still don’t. What the hell are they talking about, anyway? It’s a synod of bishops, right? So why are lay people in it? Even priests. Why? And they picked some real winners.
Great lunch today and then an even greater nap.