A new life – The last last and the first first

So I had my last last on Sunday. I said my goodbyes to some friends and my kids at church who I will miss deeply. There were a lot of tears. Several of the kids and a few adults actually met me at Starbucks to visit a little before we finally said goodbye. There were more tears. The ladies sitting at the next table over actually told us that we started them crying as we all said goodbye. It’s a good feeling to be as accepted as I’ve been there, but it’s also sad to leave.

I headed out to the airport Monday morning (got breakfast with a friend on the way), and I arrived Monday afternoon in Nashville. As Bo pointed out, I had started a long series of firsts. The downside was that I was brought down with a BAD cold for my first couple days here (Luckily, it’s now better).

Anyway, Monday was my moving day largely because my bishop wanted me to attend an event with the other seminarians on Tuesday. Just so we are clear, when the bishop wants me to attend an event, I attend. We seminarians spent the day at the cathedral rectory for lunch and a talk from two doctors. It was an interesting afternoon. For the first time, I spent a day as an actual seminarian for the Diocese. I’d come up for a retreat to meet many of them a few months back, but at that time, even though I was accepted by the bishop into formation, I felt different – like I wasn’t yet a member of that community. This time, I’m no longer working in the outside world, and I am officially a seminarian for the diocese. Before lunch, I’d even gone in to fill out paperwork in the diocese offices to fill out paperwork to get on the payroll and insurance.

After the afternoon at the Cathedral, the Serra Club (a group that exists solely to promote and support and pray for vocations) sponsored the annual VIP dinner for the diocese’s seminarians and the new postulants to the Nashville Dominicans (an order of women that is growing quite rapidly). The bishop introduced the seminarians, and, for the first time, I was introduced as a seminarian to the public. It was a strange moment, but it was a great feeling.

Now, I just have to make it through the next few weeks of my parents without going crazy, and I will be starting down in New Orleans. Keep praying for me!

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