by: Fr. Nicholas A. Marziani, Jr., D.Min.
It gives you new and unprecedented personal perspective when you finally circle the date on the calendar when you will become officially “retired”.
I haven’t actually crossed that Rubicon yet at the time of writing this column, but it’s just a week and change away, and I already grow pensive, even somber at times, to contemplate what all that is going to mean.
As of January 25th I will have passed off the priestly administrative baton for St. James Catholic Church, a community I founded back in 2012 – with a little help in the day from some good people in Orlando, as well as from my wife – to a very able successor, a young man who is being ordained to the priesthood that same day in Houston at our Cathedral Church of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter.
It’s the bishop’s laying on of hands that actually has the “horsepower” in the Holy Spirit to make the man a priest, but presbyters gathered for the occasion are also invited to lay hands on the ordinand as well in a gesture of solidarity. I intend to be among that blessed cohort.
I know St. James will almost certainly have better days ahead than what we’ve already experienced, which have been challenged but fruitful.
Fr. Mayer will be the second stage of that “Spiritcraft” (to coin a new word) of which I shall have been the booster. That gives me great satisfaction, and something to recall in coming days when I reflect on my life in general.
The prospect of moving on to other projects and commitments, essentially part-time in nature, has me both excited, and sad. I guess I didn’t anticipate the mix of feelings I would experience as I both “let go” and “take on” different phases of life, but life is like that.
Especially in the Season of Lent, almost upon us, we “give up and take on” – give up some things in our everyday world in order to take on other things which will enrich us in new ways.
The rhythm of life is a curious thing, and great writers and commentators have created poignant (even “pregnant”) works of artistic expression that attempt to portray that human mystery.
And so, I do move on. I will continue, by the Grace of God, to write this column in coming days, and presumably, hopefully, my insights will grow in depth even as I do in years.
I wish all of you near or in retirement increasingly meaningful days of rest and reflection as we all prepare to ultimately meet our Maker. May God bless and love you all!