Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Anglocat at the Threshold
(Photo by Gene Bourquin)
There I am, at the left, on the Fifth Sunday of Easter, 2015, which was my last day as a lay server, at my field parish, St. John's in the Village. This coming Sunday, my last as a layperson, I will sit in the congregation at St. John's, and I will be a congregant. But I will also remember.
Because the following Saturday, I am to complete a journey that had begun when I first started this blog, discerning at the parish level a call to the vocational diaconate. After seven years of training (four years of EfM, followed by three years of diocesan training), I, and my two companions on this way, re to be ordained.
This isn't the last pre-ordination post, mind you. This is the post about standing at the threshold. My years as a Lay Eucharistic Minister and EfM Mentor, my service as crucifer, thurifer, and even unlikely clinical pastoral training student--they have ended in terms of work to be done.
The new journey is yet to begin.
And so over these last ten days, I am able to reflect on all that I have seen and done in these seven years. The lay leaders and clergy who guided me. The priests and deacons, especially, of the diocese who welcomed me. The directors of formation who taught me, and the mentors--at New York Presbyterian's Pastoral Care Department and at St. John's, in addition to those who raised me up at St Bartholomew's Church. My EFM mentors, and those who journeyed with me. My bishop. My family, especially my wife, known on this blog as la Caterina, who has traversed this way with me, lending realism and compassion where needed, and always seasoned with love.
So many generous friends, old (back to high school and college) and new, who encouraged me--literally; a middle aged lawyer/scholar of cynical mien isn't where you normally go prospecting for clergy. So many people to thank, and to thank God for.
And I'll do the first, at the proper time and season, and I do the latter daily.
But as I stand at the threshold in these scant few days, Easter days still, let me look back, and show you one of the peak experiences that always grounds me: liturgy, here performed at my home parish, by some of those aforementioned friends, mentors, and fellow-travellers.
Or, perhaps you prefer this version, where the knowing eye can discern the Anglocat:
And, forgive me, but these people are inexpressibly dear to me, one more: