Well, summer went by very quickly. I am back at St. Meinrad and ramping up for another semester of learning.
The CPE Program (Clinical Pastoral Education) that I participated in this summer at Hillcrest Hospital was a great learning experience. I had many moments of crisis and many others of blessings. God truly gave me grace to minister to others in both of those moments and everything else in between. The other students and staff were all part of my learning curve and hopefully I was a positive part of theirs. I am pretty sure I can handle just about any kind of ministry situation now, as I was in many emergency situations over the summer. My prayers continue for the men and women of the medical profession that so diligently care for the people who enter their hospitals and emergency rooms. Here is a picture of the group.
This year I am taking Trinity, Advanced Homiletics, Introduction to Canon Law, and Reflections on Hispanic Ministry. These classes will all be in English (The Hispanic Ministry may be bilingual at times). I am also going to take a Moral Virtues class in Spanish. This will help prepare me if I go to Salamanca, Spain next semester (more on that in another post). It will be a busy semester with possible ministry at the Guadalupe Center in Huntingburg again. I will know more about both of these things next week.
At the end of the summer I had a chance to go back to my home town of Okeene, OK. I spent time with friends, relaxed, and generally rested after the 12 week CPE program. I needed to catch up on a few naps. I also met the new pastor of the Catholic Church there, and he invited me to speak to the congregation after Communion at Sunday’s Mass. I was humbled and honored at the opportunity. This was the first time I had been in the Church since I had joined the seminary. It was a real treat to share a little about my journey thus far and to be welcomed by so many familiar faces. I look forward to my Mass of Thanksgiving that I will celebrate there after I am ordained. After I spoke I realized that it was 50 years earlier that same week that I was baptized in that Church. It is amazing to think that all these years after serving and attending Mass I will soon be celebrating at the same altar as my former pastors.
That’s about it for now. I probably won’t get back to Tulsa until Christmas time, but I invite anyone to come visit me here in Indiana. I am sure you would enjoy your time here and I would love to have guests to share this place with.