It's been a busy but wonderful few days.
The weekend featured several goodbyes, or "so longs" -- with some a family that's been very welcoming to me, and to the people of Holy Cross-Immaculata Parish.
Monday was moving day; everything went smoothly, despite a bad backup on I-75 south of Dayton. A crew of men met me on Mount Adams to load up the truck; two of them drove up in the truck; and then a mob of adults and children met me in Russia, and we quickly unloaded everything. Some things marked "1" (for first floor) ended up on "2," but that's part of the charm of moving, isn't it?
The priest's house here is a beautiful old building, and huge! It has five bedrooms, one of which was intended for a housekeeper, with it's own back staircase! Plus a finished attic that might easily have been living quarters. The house, however, needed some updating, so the parish is working hard on it this summer: new wiring, plumbing, some updating in the kitchen and bathroom, refinishing floors, rugs, furniture, air conditioning--the works! My bedroom and bath were ready and they look great! Since they were painting the house anyway, they gave me a choice of colors, and they are all working out great. When I reminded the staff they were a little skeptical about whether my choices would work, they reminded me of the choices they talked me out of!
So while I'm waiting a few days for everything to come together, it will definitely be worth it. And it's very moving to see all the trouble and expense folks are going to. I'm very, very grateful.
Tuesday was the first day "on the job." I was so impressed with the crowd that turned out for daily Mass; then I realized, "you dummy, they're hear to get a look at you!" Thankfully, a good number returned for Wednesday's Mass.
That first Mass was a little hard on the two new servers; they'd been diligently trained to serve for my predecessor, and what do I do? I zig when they expected me to zag! What a rotten trick! I apologized to the guys and we worked it out afterward.
Not many know this, but a new pastor must give a profession of faith and swear an oath -- on the holy gospels -- that he will be faithful. I chose to do it after Mass, when the dean -- the "head priest" for this area -- could join us. Right after that, I had a sick call! I got there in time.
Wednesday and today, I've been opening boxes, organizing some things on my desk, and meeting folks as they drop by. Already two meals have been brought by, plus some tomatoes.
We did get the wifi fixed, so now I'm online. Good thing, too, as I needed to order some items from Amazon! Just in time!