Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Life in Russia

Here's how it stands here...

You can tell, from the time between posts, that I'm keeping busy. I'm a little tired, but it's all good.

These wonderful folks get up early! (They work farms, you know!) The Angelus bells that ring promptly at six -- just outside my window! -- may have something to do with it. But it's mainly farming.

I've been having a series of meetings with parishioners; three nights a week, into early August. We divided up the parish list, inviting about a hundred folks each time. They don't all come, but anyone getting invited feels better about the parish, just knowing its happening. And when folks come together, they not only meet me, but they get to know everyone else better (although everyone here knows everyone -- it seems -- already!). I'm working on the names, but failing a lot; but everyone still has a good humor. I'm asking folks what they like about the parish; and then they get to ask me anything.

You know what I've learned so far? People here really love their parish! At least, those I've met.

Lots of the normal stuff of parish life. Daily Mass, confessions, anointing people as they need it; I had Mass at the Versailles nursing home, and visited folks who didn't make it to Mass.

Meanwhile, I'm getting things set up in the house. While I'm stocking up the food items I like, parishioners are painting the house, while various contractors are working on air conditioning (we never had it before!), overdue wiring upgrades, insulation, and concrete work. Lots of coming and going! 

Some folks are a little surprised that a big-city guy like me would like coming to a really small town -- and they are flabbergasted when I tell them I asked to come here (once I found out I couldn't stay at Holy Cross-Immaculata). 

Here's the thing.

This is a peaceful, happy place. The children are friendly and happy. Life isn't easy, but it's sane and good. And here, the parish is the center of the community. Faith is the center. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the center! 

Why in the world wouldn't I want to come here?


Sara said...

Precisely why I drive 25 minutes for Sunday Mass! If I were to get a job in Shelby or Miami county, I'm moving there!

David Oatney said...

Father, it sounds like the Holy Spirit knew where you needed to be, alright.