Monday, April 30, 2007

Moved in, sort of...

I've been in my new digs since Saturday. Parishioners ask if I'm all moved in; not really.

We're having an open house in a few days, to allow parishioners to see how the priests' house* looks. It's a big change, because before, it was offices on the first floor, and the priests' bedrooms on the second -- a not-good arrangement. Plus, three of the four bedrooms upstairs needed attention; and we created a bedroom on the first floor, for the parochial vicar, so he wouldn't have to climb stairs. That involved building a full bath where a hallway had been.

Well, pretty much all the interior work is finished; a few doors need to be shaved and re-hung, that's about it.

But because we're having that open house, we did not move all my things; because, had we done so, we'd have stacks of boxes around, forcing me either to hide them, or to unpack everything. As it is, I really would like to have my books on the shelves, and my pictures hanging on the walls, and we may get some of that done before the open house--but if not, at least everything looks very presentable.

This location is not actually a lot quieter than the other; the priests' house sits at the corner of two busy streets, and with windows open this time of year, street noises come right inside. But it quiets down earlier than my other location -- there, I lived across the street from a bar, and so things didn't quiet down on that street till after 2 am.

What's nice is that finally -- at least, God willing -- this is a fairly permanent move. When I arrived at St. Boniface almost two years ago, and moved into its priest house, I did not expect to stay. I knew then I'd be taking over St. Mary, probably a year later, and then the question of where I'd live would be settled. (Everything that unfolded was clearly in the offing; it was simply a question of deciding which location would be office, which priests' house, and making that decision with the involvement of the two parishes. So it's almost two years later, and all that is finally coming to fruition.)

So...when I moved here two years ago, I didn't completely unpack, and the house I lived in didn't get a lot of attention. St. Boniface knew it was going to sell that house; and our judgment has been, don't put money into it--the neighborhood makes it dubious we'll recoup that investment.

The other day, I figured it out: during the last 10 years, I've moved an average of once every year:

April 1997: sold my house in Herndon, Virginia, moved to Arlington, Virginia for three months (as I wrapped up my job there, and prepared to enter the seminary).

August 1997: moved to Cincinnati.

Summer, 1998: moved to new rooms in the seminary.

Summer, 1999: moved to Fort Wayne for a summer internship project.

Summer, 1999: moved to Piqua for parish internship.

Summer, 2000: moved to Troy, Ohio, for three months for summer job.

Fall, 2000: moved back to seminary.

June, 2003: moved to first assigment, St. Albert Parish, Kettering, Ohio.

June, 2005: moved to St. Boniface Parish, Piqua, Ohio.

April, 2007: moved to priest house for both parishes, next to St. Mary Church, Piqua, Ohio.

I'm looking forward to not moving for awhile!

* Why don't I use the proper term rectory? I've noticed that many parishioners use the word ambiguously, sometimes meaning, where the priest lives, sometimes meaning, the office. What they really mean is, the house that sits next to the church; and at one parish, that's the office, at the other, the priests' house. So, to avoid confusion, I'm avoiding the word.


Tracy said...

"...there, I lived across the street from a bar, and so things didn't quiet down on that street till after 2 am."

Oh come now Father, we know you were always out there hoopin' and hollerin' with that 2AM bar crowd...isn't that where some of your best blogging came from?! It may be why they chose the house to be where the house is vs. the old location: "Psst! Hey we need to do something about Father's 'problem'." It was a stealth intervention!

Just kidding, because I know that moving isn't stressful enough, let's harass the poor preist, too!

As always, enjoy your day to day stuff. God Bless you in the rest of your move.


Anonymous said...

May you be blessed in your new home - and be able to stay put for a while! :)

Anonymous said...

Congrats on surviving your move, Father. Hope you'll be able to stay put for a while. IMO moving is one of the most stressful events in life. For instance, our family moved into our present home about a month after the birth of our oldest son, who just turned 24. At that time, I remember expressing my feelings to the Lord that I never wanted to move again! So, He answered my prayer -- we've actually outgrown the place, but here we are, 24 yrs. and 2 kids later! Seriously, though, I do hope you enjoy your new home and good health for many more years to come. BTW, are you returning to the Music Colloquium in June? I'd hoped to, but unfortunately things didn't work out. Next year, please God. Regards, Patricia Gonzalez

Fr Martin Fox said...


Thanks for the good wishes.

It appears I will not be at the colloquium, as I submitted my registration too late, so I am on a waiting list, but the person who responded to my application advised me not to get my hopes up.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to your new neighborhood, Father! May you not need to move again for a long, looooooong time. It sounds like your new digs are spacious, updated, and handy. All that's you need to worry about now is carving some free time out of the day to sit back and enjoy yourself there.
Happily, summer is usually the best bet for finding a little R&R time, so have at it! Annie

Fr. Larry Gearhart said...

Nothing like a little chaos in the life of a priest.

EC Gefroh said...

Glad you survived the move Father. I personally hate moving even though, I've only moved twice in my adult life.

Anonymous said...

Father, if possible you might try planting some bushes along the streets. You will be surprised how much noise this cuts down.

Anonymous said...

Please! No bushes. That just makes more work for the generous folks who do the yard maintenance.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Bushes are easier to care for then a full garden.

I never thought about the transient life of the priest before this post, Father, thank you. It reminds me yet again, how self-sacrificing your life is. I, personally, hate moving.

God's Blessings Be Upon Your New Home! God Bless You.

Anonymous said...

While on the topic of the priestly life, I wanted to mention a book I just began to read. So far it's really interesting. The title is THE COLLAR, by Jonathan Englert. It's about the lives of some seminarians who entered this lifestyle at an older age, like Fr. Fox (oops, sorry to mention your older age, Father!) So far it is very good and I am on page 60 without running into anything weird yet, so am hoping this carries through. It's just interesting and informative, like this blog. So far no axes are being ground or scandalous issues being dredged up & raked over. It shows the dedication of the men and the difficulty of contending with things like routine and never having time to oneself, etc. Has anybody else read this book? I guess only priests can vouch for its accuracy or lack thereof.

Anonymous said...

For Annie, I too have read The Collar, by Jonathan Englert, and found it very interesting. The seminarians in the book represent first-year students, as well as those preparing for ordination. Their ages range from 30-70. Some leave, other persevere. The book was always absorbing, as the author used his access to try to capture the struggles of these very different men on their way (or not) to the priesthood. Not only was the narrative interesting, but I learned even more about the Church. Definitely worthwhile. Magistraret

Anonymous said...

Forgive the dumb question, but can seminarians, much like college students, work during the summer at jobs where they are paid?