From the Pastor: Welcome Back, Fr. Vincent!
I assume that at least most of you know Fr. Vincent. He used to help out at Epiphany on a regular basis, along with all of the other work he did throughout the diocese and at Jesuit High School. He is a great teacher, homilist, and speaker and a good, holy, personable priest, and was truly missed when he was transferred out of the country. But last year he returned, not quite to our country, but to Miami, which, in geographical terms, at least, is fairly close to Florida. At that time he offered to come and spend a month here in order to give me a break while he took over the Masses. Of course, I jumped at the chance for a respite. But before he came, we had plumbing problems and sewage problems stemming from the construction workers across the street doing something improperly, and everyone was worried that he was going to be coming into a mess. Fortunately, it was all cleared up before he arrived. By strange coincidence, though, we recently had another water outage due to the construction across the street, and, just last week, we had water pouring in through the ceiling downstairs as the air conditioner upstairs decided to drain onto the floor rather than to the outside. We caught several gallons of water before we were able to fix the problem. As you might have surmised by now, Fr. Vincent is coming back for a visit, a bit of work, and a personal retreat, and it looks like he will escape the worst of the plumbing issues once again. He should be here the Monday after this article appears in the bulletin.
As mentioned, Fr. Vincent said that while he is here he will be making a personal retreat. There is something quite spiritually uplifting about starting out each day with two Masses, Adoration, and Confessions! Due to his desire to spend time in solitary prayer, he may not be able to go on many social visits, but, he still may be in need of some good home cooking. After all, we do not have a cook at the rectory to take care of his nutritional needs. So if you are willing and able to bring him some of your family’s favorite meals, don’t hesitate to offer him some Southern hospitality, even though it means serving it up in Tupperware rather than on fine China!
Once Father Vincent appears on the scene, I will disappear for about 10 days. There are no baptisms or weddings scheduled during the time I will be gone but there are a few other things that I usually tend to that will just have to find ways of continuing without me. I have no doubt that you will all manage to survive my absence. Of course, there are always one or two smart alecks around who may plan on not surviving, just to prove me wrong in that assertation. To them, I say: I forbid it! No dying allowed while the pastor isn’t here!
The last time I went away, everyone was pestering my mom about where I was. I had only told her what I told everybody else, namely, that “I will be in a private hermitage with a bed, a bath, and a chapel. No emails, no phone calls, no meetings!” This year, to spare her the endless questions that she was helpless to answer (even though you were convinced that she was holding back on you!) I will tell you exactly where I am going. I will give you the name, address, and even the keys to the place at which I will be staying. I will also have a complimentary chauffeur and limo on call for your convenience, plus free train, bus, and ship tickets for anyone who wishes to come and join me. Oh, and I put approximately $1903.47 cash in each of those 850 information packets so that nobody will feel that they are unable to join me on account of a lack of spending money. You should be able to find me quite easily without having to bother my mother at all. The box containing all of this is quite large and labeled in huge, eye-catching fluorescent print: “FREE VACATION PACKAGES AND CASH. TAKE WHAT YOU NEED!” If, for some strange reason, you cannot find the box where I left it (outside of the doors to the social hall) feel free to check the dumpster to see if somebody accidentally threw it away. I can’t think of any other reason it might be missing.
Fr. Dorvil will also be gone while I am away. He has an assignment from his Religious Order wherein he needs to check up on other De Montfort priests in the US to make sure they are doing well, are in good health, have their needs taken care of, and any other thing that might be easily overlooked when they are by themselves in a foreign country. In July he will be traveling to tend to those duties. Please pray for him and the priests he assists as he performs this charitable visitation.
I will end this article with a small but necessary reminder. It is very important that if your group is scheduled to meet at Epiphany in the afternoon or evening, especially during the time I am away, should you need to cancel your meeting you let the office staff know that you won’t be here, for that means that you won’t be locking up the facilities. The last group scheduled is tasked with locking up, but every once in a while a group doesn’t meet but fails to have the calendar updated. The church will remain open all night unless I happen to check, which I definitely won’t do when I am not here!
With prayers for your holiness,
Rev. Fr. Edwin Palka