Well the summer rolls right along as here we are halfway through August and – hard to believe – school starts up this week. I was away for some time on vacation the week before last, and spent a good part of it in New Hampshire at our family house on Lovell Lake not far from the Maine border. There is something about a lake. The poet Denise Levertov has a poem called “What One Receives from Living Close to a Lake” which includes the line “that it is wide and still – yet subtly stirring; wide and level, reflecting the intangible sky’s vaster breadth in its own fresh, cold, serene surface we can touch, enter, taste…” I like the sense that she gives that we receive something from the lake – that it’s a kind of gift. That’s what it was for me in my days there: watching and hearing the cry of the loons, witnessing the rare site of a bald eagle over the water, and in the early morning or early evening hours, paddling a kayak around the still, quiet lake. It’s something like grace.
We have some sad news to pass along – you may have heard that Fr. Bill McConville, who has been here at St. Francis since September 10, 2001, will be moving by the end of August and taking a new assignment at Immaculate Conception Church in Durham – my old haunt. Why is this happening? We friars belong to a province called Holy Name Province, based out of New York, and for some time now our province has been considering taking on a new ministry in Macon, Georgia. Our provincial administration just a little over a week ago made the decision to go forward with Macon. One of the friars at Immaculate Conception in Durham will be moving to Macon to become pastor there, so Fr. Bill will be moving to Durham to become an associate there. Bill’s last weekend here will be August 29/30. We will miss Bill, but glad that he will still be close by.
As I write this on Monday morning, carpet installers have begun to arrive to install new carpeting in our church and in the gathering space around it. The old carpet lasted almost 20 years and held up well. Thank you to all who contributed to our year-end appeal for the carpet last December.
Blessings on your week!