At my farewell at the Newman Center on Tuesday night, Erin Duffy composed a prayer of blessing and had members of the community pray them over me. I was undone. I had managed to hold it together as various people told stories and shared anecdotes of our time together at the Center. (just barely) And then they started praying over me…

I learned again the truth of the quote from Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings: “Not all tears are evil…”

I share that prayer here, because it also reflects my own prayer for both the Newman Center folks and you, the people of St. Ann.

May you know, always, that you are loved.
May you know your impact, that your actions, your love and your presence has touched the lives of so many.
May you have faith, that you are exactly where you need to be, and are going exactly where you need to go.
May you have hope, that all things are being made new and that on this servant path, all your needs are being cared for.
May you journey with hands wide open, receiving all that God is providing, in every moment.
May you walk in safety, in humility, in peace and in joy.
May carry this community in your heart, as we carry you in our hearts.
We thank you, we bless you, we send you forth as you continue the work of God, as you continue to build the kingdom of God here among us.
We ask all of this through Christ our Lord, and through the intercession of Blessed John Cardinal Henry New-man…. Amen … … … … …

Finally, to answer the most asked question of recent days:

I will officially leave sometime the week of June 27. I have to report to St. Justin at some point on the 30th, and my first mass there will be July 1st. The exact date depends on when Fr. Weber moves out of his rooms (soon to be mine) and they do some painting of the rectory. That date depends on when the priest who is at the parish where he is going moves out which depends on when that priest can move into his place which…. So, by June 30th at the latest…