New Resident at the rectory…
As you know, we have had a fair share of folks who have lived here at the rectory. I am happy to welcome another at the request of Archbishop Carlson. He brings an interesting twist to the history of the associates who have lived here. Instead of leaving the priesthood, he is in the process of ‘coming back’ to it. He wrote a brief introduction which I share here.
I am writing to introduce myself and to thank you for the opportunity of being a part of your faith community, beginning November 10.
I come to St. Ann’s hoping to be reinstated to the active priesthood. In 1981 I was ordained a priest for the Congregation of Holy Cross at Notre Dame. In 1986 I left the Congregation to contract a civil marriage. This marriage ended in divorce in 1994. From this union, I have one son, Ben, age 22, living in Las Vegas, NV. One year after my divorce, I discerned a desire to return to the priesthood. For the past 14 years I have been pursuing this desire. Graciously, Archbishop Carlson has invited me to St. Louis to discern if this is where God is calling me to serve. I ask for your prayers and support in this process, and am happy to share with you the details of my journey since leaving the priesthood.
For 16 years after leaving the priesthood, I worked as a Certified Addictions Counselor. Later I served as a supervisor, administrator, and quality improvement coach for various health care organizations. For the past 35 years I have also taught theology and spirituality at the university level. My main passion is helping Catholic Christians enter more deeply into the mysteries and beauty of the Catholic faith. For the past 5 years I have been associated with God’s Embrace Renewal Centers (www.godsembrace.net), an apostolate that helps form laity and clergy in the practice of contemplative prayer. I believe deep, contemplative prayer is essential for living any vocation in the modern world.
My other interests include, golf, political discussion, and eating. I am a food addict who has lost 100 lbs. (and kept it off for 5 years). I attend at 12-Step recovery group, Food Addicts Anonymous in Recovery. I am willing to share what I have been given through this program to anyone who is interested.
I hope my time with you will be of spiritual benefit to you and to me. You are already in my prayers as I make final plans to transition from my current job as Pastoral Administrator of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini parish in Vassar, MI. Please remember my parishioners here in your prayers as I prepare to join you and Fr. Bill Kempf at St. Ann’s.
Sincerely yours in Jesus and Mary,