That describes well how it feels to have to move from Nativity of Mary. I am losing my muchness. The good people of this parish and school have been so much at the heart of my existence for the past five-plus years. It’s hard to say “goodbye” to all of this muchness all at once – but thank you for so much.
My parents also asked me to express their gratitude. Many of you have come to know them through their many visits to Nativity of Mary over the years. Your friendship and kindness to them have touched them, and me, deeply. Don’t be surprised if they come back some day for a visit even after I am gone. You truly have been an extended family to them.
I am cleaning out my office desk drawer and wondering what to do with all of the leftover business cards I still have left. I will have a new mailing address, phone number, and email address, so they are no good to hand out anymore.
Maybe some of the cards I will still carry in my wallet with me. I can use them to put under legs of wobbly tables at restaurants so they don’t teeter as much. Or I could give them to the school children and they could use them to make ramps for their Hot Wheel cars or as filler for the hamster cages in the kindergarten room.
There are many hundreds of those cards left – but if I took the time to write on the back of each card a blessing or a happy moment from my time here at Nativity I would not have nearly enough.
I think too about what memories you will have of me after I am gone. Likely I will be remembered as the “duck priest” who used to cut up grapes to feed the ducklings in the school courtyard. Some of you will think of me whenever you drive through Wisconsin and pass by one of the many cheese houses.
I hope though that you will remember most of all that together we sought Jesus and we found Him in the Eucharist. There we grew together in grace. There was our greatest joy. Let Jesus lead us now another meaningful step deeper into the mystery.
I am certain that, through the grapevine, I will continue to hear about the good things our Lord is doing among you at Nativity of Mary together with your gifted new priest, Fr. Nels Gjengdahl – and I will give God thanks. So, good people of Nativity of Mary, it’s goodbye, in hope of sharing the crowning glory with you one day in God – and thank you.