It has been almost one year now since I began my assignment among you as pastor of Nativity of Mary. As the Roman poet Virgil once wrote, “fugit irreparablile tempus” or “irretrievable time flees.”
I remember one evening shortly after I moved to Bloomington last summer. I was out for a walk and I climbed a hill near my new home. I stood at the top of the hill, looked out over Bloomington below, and I prayed. I hadn’t met many of you
yet at that time – but I commended all of you to God and I asked that He help me to be faithful among you.
A few days ago I was out for a walk and, once again, I climbed that same hill. That spot has become a favorite place for me to go and pray. Maybe I just like to feel like Moses up on the mountain asking for strength and interceding for the people. In any case, I prayed for you all overlooking Bloomington again, but I quickly received the sense that things would have to be different now.
It’s now a year later and I have been given much. It is expected that, throughout the course of the past year, I have become better equipped to be your pastor. As I prayed on the hill I sensed that the call from God now is to use the wind of the Holy Spirit that has filled my/our sails this past year and navigate for even deeper waters.
This past week we marked the “longest day of the year.” With the slower pace of parish life over the summer and with the uplifting effect that the warmth and extra daylight brings, I hope to spend more time on that hill in the days to come praying – reflecting and listening to how God might be calling us to take our parish to the next level and to new heights. We all need to grow firmer, plainer, purer, simpler, warmer, and more vital in the faith.
As I pray on the hill, throughout the summer and in the warm evenings to come, I might just sense many of your prayers too rising up around me. Thank you for all of your patience, kindness, prayers, help, and support to me this past year. Get ready now to move forward. God calls us on.
There is another Latin phrase – remis velisque. It means, “with oars or sails” or “by all possible means.” Let us press forward in God, good people of Nativity, remis velisque.
Summer blessings to all of you,
Fr. Dennis Zehren