So I’ve been particularly introspective this week. There’s much going on and lots of work to be done. And so I pray–because I need to and because I just have to vent sometimes to someone outside of this blog and my friends, families and colleagues. In the stillness of the late night when the dog quietly sleeps on my lap and my wife’s head nods in her living room chair, I begin my litany of calls and responses. I voice a feeling and ask for assistance. May the Lord make haste to help me.

1) I’m missing the Catholic Volunteers already. And they haven’t even left yet.
It’s been a wonderful roller-coaster ride with them this year as one of their support people. Lord, continue to guide them on their journey and bring me the peace that their love gives to me. Help me support next year’s volunteers and make them as hard to let go of as this year’s crop is.

2) The students are returning. And I’m excited. I’ve been going to first year student orientations already. Met a few incredibly nice students and a lot of people who are asking when mass is. I pray that I can help them find the gifts that they already are to the world.

3) Greg Coogan is leaving Buffalo. Greg’s the coordinator of young adult ministry in this diocese. He’s been one of my favorite colleagues and he held my hand through the early jitters on this job and taught me the ropes of connecting with faculty and students. We had a great collaboration together working on Charis Retreats. I pray that he has similar successes in Camden where he heads to be the director of youth and young adult ministry for the diocese.

4) The new parish website is gaining steam. I’ve completed a good deal of the new parish website project. Soon it will have a very new look and a bunch of off-site blog pages for more frequent updates. It’s been a bear of a project and I pray…Oh Lord, I pray…that it is complete soon.

5) Did I mention that I miss the Catholic Volunteers already? I pray that Anna finds a wonderful new life in North Carolina. That Nick allows himself to shine in whatever role he chooses to fulfill in life. That Ian continues to be the ears for those who are voiceless and that Helen enjoys graduate school and lets someone else do the cooking for at least a month! Leigh and Cameron head to Law School. May their love of justice make them the lawyers that I know they can be. I also hope they fall in love with the South once again but don’t forget us Yankees. Margaret is going to study nearby to be a teacher. Her gift of caring for her students and feeling for others along with her enthusiasm and tenacity for life is to be cherished.
And Mary heads to Catholic Charities in Maine but begins her writing career in earnest (hopefully at BustedHalo). Her love for justice and spirituality are going to be central to that writing career. I pray she can develop that gift and become a true voice of passion for many.

6) Book #2: 4 chapters down (sorta) and 2-3 more to go. I’m enjoying writing this book on career choice. It’s something that I thought I had a lot to say about years ago. I realize that I have a lot more to say about it now. I pray that I can speak God’s words that help people discover all that they are and all that the can be and that they can find their place in the world.

7) I have a wonderful new campus ministry colleague. Julianne Wallace is coming to work with me here at St. Joe’s. I just know she’ll be wonderful. I’m so excited to work alongside her. She might even teach me to carry a tune (something I haven’t been able to do with regularity since the age of 12). I pray that we continue with a wonderful collaboration and friendship for years to come.

8) Economic woes. For the country as we face this debt ceiling crisis. I pray that cooler heads prevail and may people realize that higher taxes for the rich isn’t exactly a dumb idea.

9) UB’s 15th President: Satish Tripathy is the new President of UB. May God grant him wisdom and bring him much peace.

10) My family. My wife is a glorious reminder to me of all that is right with the world. Our dog simply loves us and reminds us how to forgive and simply relish in each other’s presence. Our extended family also reminds us of the dedication we all need to have for one another. Today I pray that I always remember the gifts they have all been to me and I that I can always honor them with my life.

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