When I was the Rector of the Minor Basilica in Natchitoches, my work week was regularly more than 80 hours. I was up at 4:30a and at it until around 8p six days a week. My daily calendar was astounding and when I look back I can't begin to understand how I did it. Here at St. Edward, my week is radically different - thanks be to God! Still there are things that have to be done and decisions which have to be made. The day-to-day work of even the smallest parish requires presence and it requires attention. Thankfully, St. Edward - while being a small community - is full to overflowing with attentive, talented and generous people who have kept this wonderful little Church going for years. Our parish secretary, Ms. Ann Keene will oversee the finances and bookkeeping along with the help of our two civil trustees Mssrs. Dale Magoun and Darryl Elerbee. Ms. Cathy Vandeverien will oversee the Church and rectory. Several of ladies will keep the grounds under control. Our fancy WiFi sprinkler controller and Air Conditioning system will operate on it's own and respond to weather date saving us money.
The three big challenges when any priest is away - even with a cadre of amazing parishioners - are the weekend Masses, emergencies and the bulletin.
Fr. Joe(seph) is my Hero
Fr. Joseph Desimone, a young priest serving our Diocese in the Parish of St. Francis Cabrini in Alexandria, has gracious agreed to provide four Masses each weekend for the faithful of St. Edward. He'll arrive on Friday evening and offer the long standing 5:30pm Mass. On Saturday morning, he'll offer Mass at the Olive Branch nursing home. Then he'll offer the 5:30p Anticipated Mass on Saturday evening and the regular 9:30a Sunday Mass.
Fr. Joseph is doing a great service to us and I hope and pray that God rewards Him and that the folks appreciate his sacrifice in making the long trip from Alexandria to Tallulah for the three months I'll be away.
As has been the usual practice for about twenty years, anyone who needs the emergency services of a priest should plan to contact Mrs. Ann Keene. Mrs. Ann can get in touch with one of our local clergy and help facilitate any help which is needed.
The bulletin is actually done in two parts. Ms. Ann handles the bulk of FYI information. She cuts and pastes Mass intentions, birthdays, the prayer list and most everything else into place. I add in my two articles and then the bulletin is ready to go... In the past, articles were cut and pasted in from other sources, but while I'm away, it will be much easier to simply redesign the bulletin so as to eliminate the articles. If this were something longer or more permanent, that would be a poor solution - but for a few months, it should be fine.