Saturday, September 15, 2007

A Week in the Life of a Vocation Director

Fr. Martin E. Fox relates that his most popular posts are his "Day in the Life of a Pastor" posts. His life must be much more exciting than mine, so I have to relate a whole week instead of just a day.

Sunday was morning Mass at St. Leo's in North Fairmount. Fr. Jim Schutte is the pastor there as of last July 1st, but he has been on Sabbatical studying Spanish to minister to the Guatamalen community that gathers there on Saturday evenings. Unfortunately, there is not a great crowd that attends the Sunday Mass, mainly residents of the neighborhood. Plus, no A/C, a good reminder of wanting a cool place in the life to come!
After Mass, a friend was coming over to help finish up the old Sister's dining room here at the Cathedral. A few weeks ago, we had spent the weekend painting over a very ugly lavender color with a bold gold hue. Jackie had made some 'window treatments,' as they say on HGTV (what we used to call curtains, but I guess that term is no longer in vogue, eh?) as well as a table runner that were in a nice burgundy color. I think the poor sisters were getting older before they moved out, because there were a number of stains on the carpet. (Oh, they had moved out at least 7 years ago, but the room was still LAVENDER!) We pulled up the carpet, polished the floor as much as possible and got the room looking pretty good. The Pastor even complimented our efforts!

Monday was a rather tedious day spent in the office. A fire had blown up over the weekend, so there was a fair amount of damage control and extinguishing that had to be done. Monday evening, instead of enjoying the entirity of the great Bengals' victory, I drove up to Dayton for a Serra Club meeting. I presented how we were doing as far as numbers of seminarians we currently have for the Archdiocese (33), right now up one from the end of last year. I also shared a few things that we have upcoming with the Vocation Office and a few things that I have been asked to present in the near future. I'll try to post things as I can.

Tuesday was a little more exciting. Before lunch, I met with a prospective candidate for next year. He has been on the radar screen for a while, and seems to be getting about ready to make that transition into the seminary. Lunch was a Cincinnati Serra club meeting here at the Cathedral. A major topic of conversation was the upcoming boat ride, plus some other club details that needed to be covered. As I had the late Mass that day at the Cathedral, I returned to the office to work on my version of The Pile, before it takes over my entire office. (It is getting close!) After confessions and Mass, I had a dinner group get together, where a group of about 8 or so friends gathering at a different restaraunt once a month. This month, we dined at a favourite of mine: The Pub at Rookwood Commons.

Wednesday continued the same themes of previous days. I had the noon Mass at the Cathedral, plus an afternoon Mass with the first Kairos Retreat for Elder at Marydale Retreat Center in Erlanger. I admit that I enjoy these Masses, as the current crop attending the retreats are my former students. I get to catch up with some of them, and harrass some of them as well! I changed part of the theme of the homily for this one. Instead of asking "Who is Christ to you?" which gave a lot of them the chance to say: "I don't know." I asked them: "What gift and/or talent has God given you?" and "How is God asking you to share those gifts in building up the Church and the World?" There were a few good answers, but most just passed the buck. Oh well, hopefully they will keep thinking about those questions.
After leaving the retreat, I headed to Loveland for a dinner meeting to discuss some plans for the upcoming Theology on Tap Cincinnati season. We are having a Fall Refresher in a few weeks, again details forth coming.

Thursday morning was more of the office work, and starting the next article for the Telegraph. The afternoon wasn't too bad, tho. Fr. Eric Bowman, a classmate from the Seminary, had an extra ticket for the Reds Game, so no complaints there! (Great seats, too!) I made it back to the Cathedral in time for the afternoon set of confessions and Mass, and thankfully no evening meetings that night!

Friday, in theory, is my 'day off.' As a fellow Father said: "Yeah, and 'in theory' Communism works, too!" Here at the Mother Church, Day Off=7AM Mass, so it is up early, with confessions following. However, the Serra Boat Ride finally dawned with a late lunch and a three hour tour of the Ohio River. There were roughly 100 people on board, between seminarians, retired priests, and Serra members. Read about the trip over at the Seminary Blog.
After the trip, it was a return to the Cathedral, where we were celebrating the birthday of the Deacon. Dinner was good, as always.

This morning brought a planning meeting for this coming April's Cincinnati 2000, an offshoot of Youth 2000. This was mostly logistics, so not much to report yet about theme and/or speakers. Leaving early, I made it back for the 11:30 Mass here at the Cathedral and confessions until 1:30. After a quick bite to eat and watching some college football, I am heading over to St. Joseph, North Bend for more confessions and evening Mass. I expect I will see a number of my former flock from that neck of the woods.

So, that's my week. Not the ugliest week I've had, but it is also no wonder that the desk monster I keep at the office is dang near a whole 'Living Room Monster' here at the Cathedral. I think tomorrow I am going to try to wound this monster mortally. But it seems he has more lives than Morris the cat!


Adoro te Devote said...

Or Garfield?

Adoro te Devote said...

Oh, forgot to "blogging" a use of gifts or just a trendy thing that makes people roll their eyes, or both?

Father Kyle said...

Adoro, I think Blogging is best described as a way to waste time when you should be doing something more constructive!

Anonymous said...

You have confessions during the week there? We have trouble finding confessions available as scheduled on weekends here.

Adoro te Devote said...

anon ~ you need to move to MN. (No offense, Father!)

At my parish, we have 3 daily Masses...6:30 and 8 am, and 7 pm. And Confessions after EACH (unless announced otherwise with much apology and only due to certain circumstances). Oh, and Saturdays after the 8 am Mass, from 9-10, and Sat. afternoon from 4-5 pm. And by appointment.

And I have friends who have had need of Confession and, although they didn't want to, it was their only opportunity and they even saw our priests in the chapel and apologetically disturbed them from prayer...and our priests immediately acquiesced with much joy that they were asking for the Sacrament. And they've been stopped on Sundays between Masses to request Confession, and at random times. parish is an anomoly (although please pray for us...we have solid priests, but the staff is almost entirely of the "don't get it" age. And there is a real battle happening there.

Father ~ Now I KNOW I'll never be a Saint..because I keep blogging. But I have to ask with all irony...what about you? :-) Doesn't this provide a certain service? Isn't blogging, if done correctly, obedient to the directive to John Paul II's command to use technology to spread the Gospel? It's happening...

Father Kyle said...


Much like Adoro's parish, the Cathedral here in Cincinnati provides a service to the Catholics of the city. We have confession scheduled three times per day: after the 7:00 AM Mass, after the 11:30 Mass (until 12:30) and from 4:30 to 5:00, leading to the 5:15 Mass.

Most days, I'll get a handful for the early slot, but the two half hour sessions are usually pretty full times.

Also, on Saturdays we have confession from noon to three. (I usually take the first hour and a half.) That time slot is not as busy as during the week, so I usually get some reading in, work on tying rosaries, or if need presents last minute homily ideas.

I certainly hope that this is more than just a waste of time but actually constructive in helping to build the Kingdom of God. But does that require more than three readers?

Anonymous said...

4, now. It's working!!