In this segment I would like to talk a little bit about some of the people I've met since coming to Waltham.
Let me begin with the Friars I am blessed to be able to live with for these next few months.
First, there is Fr. Dennis... he is a priest of 25 years and a life-long OFM. The vast majority of his ministry has been spent in education. He is a man of great joy and wry wit. I can only imagine what it must have been like to be one of his students. I'm sure I would never know when he was joking and when he wasn't. Still, I would also be confident in saying that he would have ended up being one of my favorite teachers. Since leaving the teaching realm he has spent the last ten years here at Sacred Heart. At first, bridging the transition from one Religious Order (the Stigmatines) to another (the OFM's). Then fighting to keep the parish open during the period in the Archdiocese of Boston when there were many parish closings. As a result, the people of the parish have truly embraced him as a leader and true father to them. He is a good man, and a holy man... an incredible combination.
Then there is Br. Damien... he is, as the title implies, a Brother and has been forever (or least it sounds that way from the experiences he shares... there are times I think he was walking around cleaning up after St. Francis himself). He is a man of great humility. And yet, he has served in some of the most interesting of places. His life as an OFM has taken him to Honduras, Rome, Assisi (obviously), Jerusalem, Boston, other places I've not yet heard about, I'm sure and now to Waltham. He is a man who genuinely cares for people and wants to make them feel welcome... which, in my case he has done. Thank you Brother.
The staff here are all wonderful people who have lived, for the most, here in Waltham for the majority of their lives. They enjoy being together. They enjoy doing things together (like going to see the "Jersey Boys" musically... thanks for taking me). They enjoy getting loud with each other (this will take some getting used to) and they enjoy praying together. As one person has already told me, "Fr. John we have the ugliest Church in the Archdiocese (actually, I would broaden that circle to include most of the known world), but we have the most beautiful parish you could ever hope for." And from what I've seen... he may be right.
See you soon.