A happy Monday to all.
I am sitting at the Orlando International Airport, waiting for my flight back to Chicago. It is very cold here (by Central Florida standards), but I am heading into the deep freeze in Chicago. Happy winter.
It has been a great weekend here in the Diocese of Orlando. On Friday evening, I met with a group of musicians from the diocese to discuss pastoral strategies for the implementation of the new translation of The Roman Missal. Since we are less than a year away from implementation, people are beginning to get serious about the approaches they will take. The diocese here has good leadership in their worship office. The office has a solid plan for diocesan implementation, which should help these musicians in their ministry.
On Saturday morning, at Nativity parish in Longwood, I met with over a hundred liturgical ministers from both Nativity and All Souls Parish in neighboring Sanford. Our focus was on Baptism as the foundational sacrament for ministry. It was a good morning and the people seemed to respond well. Here's a photo of Nativity's exterior.
Last night, I met with about 70 people from the parish to discuss the new translation of The Roman Missal. Most in attendance were positive about the coming changes. A few were not happy at all. These kinds of meetings are good, because people have the chance to voice their own fears, happiness, and frustrations. More importantly, it is good for people to hear that others have differing opinions and sentiments about the new translation. I don't in any way do these presentations to try to sway people in any direction; I simply present the history and the facts as clearly as I can. I ask people to read the materials I hand out and to think more about it in the coming months. And, as usual, I ask them to pray fervently for their bishop and priests, who will bear the burden of preparing and proclaiming the texts, some of which are very challenging, a few of which I find nearly impossible to proclaim with clarity.
I was able to celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent at Saint Mary Magdalen Church in Altamonte Springs. I was the director of music and liturgy there from 1985 to 1990. I always refer to this period as "my real schooling," since it was my first immersion in parish ministry. Here's a photo of the exterior of the church.
I'll be boarding the flight shortly. I leave Orlando with a sense of gratitude to the good Catholic people here, who are very excited as they plan to install their new bishop, Bishop John Noonan, on Thursday.
Gotta sing. Gotta pray.