Friday, February 22, 2013

Empty Chairs

In his homily this morning, on the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, our assistant pastor, Father Chateau, noted that in a week’s time that chair will be vacant. Pope Benedict resigns at 4 pm Rome time next Thursday, February 28.

Four hours after Father C’s homily, word began to circulate in our parish about another empty chair. As part of the reorganization currently under way in the Archdiocese of Boston, our pastor at St. Mary Star of the Sea, David Barnes, will be reassigned at the beginning of June.

The identity of his replacement is not public yet,* and Father Barnes doesn’t know where he’s headed either. Nor is there any word that I’ve heard on Father Chateau’s next assignment.

Given that I’ve been a Catholic less than five years, and given the speculation about our archbishop, Cardinal Seán O’Malley, being papabile, there’s a chance that I will lose my pope, my archbishop, my pastor, and my assistant pastor all in one season: spring 2013.

On first blush, this is unlucky.

On second, I guess it’s all about Christ. This was Peter’s word in today’s Gospel reading, and Father Chateau’s message this morning. The sede will not really be vacante. 

Jesus will be sitting there.

I will always be grateful to Father Barnes, Cardinal Seán, and the Holy Father for leading the Church in my earliest years. They have made me proud to be Catholic.

* Saturday morning, Father Barnes announced that our new pastor would be Fr. Mark Mahoney, a priest at St. Rose of Lima Parish in Topsfield, and an expert in canon law. 

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