Effective at the stroke of midnight, January 1, I became Judicial Vicar and director of the tribunal for the archdiocese. This while remaining pastor of All Saints and St. Francis Xavier. It's a tremendous responsibility, and I'm humbled that Archbishop Kurtz has asked me to fulfill this new office. I'll be relying tremendously upon the help of our Vicar General Fr. Mark, and our Adjutant JV Fr. Philip, for their advice and expertise. As far as JCL's are concerned around here, I'm the new guy on the block, and I'll be anxiously learning the ropes as far as applying the law that I have been studying for the past three years in Washington.
Christmas went very well in the parishes. Seeing that it fell on a Sunday meant that us priests got a bit of a break, Mass-wise. All Saints and St. Francis normally have five scheduled Masses a weekend, of which four are celebrated by yours truly (I'm very grateful for the help of a wonderful retired priest, Fr. Murphy, who generally celebrates one of the two Saturday evening Masses). Since Christmas fell on Sunday this year, however, I ended up with only three Masses for the weekend. One of these was a midnight Mass at St. Francis. While it was WAY past my bedtime, I celebrated a true midnight Mass, not taking the creative interpretation of claiming a midnight Mass because it ENDED at midnight (a.k.a. an 11:00 O'clock "midnight Mass"...).
Finally, as we speak, I'm in Washington, DC. Through the generosity of the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales, whom I lived with for my three years of studies, I have a place to lay my head in DC. I'm taking advantage of their generosity and spending a few days catching up with friends. I've been visiting with friends here in DC, as well as taking a train up to Boston to catch up with some of my Capuchin friends up there. My good friend Br. James is in charge of their formation house (Friary of S. Lorenzo) in south Boston while working on his dissertation for the JCD. Did I mention that the Sam Adams brewery is only a block away? What a great tour and even greater tasting. The true highlight of the weekend, though, was that we had the privilege of sharing a very enjoyable lunch with Cardinal O'Malley yesterday, who himself is a Capuchin. It's been a great few days, but it's time to get back home.
Good ol' DC Metro:
There it is. My thesis was on the shelf in the university library. I have my own Dewey Decimal now...!
Riding Amtrak up to Boston (here's the New York city skyline):
With Fr. John, Fr. Dan, and Cardinal O'Malley:
At the Boston Cathedral with Capuchin friends Br. James and Fr. Charles:
No trip to DC is complete without a visit to Shelly's!