On Monday I had the privilege of spending a couple of hours working at St. Joseph's Food pantry helping distribute turkeys and all the fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner. I heard on the news that nearly 500 hundred households were served by that endeavor. It was sad to know that so many people are experiencing hardship and are in need of assistance, but the atmosphere of the day was truly uplifting.
Unexpected visits and phone calls kept Tuesday interesting. I am always thrilled to add speaking engagements to my schedule because I enjoy being out with God's people rather than sitting behind my desk. Most of my venues for speaking engagements are in church or school settings, but once in a while a different type of opportunity arises. I was invited by the Cheyenne Frontier Lions Club to be the speaker at their annual Eagle Scout Recognition Banquet next March at the Radisson Hotel. I am truly honored by the invitation.
Ash Wednesday is March 1, 2017 and that always begins a busy time of year for me. Typically, I only agree to lead two parish missions during Lent. Being gone from home for five consecutive days for each mission makes doing more than two during any given liturgical season a difficult task. The administrative duties of my job do not cease to accumulate while I am out on the road. However, I just agreed to participate for one night in a third parish mission during Lent. The Cathedral of St. Mary will have a parish mission in March with a different speaker each night. I am going to kick it off on the first night. That is tentatively scheduled for March 20, 2017. (I will be at St. Patrick's in Wheatland and Our Lady of Fatima in Casper for the other two missions during Lent. I will be at St. James in Douglas for a parish mission in Advent of 2017--still a year away.)
Finally, a meeting yesterday with the regional planning team for the 2018 Southwest Liturgical Conference Study Week was exciting. Although it is still fourteen months away, it was great to be just a small part of the planning process which will bring this gathering to Cheyenne in January of 2018. It will be fantastic to see six or seven hundred people coming together to learn how we can more effectively worship almighty God through vibrant liturgical worship. Organizing an event like this is no small task. I commend the team for the groundwork already accomplished.
On a personal note, I completed the last review of my manuscript yesterday. The layout and design are approved and the final proofreading is finished. Whatever mistakes remain in the text will be there for good now. I cannot believe how many times you can read over something and still not catch all the grammatical or typographical errors. It is my sincere hope that the major flaws have been detected and corrected at this point. We now move into the final phase of the publishing process--the actual printing. The book will be ready for purchase just after the first of the year. More details will be given as the time draws near. It took me thirty years to turn this dream of writing a book into an actual goal. Once I made it a goal, with a specific timeline of objectives to be reached, I was able to have the discipline to follow through. I wish it would not have taken me so long to figure that out.
There is much to be thankful for in my life as we inch closer to Thanksgiving Day. The family is well. A new opportunity for employment came my wife's way and she will begin new adventures on December 1, 2017. I have only had four days off in the last six weeks, but I actually have no commitments over the Thanksgiving weekend. Subsequently, I am thankful for a four-day weekend. I am getting out of the saddle (my desk chair) for four days. That is a good feeling!