PRIVATE UPDATE | Family and Friends, private list

Sunday, September 26, 2021:

Today marks 28 days since Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana. Ida made landfall on Sunday, August 29. I returned to the United States on Monday, August 30. I arrived back in Houma on the evening of Friday, September 3. On Saturday, September 4 I went to Grand Isle.

And ... then ... on Monday, September 6 I started in my new role. Today marks day 21 "back" in the chancery, this time serving as Diocesan Coordinator of Hurricane Ida Disaster Response. 

Many of you have inquired how I am doing. Many of you have checked in on me. All of you are praying for me. For most of you reading this letter I have been unavailable for personal conversation. I remain deeply grateful for your love. However, the intensity of these past 21 days has required a focus on focus.

 

Please know that my radio silence has not been intentional in the sense of avoidance, not is it an indication of how I am doing. My focus on "the job" is merely a discipline of trying to navigate a most interesting season of leadership.

On Sunday, September 5, the day before I started in this new role, I spent the day in the chancery. I placed the Blessed Sacrament on my desk and asked the Lord to speak to me about how He was calling me to live and lead. I have never done this before. I wasn't expecting either Ida or the new role of leadership. However, the Lord spoke clearly that He was not surprised, for He knows all things. Thus, with the the Blessed Sacrament on my desk, I asked Him to speakThat day I felt led to draft a Rule of Life to serve as a guide during Ida response. Here are the highlights:

 

Humanly ... I ask the Lord for help with ...

  • Sleep 6-8 hours per night

  • Diet: stay focused; 3 meals a day; shake in the morning; real dinner

  • Exercise: Fitbit goal is 15,000 steps or 6 miles, 4 times a week

  • No work after 18:00

  • Dinner once every 7-14 days: Mike D, Moniers, Donald, Kristin, Mom & Dad, etc.

 

Spiritually ... I ask the Lord for help with ...

  • Liturgy of the Hours

  • Holy Hour

  • SD every two weeks, even if only for check-in

  • Confession once a week

 

As a leader ... I ask the Lord for help with ...

  • Serve as the river boat pilot, not the captain

  • I can’t “do” anything: no podcasts, no videos, no HTV, no new initiatives

  • Quarterback, delegate only

  • Decade of the Rosary after every “segment”

  • Regular relational eval with BF/SP/BB

  • Dan Celluci once every 7-14 days; as needed

So far, so good. Really, even though I have been off the radar for relationships, I do feel grateful about "where" I am after 21 days in the new role. The Lord has been near, very near. While the sabbatical ended a month early, and did so rather abruptly, I feel the grace of sabbatical is permeating the reality of life. While the days are intense, the voice of the Lord has been clear and faithful. I haven't lost my humanity to the frenzy of recovery. I have, for the most part, been able to live the disciplines of the Rule of Life mentioned above.

If I had to pick one, and only one, Scripture passage that most captures my heart, it would be John 21 and Jesus' three-fold question to Peter: "Do you love me?" I love Him, more than anything. And, in the end, I will forever do whatever He asks of me. While these past 21 days were not on my radar, I trust that He brought me home and that He has asked me to serve Him in this way.

I hope to move back to Grand Isle sometime before Thanksgiving. From now until then I will spend every day do what's need to put structures in place so that the Bishop and the Diocese are in the best place possible for recovery. 

Grand Isle was hit hard. Perhaps the worst hurricane ... ever ... to hit the island. The church suffered damage, but nothing that can't be fixed. As intense as things are now with the diocesan leadership role, I anticipate that what awaits me when I return to the island will be equally challenging. Yet, in the midst of it all ... the Lord is near ... the Lord is leading. 

I'll try to write once a week. Know of my love for you.

FM