August 10th – one of the most significant days of the calendar year for me.
- the 10th anniversary of my entrance into the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia Congregation (aka the Nashville Dominicans)…
- the 7th anniversary of Bishop Malone’s installation as Bishop of Buffalo…
- and the first anniversary of my last day working for Bishop Malone.
I remember when I did the calendar math last July and realized that my last official day at the Catholic Center would be the Bishop’s anniversary. “Yikes,” I thought, “What a day to go out!” Then I realized that since August 10th was a Friday, the Bishop wouldn’t be in the office for my final day. That helped to make it less awkward that I was raining on his anniversary parade, but it was still weird to be making my exit on that date. I couldn’t help but remember the surprise party I’d thrown for him the year prior when he celebrated his 5th anniversary of installment.
It was fun to surprise the Bishop that August afternoon when he entered the break room expecting the usual monthly birthday routine only to discover the cake had his name on it! I’m a great lover of a good surprise and it made my heart happy to know that we’d been able to celebrate the Bishop as he marked his 5th anniversary.
My desire to watch the installation Mass was primarily centered on hearing Bishop Malone speak to his new flock during his homily. At the conclusion of his remarks, I gave him very high marks. I appreciated his diction and his demeanor while I admired his sense of humor and his intelligence. My Mom and I were watching it together and I turned and said to her, “This is great – it seems like we’ve been given a good bishop!” Oh Siobhan of 2012 – I’m glad you didn’t know what was coming as you sat in your favorite chair in Mom and Dad’s family room and thought such positive thoughts about your diocese’s new bishop.
It makes me tear up to remember that afternoon… coming home early from work to be sure I didn’t miss the first public appearance and address of our new shepherd. I wanted to admire and respect Bishop Malone and, at first, I very much did. 3 years later, I would join his Chancery team with a joyful, grateful heart. One of the first things Bishop Malone gave me at that time was a prayer card/bookmark that had been distributed as a favor of sorts to those attending his installation Mass. It contained his coat of arms and the following prayer:
This is an equally beautiful and powerful prayer. I remember the Bishop cautioning me to “pray it at your own risk” because of the depth of abandonment expressed therein. I recall how impressed I was by the prayer and the Bishop’s use of it. I’d heard and seen this prayer before, but it wasn’t until the Bishop’s Office that I began to pray it regularly. In fact, I hung it on one of my cubicle walls so that I could see it and pray it with frequency.
Bishop Malone and I obviously have very different ideas about how we’re letting God’s will be done in us.
On this date that marks Bishop Malone’s 7th anniversary of installation, I earnestly pray that he will soon resign.
On this date that marks my 10th anniversary of convent entrance, I’m sure Bishop Malone dearly wishes that I had stayed in Nashville and never left.
But a year after my last official day at the Chancery, I have no regrets or doubts about what I did last August. As much as I could be, I was “ready for all” and “accepted all” through God’s grace and guidance. I still ask Our Lord to do with me as He wills and I offer all of this to Him with “all the love of my heart.”
My heart is fatigued, my mind is frustrated, and my faith is fragile, but my soul is in my Father’s hands.
I love you, Lord… on August 10th and every day of the year.
*Photo credits (left, top right and bottom right) are as follows: WBFO photo by Eileen Buckley; Sharon Cantillon of the Buffalo News