Last Sunday, there was parish reception to mark my retirement. The pastor said a few very kind words and presented me with a lovely watch. Many of my catechists attended and were astonishingly generous in their gifts. The deacons, comedians that they are, commiserated with my husband who will now have to share his leisure time with me and made jokes about chasing the guy with the truck for two blocks in order to purchase my watch. I wanted to remind them that the event was a reception, not a roast, but held my tongue. The 11:30 Mass was said for the intention of a happy retirement and I was given a corsage before Mass began and was presented with a bouquet that would have done Miss America proud just before Mass concluded. It was lovely, made with white roses, two different varieties of red roses, white hydrangeas and lilies, ferns and other greenery. The blooms are now gracing my entry hall. I put them in a nice tall vase immediately upon arriving home.
Thursday was my last work day before I can enjoy four weeks vacation. I come back to the office for the month of August to help my replacement acclimate to this parish. She is a certified coordinator and I have every confidence that she will be a good fit for the program but I just want to help her over that initial hump of getting to know what is unique to this parish. She'll need to know which families need a little extra TLC, which families are high maintenance and demanding, what the pastor expects at the Tuesday meeting, how we do parent orientation, how we handle family catechesis , etc.. The first year, the pastor wants her to follow my model and my calendar. After that, she'll be free to make the program her own, tweaking it as she sees fit. After twenty years of my way, I think it's about time for new blood, new ideas and new methods.