Well, I’ve had my first six weeks of being Rector Emeritus of St Clement’s, and very pleasant it has been. I’ve seen old friends in Scotland and England and had time to talk with new friends. This was especially true this last week at the annual conference of the Society of Catholic Priests in Toronto. I met a dozen or two priests and seminarians whom I had know heretofore only by means of Facebook. However, I must confess my gratitude to Facebook, and how accurate was the impression I had received about these new friends even before I met them in the flesh.
One result of the SCP synod is that I have already received several invitations to preach in various parishes all over the States and even in one case to address the students of one of our seminaries. This pleases me very much, but I am still not sure what I would like to be doing for the next year or two while I am still, thank God, reasonably compos mentis and passably healthy. I am free from running a parish, but I certainly don’t want to sit about doing nothing. Maybe the readers of this blog can suggest ways for me to occupy my time?
I have always loved reading and writing more than anything else, and my new freedom will give me a chance to do more of both. As I think I mentioned before, I have been writing a sort of autobiography (Well, it must be if it begins “I was born in Hawick in the Scottish Border country on January 28, 1943″) but I have tried to keep it light in the manner of Colin Stephenson’s “Merrily on High”, and with that in mind have called it “Have Biretta, Will Travel”. It is almost finished, so my next step will be the agonizing one of submitting it to publisher after publisher till one may take it. However, don’t contact Amazon yet: it is far from that stage.
In the next few months, I am going to concentrate on close friends, fidelity to the Divine Office, and making a new home for myself in a space that is going to be minute compared with the Rectories and Deaneries I have inhabited. That should be challenge enough. My freedom will be very different from that of a prisoner let out of his tiny cell; mine will be the very opposite, but none the less exhilarating for that.