It's been a busy few days here in Springfield and elsewhere, with the final preparations coming together for tomorrow's departure for Madrid, Spain to attend the World Youth Day 2011.
Last weekend I celebrated the weekend Masses in Carlinville and then met with the Vocation Director of the Society of the Divine Word. Afterwards I made dinner for a visiting priest and brother on a mission appeal at the Cathedral parish and two of our new seminarians who stayed at the Cathedral prior to the seminarian gathering.
Monday and Tuesday the Diocesan seminarians gathered with the Vocation Directors and the Bishop prior to heading off to their respective seminaries to begin their Fall studies and preparation. The older seminarians welcomed the new seminarians; it was a delightful gathering.
After the gathering ended on Tuesday afternoon, the Bishop and I drove to Chicago prior to the episcopal ordinations of Bishops Alberto Rojas and Andrew Wypych, Auxiliary Bishops of Chicago.
The past several days have found me attempting to catch up on corresponce, both postal and electronic, a task that will continue throughout the day.
Yesterday I celebrated the evening Masses in Shelbyville and in Moweaqua and intended to attend a wedding reception in Vandalia after the Masses, but a drastic change in the weather prevented me from doing so. When I left Springfield about 2:00 p.m. it was 92 degrees; when I left Shelbyville about 5:20 p.m. it was 68 degrees; when I returned to Springfield about 8:00 p.m. it was 78 degrees. Such changes sapped my strength and prudence dictated I spend as little time in the car as possible.
This morning I will assist the Bishop at the dedication of the new addition to Blessed Sacrament School here in Springfield. In the afternoon and evening I will continue catching up on things (and hopefully working a bit ahead) and packing for the World Youth Day.
Tomorrow morning the Bishop and I will drive to Alton for the reception of two postulants as novices and the first profession of four novices in the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George. After the celebrations there will begin our journey to Madrid.
Please keep us in your prayers!