I told you after I was gone for most of October that I wouldn’t go anywhere for a while, and I have stayed true to my word. I am about to be gone again for a little bit. First I’m going to take some personal time. I will either go somewhere warm to golf or hole up by myself in the mountains somewhere, an equally awesome experience. On January 11th, I fly out to Chicago for another round of classes on spiritual direction. I will be in Chicago from the 11th to the 16th and then I have a wedding down at my old parish, St. Joseph’s in Vancouver. I was able to work out a deal with the pastor down there—we’ll exchange parishes for the weekend, so you will all have the pleasure of Fr. Gary Lazzeroni on the 17th and 18th. He will also cover the Newman Mass that weekend, and we will trade back parishes on Monday. I’m sure you all will love him and the different perspective he brings. Then I will be back in the saddle on Tuesday, January 20th, and will be around for a good number of weeks.
I told you all a few months ago that I needed to shift the weekday Mass times per doctor’s orders that I take better care of myself. The new set-up has helped quite a bit, but, as I told you before, I would give it until Christmas and see how my tests come out. While they did improve, the doctor still isn’t satisfied. For the last two and a half years, I have been trying to keep up the schedule that my predecessor had of two daily Masses and a couple of hours in the confessional a day, at both Sacred Heart and the Newman Center.
At my doctor’s orders I’m going to have to step it back a bit. We won’t be changing any of the Mass times, but each location is going to have to see a little reduction. Adoration, confessions and Mass on Wednesday at Sacred Heart have to be cut, as well as adoration and confession prior to Mass on Friday. The Friday 9:00 a.m. Mass will continue followed by extended adoration. The Newman Center will see the reduction of Mass, confessions and adoration on Tuesday and Thursday with the possibility of Mass on Friday added at some point, leaving them with Mass, adoration and confession on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.
I wish I was the strong, healthy guy that I appear to be and could keep up the schedule, but God has other plans. Hopefully everyone will seize the opportunity to come celebrate with the students on Wednesday and welcome them when they come to Sacred Heart on Tuesday and Thursday. This schedule is much more manageable, so I can say with fair certainty that the schedule should not change again while I’m here, as I know I have changed it a number of times in the last year. Thank you for your patience. I hope you all have a blessed couple of weeks and I’ll see you on January 20th.
Prayers Always, Fr. Joseph Altenhofen