It occurred to me today that it's been about a year since our pastor (of 25 years) announced his retirement.
It's been about a year (give or take a few seconds) that thinly veiled projections of the world's ending were given by some members of the parish, and it's been that same amount of time since I first realized I wasn't going to miss him as acutely as "some members of the parish."
It's been almost a year since they announced that for our parish's Lenten Mission that year, they would be hosting a couple of psychiatrists to help us all "cope with the transition." And then the transition, which included the Transition Prayer, which was prayed at every Mass from Father's announcement until the installation of the new pastor (an interminably long period of about 7 months, which included some time after Father Jon's arrival but before his installation). The Transition Prayer, which included such phrases as "Help us reassure and support each other in this time of change."
It's been perhaps 9 months since we found out who our new pastor would be, and everyone began Googling his name in an attempt to find out as much as possible about him before he arrived.
It's been about 7 months since Father Tim's week-long farewell celebrations, where we honored (in due fashion) the priest who founded our parish, and when everyone crowded around him to say good-bye (or perhaps just to say they actually talked to Father, for the first time). We joked during a skit that the Archbishop had decided to revoke his retirement, after seeing how well-loved Father Tim was. Everyone laughed, but I bet that there were some in the audience who were sorry to learn that we were only joking.
It's been almost 6 months since Father Jon was formally installed by the Archbishop, and the Transition Prayer finally disappeared. It wouldn't surprise me if there were some people there who were hoping Father Tim would run in at the last minute, having decided to forgo his retirement.
It's been a few months since Father Jon started wearing his brocade vestments at Mass. Sure, he doesn't match the rest of the Sanctuary, but it is nice to have one aesthetic spot in the midst of a sea of polyester.
It's been a while since the gloom-and-doom predictions started rolling in, and I'm glad to say that last time I checked, the sky hadn't fallen on our church yet.