I suppose I should include here a brief apology for having strayed from all of you faithful readers for a couple of months now (ouch). Many times I have started to write and then just could never get my thoughts all together. Let's hope I see this post through to completion...
Anyway, that's the exciting news of the day/week/month! We are no longer a wayward diocese praying for a new bishop; we are now uniting and praying for a specific bishop-elect, Msgr. John Folda from the Lincoln, NE diocese! I woke up this morning to a phone call from Tim, my old Team Director at 6:46 a.m. I had no idea why he would possibly be calling me until he groggily uttered two words that completely changed the way my day could go: "habemus ebiscopus!" In other words, we have a bishop! He gave me a quick run-down of who it is, where I can find more information, and then hurriedly said goodbye, probably so he could continue calling his other Catholic friends who would be oh-so-excited at such news.
Seeing as I had a pretty late night last night I thought I'd take another peek behind my eyelids, but man, I was so excited there was no way I was going back to sleep anytime soon! Rather, in my excitement I hopped out of bed, randomly did 30 push-ups, put on a pot of coffee (which was probably actually not necessary at this point), cleaned my room, folded and put away two loads of laundry and did a full sink's worth of dishes. All of that was of course after blowing up my twitter feed about the new Bishop and before getting myself ready for the day. Excited much? I'd say so. I honestly felt like a little kid at Christmas! I stopped myself at one point and realized, "Wow Kelsey, this is where you've come. You freaking love the Catholic Church." And then I said to my sarcastic self, "Yes, yes I do."
After holy hour on Mondays we normally have our weekly "team development," but with Cari being gone at a wedding this weekend it's hard to do things without her! FRC (Fr. Cheney, that is) strolled into our office to check the thermostat, holding his usual John Deere mug filled with his deliciously unique brew while Bryan and I excitedly jumped around the office like schoolchildren. Both of us dressed for the occasion: Bryan in his huskerCatholic shirt, me donning the shirt in the picture to the right. The three of us made a last-minute decision to quick hop in the caddy and drive down to the diocesan Pastoral Center in South Fargo for the press conference being held in 20 minutes with the new Bishop-elect. We got there a few minutes before it started and Bryan and I quickly realized how out of place we were, being the only non-reporters and non-clergy present. That's alright though because 1) we got to see Bishop Kagan again, who we just met last Thursday and 2) Valley News Live interviewed Bryan and Fox News interviewed me for their nightly news story for this story!
If you'd like to see the news clip featuring Bryan, and a few smiles from yours truly, click here!
If you'd like to see an article where I'm quoted, click here. Unfortunately I never did get to see Fox's story, but they did pick a line out of my interview for the article--so cool!
We had the honor of meeting Msgr. Folda after the press conference and he told us how excited he was about the work FOCUS does and how much he appreciates us missionaries. Whew! We are officially in with the Bishop before he even gets here! Solid. That is totally fine by me.
So that was the excitement of the week--and so early on, too! A lot has happened since I've last written, so it's kind of difficult to just pick up where I left off. However, I will give you a quick list of highlights....at least to the best of my ability.
|Kristen, Josie, Kelsey, post-Easter Vigil Mass|
- Theology of the Body study on Tuesdays. This is seriously the highlight of my semester. I'll probably have a feature story about it in my next newsletter, but anytime someone asks me to tell them a story I often refer back to this. Watching the women grow, myself and Cari included, in this important knowledge of the beauty and intricacy with which we were created is completely blowing my mind! I look forward to 7:30 on Tuesday all week, and whenever 8:30 rolls around I'm never quite ready to be done. It's just. that. good.
- Lunch with the Bishop. Unfortunately Cari was out of town, but every year team NDSU and UND up in Grand Forks try to get together for a dinner with the Bishop. Last year we all got to chum it up with now Archbishop Samuel Aquila, but unfortunately the Fargo Diocese has been sede vacante since July. We randomly emailed Msgr. Goering, the Vicar General, to see if he would mind humoring us with a meal, and he replied with a most delightful message: the bishop would be coming into town in two days and would be delighted to have lunch with us! Needless to say, we were able to meet and chat with Bishop Kagan of the Bismarck Diocese (our Apostolic Administrator) and he is also very delighted by FOCUS' work on the three campuses in ND.
- Easter in Duluth. Josie and I traveled over to Duluth for Easter this year! Kristen, as you may remember, was an inherited disciple of mine last year and she has now gone on to be a missionary (and a mighty good one, might I add!) in Duluth this year. This was her first major holiday away from her family (which is quite large--she has 8 younger sisters!), and Kelly Pechous, a young woman who used to go to school at NDSU but transferred to UMD was getting confirmed during the Easter Vigil. I thought it'd be neat to both witness that and see Kelly as well as be with Kristen during the holiday. A nice twofer, I'd say. It wasn't until the drive home that I realized how our trip up there really stirred up a longing for home within me, and I decided that I'd be coming back home in time for Mother's Day on May 12th. Yay.
- Rodeo. That's right, the official PRCA rodeo came into town this past weekend! It was my first rodeo ever and oh-so-fun. We watched a 53-year-old man break the arena record in steer wrestling with a time of 3.8 seconds! If you want to watch some videos check out youtube, I'm sure they're on there. This was my first experience with the "cowboy culture" and boy did I love it. I think my new dream is to save up for a pair of my own cowboy boots, if I could ever get past the fact that I'd be a complete and total poser. Are you kiddin' me? I grew up in Sauk City, WI where cowboys were only seen on my favorite TV programs. But man, what a fun group of people. I knew I'd like it when the announcer opened the evening's events with this line: "They can take it out of our schools, they can take it away from our children, but our country will never take prayer out of the rodeo, let us pray..." and he proceeded to open with a prayer in Christ's name. Nice way to start any evening, I'd say!
- Scavenger hunt at the mall. That's right, we pulled it off. We wanted to do something fun and joyful for our April student missionary night, being during the Easter Octave and all, so we racked our brains and came up with the idea of a scavenger hunt...in the mall! One Wednesday morning the four of us went over to the mall, walking around for a solid two hours looking for ideas of clues we could use. We ended up coming up with some pretty fun and difficult ones, and the 60 students that came to our mountain that night (which is only half, unfortunately!) went crazy! There was also a $50 gift card/person for the group that won, so that was a little incentive to try hard. I was impressed with the students' indomitable spirits as we split them up into arbitrary groups, many not with the friends that they normally hang out with. It was just a really great time, and because we wanted everyone to win, so to speak, we totally clogged up the DQ line in the food court and bought them all ice cream afterwards, much to the employees' dismay.
Peace and blessings,