Sunday, December 26, 2010

Overdue Update...

I got a couple of questions via e-mail that have prompted me to write this much overdue update!

Now that I am back at the monastery, I have received a couple of work assignments. I am now the Assistant Director of Development at the Abbey and I will assist in Campus Ministry at Benedictine College (BC) (Masses, confessions, spiritual direction, teach RCIA, chaplain of the KofC, assist with FOCUS leaders, etc.).

Since BC is on their Christmas break right now, my time has been primarily focused on development. I am currently engaging our 13-member Development Board through individual meetings with each person (learning our history and getting ideas for the future - BE AFRAID, be very afraid!), reading some books on fundraising, meeting with development personnel at other institutions, attending in-house meetings here at the Abbey, etc... whatever I can do to catch up in this field. It has been enlightening, educational and somewhat daunting to learn what can be done in this endeavor and, indeed, what needs to be done for it to work well. Please keep me and the Abbey in your prayers!!

Mom is doing well for her condition (early stages of dementia). Though she forgets things on occasion, her memory is still intact for the most part. She gets around with the help of Barry, Richard & Laura and her wonderful siblings. I talk to her frequently and look forward to getting home on a more regular basis with not so much time between visits.

Richard & Laura and their kids are doing well... really getting into good shape (well, except for Richard!). Barry is no longer dating his previous girlfriend, Alyson. Say a prayer for each of them - that they will find God's will and peace in their lives.

As for me, I am settled into my new room - Out of the Novitiate and onto the main hall on the 3rd floor of the monastery!! A little more room which is now pretty full with my books, files, computer, etc. (oh yeah, and my bed - as it doubles as my bedroom and my working office). Christmas has brought many celebrations (as usual), liturgically and socially (in the monastery and outside). I am just trying to get ready for the onslaught which will begin when the students get back to school.

That's about it for now... Oremus Pro Invicem (Let us pray for one another).

In Christ, our infant King,
Father Justin Damien Dean

P.S. And there is the matter of a little college football game on January 10th, but that is a long way away from my thoughts right now...

Monday, December 13, 2010

Vows and Home Visit...

For the Mass of my first monastic vows, my mom made surprise visit with Richard, Barry and Ann Marie (Richard's daughter). Everything went well with the vows Mass on December 8th. We had a nice dinner reception afterwards and I left for Montgomery the next morning at 5:00 AM, dropping mom, Richard and Ann Marie off at the KC airport on my way to Montgomery. (Thanks for the many prayers for my trip home - they worked!!)

I am now in Montgomery for my 5-day Home Visit. I had a few gatherings (in Montgomery, Troy & Auburn) so that I could see a lot of friends and former parishioners. They concluded yesterday at Queen of Mercy. It was great to see everyone.

Right now (Monday morning) I am sorting through stuff and putting it into 3 piles - (1) take to Kansas, (2) leave at home and (3) get rid of! It is a big job and I am glad that I started it 2 days before I return to Kansas. I drove a van to Montgomery so that I can take my books and other things back with me.

That's all for now. Thanks for the prayers and be assured of mine for all of you!

God bless,