It’s been two whole weeks since I officially became a civilian. I have meant to brag on my chaplain team at Canadian Forces Base Borden, some of the most talented and devoted padres I’ve had the pleasure to work with, and for their very kind sendoff.
This gift was presented to me at my official departure. When I unwrapped it, I assumed that they had just enlarged my official CAF portrait, but sensing my confusion, my wife Joy pointed out that “It’s a painting, you dope”. Sure enough it is a painting, an astonishingly lifeline rendering of my portrait.
A new portrait of me dressed for work would show me with the same clerical collar, much longer hair (it hasn’t been cut since COVID 19 started) and civilian clothes. Yesterday I was delighted to start a new job as the interim Priest in Charge of the parish of All Saints, King City, in the Diocese of Toronto. We have a shortage of clergy, and when the Bishop, whom I greatly admired, asked me to consider the appointment, I didn’t feel that I could sit on the sidelines. I am lavished with support and love by my wife Joy, who encouraged me to take this next step in my vocation.
All Saints is a parish in the heart of horse and farm country, a short drive north of the city of Toronto, in York Region. The original building dates from the mid 1800s, and the new church and hall are from the mid 20th century. It is in good repair and I look forward to seeing it from the inside this Thursday. The lay leaders that I’ve met thus far are talented and faithful people who have done an amazing job of holding the church together thus far.