Fr. Samuel's e-Epistle for January 16, 2020
It has been some time since my last e-epistle however given some of the questions I have received this week, I think that I need to reiterate some things that I included in my retirement announcement last weekend. Also, I am behind on my book recommendations and restaurant reviews…..
First, my retirement
Last weekend I announced that the bishop has consented to my request to retire effective July 1. I made the announcement to the parish this early for two primary reasons. First the parish needs to become accustomed to the fact that I am going to retire. Second, my announcement initiated a needed time of transition. A new pastor coming in July changes certain dynamics in the parish. There are some decisions that I will need to leave to him. On the other hand there are some things that need to be done in preparation for his coming.
In addition to that, there are a few other things that I need to make clear.
The bishop will not announce who the new pastor will be until at least the end of May. Until then, any rumors that you might hear have their origin in someone’s overactive and/or ill-informed imagination. The priest personnel board of the diocese begins the work of discerning priest assignments in conjunction with the bishop about now. Until the announcement is made, the members of that board are required not to discuss their deliberations with anyone. The process of assigning pastors is very complex and nothing is cast in concrete until announcements are made in May.
For a number of reasons, Emmaus is a parish that will need a seasoned pastor. It is not a parish to which a first time pastor will be assigned.
It is likely that Fr. Barry will remain as parochial vicar. The personnel board usually does not move the parochial vicar when there is a change in pastors.
I will be remaining in the diocese. I have no intention of leaving the Austin area. This is my home. I also have no intention of returning to Pennsylvania. I have been gone from there for 40 years and it is just too darn cold.
Now for some books…..
The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope
When I recommended this book to a friend I told her that she might wonder at first why I recommended such a strange book. It does start out a bit oddly, but it quickly moves to being a profoundly beautiful story of the power of hope and love in human life. I think that the best word to describe this book is “magical.”
The Silent Patient
A young artist shoots her husband. From that point on she refuses to speak. She is sentenced to a mental hospital. A young psychiatrist takes a special interest in her case hoping to convince her to speak and to reveal the mystery of why she did what she did. I really thought that I had this mystery figured out, but was I very wrong. Michaelides has written a masterful debut work with an astounding ending.
Murder at Malenfer
This novel is a combination of murder mystery and ghost story, with both good and evil ghosts. I enjoyed it immensely and if you like a good murder mystery with more than a touch of the supernatural you will as well.
News of the World
Set in Texas in the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa from Wichita Falls to her surviving relatives in Castroville. This is a well rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel on the development of the relationship between the two central characters. Jiles does a great job, as well, of giving the reader a good sense of life in Texas in the post-Civil War years.
One Good Deed
Baldacci has a new central character and not since the Camel Club series have I enjoyed a novel as much by this prolific author. Archer, a WWII veteran, on parole from prison, is forced to investigate a small-town murder or risk returning to prison. Baldacci works his magic well here in creating this new protagonist who ends up caught in a web of events from which he emerges okay as a result of luck and resourcefulness.
And a restaurant review:
Shore Raw Bar and Grill
, 8665 W. TX 71, Suite 100, Austin
I have been to Shore, located on the corner of TX 71 and Covered Bridge Road near Oak Hill, for lunch twice. Both the blue crab wedge salad and the salmon Caesar salad were impressive. I have read rave reviews as well on Nextdoor. With Lent coming it is good to know that there is another excellent seafood restaurant not far from Lakeway.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Samuel Hose
on Thursday, January 16 at 3:14PM