I arrived in Knoxville right around noon on Wednesday, June 30. Since then, it has been an almost steady round of meeting and greeting. Thursday, for example, began with a parish staff meeting, at which I got to meet and talk with all the members of the parish staff. That was followed by an ecumenical lunch meeting at another downtown site. Then the pastor, the associate pastor, and I walked to the 2 banks that handle the parish and Paulist accounts and spent an entertaining hour or more filling out forms and signature cards. While there, I took advantage of the opportunity to open a personal account for myself at First Tennessee Bank - one more step on my odyssey to becoming a Tennesseean! Next, the pastor and I paid a call at the neighboring parish, the parish within which our common school is located. After a pleasant conversation with the local pastor and greeting his associate, we returned home to the Paulist house for our community dinner. Then it was back to the church for an evening with the Parish Pastoral Council and the Parish Finance Council. This morning, the pastor and I visited the school and the Diocesan Chancery, after which we concelebrated the noon Mass in the parish church. Now, as the city's pace shifts into holiday weekend mode, I am sitting by myself in our Paulist house, reading the Diocesan Handbook.
Moving has to one of life's most highly stressful activities, especially for those of us who are older. As I look ahead to the physical stress of moving later this month and to all the emotional farewells that lie ahead, I am encouraged by what I have seen here - now that I have seen for myself what a great place I will be moving to, what wonderful people I will be working with, and what exciting and dynamic Paulist ministry I will be part of.