I realize that my posts have become less and less frequent in the past several years, in part because I began using Twitter and Facebook more, but also because my Muse seemed to desert me. Seeing that as of Thursday, September 6, I will no longer be a general councilor, however, I thought it appropriate to write something. I presume this blog will live on after my return to the province, but it will take on a different tone.
The last twelve years of my life have been an amazing journey, and not just in a metaphysical sense. I have flown almost 1.5 million miles during these years and have at least stepped foot in 53 countries. I have met thousands of Capuchins -- I only wish I could remember the names of half of them. My world has greatly expanded since the days when I was a small boy in Olmitz, Kansas.
I wish to express here my gratitude to the friars who had enough faith in me to elect me as a general definitor in 2006 and re-elect me in 2012. I likewise thank all the brothers who supported me, prayed for me, and welcomed me when I visited and made me feel at home. It was a great privilege and honor to serve in this capacity. The examples of faithfulness and cheerful dedication that I saw in so many friars confirmed me in my vocation.
Finally, I want to express my gratitude to the other definitors/councilors with whom I worked during these twelve years. We sometimes had our differences, and once in a while we stepped on each other's toes, but at the end of the day, we were still brothers. Special thanks goes to Brother Mauro, under whom I served for all twelve years. He was and is a great brother, a man without guile. He taught me much about leadership. I can honestly say that I grew as a person and as a friar by my association with him.
I am very happy to be returning to my province, but I will always consider these years in Rome, while not without their moments of frustration and loneliness, as a time of grace in my life. I wish all the best to my successor, and pray that his experiences are every bit as rich as mine were.