Today, I received the official letter of appointment from Bishop Kicanas regarding my new parish assignment. Effective July 1, 2010, I will be the administrator of St. James Parish, Coolidge, AZ. I honestly had no plans of running a parish at this early in Ministry knowing that my caliber wasn’t too convincing. Serving in a church for over four years as an Associate may be considered overstaying. So, I suspect I might be pulled out this summer, work as an Assistant again for sometime before finally taking over a parish. But, no. The idea surprisingly came to light at the annual evaluation, when Msgr Tom suggested and challenged me to start thinking of becoming a Pastor and consider Coolidge, if possible. Don’t know where that is but I was dumbfounded as it was one of the strangest news I have ever heard from him lately. To ignore and resist that brilliant notion was the last thing on my mind. Later I goggled it and the results said, it was on the way to Phoenix. I significantly researched, prayed for it and drove there on Holy Monday for an oversight visit. As soon as I got off the freeway and followed route 87, I instantly fell in love with the place, though I was close to getting into an accident after overtaking two trucks.
Fr. Marco, the current Pastor gave me a quick tour of the parish and took me to lunch at a Mexican restaurant. He wasn’t a stranger to me. I met him in Douglas back in July of 2003 when I joined a March. Our conversation turned out smoothly as expected. Filled with curiosity, I asked as many questions as I possibly could and he was very open and honest. The info was a little bit too much though.
The following day, Tuesday, March 30, 2010 was the deadline for filing. It was last minute again but I’ve gotten used to it. I wrote the letter of application and dropped it at the chancery around 2pm. A week after, the Bishop called and broke the news that he was going to appoint me as administrator. Ohh thanks, Bishop, said I. This was probably what ‘don’t be surprised’ meant, a phrase posted not too long ago on my wall.