The New Wine Press vol 26 no 1 September 2017 - Page 5

Leadership New Wine; New Wineskins by Fr. Ron Will, c.pp.s., Provincial Council On June 30th, I closed one chapter of my life as the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in St. Joseph, Missouri. It had been a wonderful ten-year experience. I could write a book about it. On July 1st, I began a new chapter of my life, beginning with a sabbatical experience that will lead to becoming part of the renewal team at Precious Blood Renewal Center in Liberty, Missouri. There are a lot of unknowns as I begin this chapter, so a theme that is running through my mind is, “Father, I put my life in your hands” from Psalm 31. I think our whole Province is putting our lives into the Father’s hands as a Symposium on Community Life recently took place in Rome with representatives from all the units of our world Community. I am con- fident that it will produce new ideas for both our Community-living and our ministry. In September, discussions between our Kansas City Province and the Cincinnati Province will lead us to another stage of ministry. So, we are all putting our lives in the Father’s hands. As I drove away from my last chapter, with St. Francis Xavier Church in my rear-view mirror, tears in my eyes and heaviness in my heart, I felt deeply that I was leaving behind so many fond memories, endearing people, strengthening prayer experiences, and multiple effective parish activities—more than I can count. As I drove away, I knew that there was a lot of unfinished work and unfinished relationships. But now it is time to begin a new chapter. Jesus said, "I must go to other towns and villages to preach the Good News." The Holy Spirit is nudging and inspiring me and us to do the same thing. I am sure that Jesus felt the same way at his Ascension; there was unfinished work. The day I drove away was July 1st, the Feast of the Precious Blood, a day when we re-commit to live our missionary lives more faithfully. After I delivered my belongings to Precious Blood Renewal Center and got settled in a little, I went for a walk on the labyrinth with its twists and turns. It was a foretaste of what my future is going to be. But I know that it will lead me to something good, just like the labyrinth did. Along with Don Quixote, I am off to new adventures—but no windmills! God longs to make my life and our Community life a glorious adven- ture. We must, however, stop clinging to old ways and be on the lookout for all that God has prepared for us. In Isaiah 49:14, God says “See I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Notice that God did not say, “I am going to do a new thing.” God says I am creating a new thing. continued on page 5 September 2017 • The New Wine Press • 3