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Students at commencement

Ministry in Context

Staying connected

We live in a “connected” world. CNN has “breaking news” all day and all night. Compared to the social media activity, that’s slow. I’m not aware of any intern who doesn’t have email and a cellphone, and very few without mobile connectivity 24/7.

It’s good to be connected. I hope you stay connected to friends and family, to parishioners and colleagues, and to community and global events. And I trust you are staying connected to God, as you pray, dwell in Scripture, live with God’s people, and follow Jesus into paths of servant leadership.

You know all this, and you are probably experts at staying connected. But I’d like to remind you of two other significant people to whom you should stay connected: a) your faculty advisor and b) your candidacy committee contact person.

I had a conversation the other day with a faculty colleague. It went like this: “Rick, do you know (not to be named intern)?” “Yes, I do.” “How are they doing?” “Fine, as far as I know; why do you ask?” “Well, I don’t know them. They did not participate in discipleship group, and I’ve invited them to stop into my office to visit, but they have not responded. And of course, I have to fill out the “Form D” paragraph about them for their first call assignment. So how do I do that in a helpful way if I don’t know them, and they don’t seem interested in getting to know me? I suppose I could just say they’ve successfully avoided me for these years, but that probably wouldn’t look good on to the bishops who read it. Do you have any suggestions?”

If you have been “successfully avoiding” your faculty, advisor I’d suggest you reconsider. It’s hard for them to be helpful or be an advocate when they don’t really know you. Drop them an email with a brief update of your internship, and tell them you look forward to seeing them when you’re on campus. That would be a worthwhile connection.

Second, if you haven’t had any conversation with your candidacy committee recently, it would be a good idea to just send a “friendly check-in” note to your point person. You don’t need to say much. You can add whatever you like, but all you really need to do is give them a little update about your internship and thank them for keeping you in their prayers.

Enough. Blessings as you move into the summer months of ministry and life.

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