President’s Pen – April 2023
Have you ever sat down to make another PCS task list and felt so overwhelmed that after an hour the paper is still blank? I’ve moved 25 times and usually it feels like second nature. Perhaps this move is weighing me down because it is the fourth in four years. Or maybe it is because the last three months have been a grueling stretch of work travel, caring for my elderly mom, helping my siblings, being there to support my husband’s career, fitting in time to see my grandkids, house-hunting, and now I’m exhausted before I begin.
I know I’m not alone because the chaos and transition turmoil of PCS season is upon us at military locations all over. Orders? Check. Movers scheduled? Check. EFMP? Check. And it’s not just households that are stressed.
Chapel CWOCs are discerning and turning over their leadership teams. Women are researching chapel communities and parishes in their new areas. Some families are looking for Catholic education opportunities. It can be a long list of tasks that seems to change daily.
There are two things that anchor me in this season:
- Whether it is one state over, across the country, or across an ocean, I am always encouraged because I trust that God is my advance party. He is already there working to bring about His plan for us and others arriving in countless new locations. He is blessing our future priests in their vocations. He is calling women to step into leadership at our future chapels. God is paving the way for my family to be spiritually connected and blessed in our new assignment. Phew—I’m so grateful to God that He can keep watch over all His flock no matter where we are or where we are headed.
- As we slide into May, a month in which we honor and seek Mary’s intercession, I take tremendous comfort in knowing Mama Mary is there for me. Who better understands when base lodging says they lost your reservation and “there’s no room in the inn”? She is there for us in all the daily struggles of life to calm us through the example of her grace. Mary is also a reflection of deep trust and faith. She serves as a reminder that I need not worry over the minutiae, but rather keep my gaze on her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
No matter if you are moving or staying put this year, I hope you will continue to seek ways to find the faith community God has prepared for you. I will lift us all in prayer that we can use our God-given gifts and talents to be part of the unique military experience that connects, unites, and inspires us in this, our lives.
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