Change of Gears

Courtesy of the author.

I learned to drive when I was ten.  Most fun was driving the standard shift of our 48 half ton grey Ford truck.  Let the clutch out slowly in first gear, speed up enough to clutch it smoothly into second gear, then again finally into the third gear. 

It was important too to know how to gear down on hills!  The most intriguing gear my dad called ‘Bull low’.  When hauling grain at harvest time or to the elevator in our little town of Davin, it was the gear to begin with.  A slow powerful gear.

I think I have used all those gears in my life especially during the past months adapting to a new way of being pastor in my parish.  It has been a formidable six months. 

Having spent the last six weeks soloing waiting for a new assistant, I’ve shifted through a number of gears as I finished with baptisms, confirmations, marriages, and a few funerals all delayed because of the pandemic. 

Then suddenly a long awaited respite— time for an annual retreat and holidays.  The question? What gear do I engage now? 

Sitting looking out at Last Mountain Lake in Saskatchewan, now also under the gaze of Our Lady of Lourdes only since last Sunday when Jeff Burwell and some people from Saskatchewan Beach perched the statue on a pedestal, coincidently on the same day my boyhood parish celebrated the annual pilgrimage to her shrine at St Pete’s , Kronau,

I wonder with her guidance I will figure out the proper gear for my retreat and holidays even while distracted by that pike leaping out of the water not once but twice.

Frank Obrigewitsch, SJ, is pastor of St. Ignatius parish in Winnipeg.

  • Ann Ascoli
    Posted at 07:18h, 10 October Reply

    I enjoy following the comments on the Jesuit blogs. I see your name fairly regularly. I have fond memories of your time at Loyola Montreal. Happy to hear that you are a pastor out west.
    God bless you Father Frank in your new assignment

    • Roy Frank Obrigewitsch
      Posted at 16:07h, 11 October Reply

      Good to hear from you Ann. Bless you!

  • Peter bisson
    Posted at 22:57h, 10 October Reply

    Thank you Frank!

  • Deborah
    Posted at 08:39h, 13 October Reply

    Lovely. Just a thought … a fish that jumps once is a distraction, a fish that jumps twice is an invitation. Got bait? Thanks for your insights and perspective, Frank. They always encourage me to think about things in a different, and better, way.

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