Bear with Me . . . A Personal Update

Dear Friends and Readers,

You may have noticed that I’ve been away for a while! Life has been full, but I can honestly say I’ve missed writing for you and being with you on this forum.

I’d like to offer a personal update to explain why I’ve been away from the blogging desk, and to explain why my blogging and retreat-directing may be a bit sporadic in the near future!

As many of you know, I’ve been working for the past year and a half as associate editor at Little Rock Scripture Study. I’ve enjoyed this work very much. Several months ago, the director of Little Rock Scripture Study (Cackie Upchurch, who has become a mentor and friend to me) surprised me and my colleague Lilly Hess with the news that she was planning to retire. To make a long story short, two things have come about since then. First, our longtime publishing partner Liturgical Press has purchased Little Rock Scripture Study from the Diocese of Little Rock and is now the sole owner of LRSS. And second, Liturgical Press has invited me to take on the role of director of Little Rock Scripture Study. I have some amazing shoes to fill!

My history with Little Rock Scripture Study goes back much farther than just the past year and a half. Some of you may recall my blog post about my first parish job: Sr. Blanche’s Desk. Well, I can tell you that as I sat at Sr. Blanche’s desk, the bookshelves behind me were lined with every Bible study that Little Rock Scripture Study had ever published. They say that Sr. Blanche was a Scripture scholar in her own right. She knew what she was doing. And she chose the best. And as those first years of ministry passed while I sat at Sr. Blanche’s desk, the Little Rock Scripture Study group at my parish met faithfully on Tuesday nights in the school library, breaking open the Word of God, breaking open their minds and hearts, faithfully reading, studying, learning, and being transformed together by God’s Word. What a witness they were to me, and what a wonderful sign of the power of study in community.

Sitting at Sr. Blanche’s desk with those books behind me, I had no idea, of course, where God would lead me or what direction my life would take. But looking back, I see the path. I have a feeling that many of you can relate to that experience—the way so many things become clearer when we look back.

As the director of Little Rock Scripture Study, I will continue working remotely from my home office in Connecticut (now my employer is Liturgical Press in Collegeville, Minnesota rather than the Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas). I hope to continue teaching for the Hartford Catholic Biblical School as well as occasionally at Sacred Heart University. I will also continue my column at Catholic Digest and will take up other writing projects as they come. There will still be retreats and talks (and blogs!), but they will be less frequent.

Of course my family is also keeping life busy! Our oldest daughter is going into her senior year in high school, so the college search is on. It’s hard to believe that she’ll be flying the coop a year from now. And then our second daughter a year later! Fortunately, Ono and I will still have the boys here for a while to keep us in line. Please keep our son Julian in prayer as he’s had some health challenges in the past several months. But nothing stops this kid physically, mentally, or heart-ily!

Thank you for reading, and thank you to many of you who have encouraged me to keep writing, no matter what. I’m sure going to try.

O God, the path before us is unclear. The path behind us tells a story. The story is about your abiding presence and your guiding hand. We know you are always with us, abiding and guiding. But we say the words, we ask—abide with us, guide us on the path ahead!

Love and blessings!

Arkansas Catholic: “Associate editor will be LRSS director for Liturgical Press”
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So proud to call these two ladies my friends: Lilly Hess (middle) and Cackie Upchurch (right). They’ve given so much of themselves to LRSS in service of God’s Word.

So proud to call these two ladies my friends: Lilly Hess (middle) and Cackie Upchurch (right). They’ve given so much of themselves to LRSS in service of God’s Word.