Yesterday was the end of another academic year for my formation class. This again has been both a wonderful and difficult year at the same time. It seems everyone in class struggled with some of the academics but most notably in our personal lives. From the death of parents, the illness of our children and our own personal struggles with health, we have all felt like what Fr Tim called "being in the olive press". There was a real sense of exhaustion. However, I think that there was a consensus that it would have been more difficult year without the support of our formation family and with the strengthening of our faith that the formation process has provided us with.
We also lost another classmate this year. Although he is leaving our class, he will be moving to Missouri and has already been accepted into their current formation program. Alan will be missed but we know he will be with us in spirit. That gets us down to 12 from the original 16 we had in our class.
The most pleasant surprise was that the Deacon in charge of formation came in and spoke to us about next year and preparations for ordination. After four years of study, we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is almost surreal.
So now, after all of the tests, papers, and presentations, we are ready for a break; to rest and recharge for the upcoming year. And for the first time in many years, we will be able to take full advantage of Advent (classes no longer end in mid-December) and all that this season offers (thanks Deacon Steve). I will certainly make the most of it.