Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking."
Still reading the biography of Dorothy Day. Soon to be plowing through the program statements issued by the Federal Bureau of Prisons for volunteers on employee conduct, sexual misconduct, and illegal substances.
Yesterday, ministry at Catholic Charities in Santa Maria. Today, initial volunteer training at my future ministry site, the Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex, where men are incarcerated at low, minimum, and medium security levels in three different facilities. Got fingerprinted (the old-fashioned way: still got ink on my thumb) and sat through a two-and-a-half hour slideshow presentation on the policies and procedures of the Bureau of Prisons. Honestly, not a very inspiring morning, what with all the dos and don'ts (mostly don'ts). And people say the Church has a lot of rules; try on for size all the regulations governing your local prison or jail. I try to remember that God works even through the ministrations of a secular state. And if all goes as planned, the agency will issue me and a fellow novice a volunteer badge by Thanksgiving; then, under the supervision of the head chaplain, we will be able to talk one-on-one with any prisoner who needs someone who will listen to him.
Since Friday our fraternity has been entertaining the prefects of formation from each of the provinces of the North American and Pacific Capuchin Conference. They have been meeting to discuss the overall program of initial formation. This weekend they are being joined by the provincial ministers, too, who have their own business meetings in Santa Barbara. Tomorrow, the provincials and the provincial directors of initial formation will celebrate the Eucharist with us at San Lorenzo, with a brunch following. I look forward to checking in with my provincial leaders about the progress in our formation as well as simply enjoying the company of brothers from the New York/New England province. For them, I hope the feeling of catching up with us will be something like what proud parents feel when they visit their children at college, rejoicing quietly in their progeny's newfound maturity.
Cloudy, misty, and cool, getting cooler.