A bunch of parishioners have stopped me after Mass to express surprise that I wasn't down in Washington again, or to ask when my next semester begins. So I thought I'd take a moment to clarify what is going on with my studies.
Bishop Cote has directed me to study canon law in addition to my parish duties. The program of studies that I am in is run out of Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.--it is actually the only school in the U.S. that offers this program. The particular program that I am in meets in person during the summer in Washington, D.C., for four summers and utilizes online classes during the fall and spring for three years. So that means that I will be down in Washington, D.C., during June and July for the next three summers, and up here in the diocese each August through May.
As of now, I am back! I am currently juggling two online classes alongside my ministry work, so I may not have the exact same availability that I used to have, but I am already back in the normal rotation for weekend and weekday Masses. You'll see me regularly still, at least until I disappear again next summer!
Canon law itself is the set of laws that specify the rights and the duties that we have inside the Church. It is likely that, after I complete the degree, I will work part-time in the Diocesan tribunal in Norwich, and part-time in parish ministry. So it will be a slightly different path of ministry than Fr. Rick and Fr. Bill have taken, and not quite what I had expected, but I am happy to be of service to the diocese, and I am very grateful that I can continue to remain at Blessed Sacrament in the meantime! Looking forward to another great year with you all!