By Fr. Mike, O.P.
I’ve never been very good at writing “Good Bye” letters to groups of people I have come to care about over the 17 years I’ve been a Dominican Friar.
So, I don’t!
My life as mendicant preacher, a friar who is always moving from community to community, has taught me to take Jesus’ lead on how to understand things like this. Have you ever noticed in all four Gospels He never said “Good Bye” to anyone? The closest He came was MT 28:20b (the very last sentence of the Gospel) when He said, “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of age.” Of course, I cannot not make anything approaching that exact claim but I understand what He meant as it relates to the life of a Dominican, a member of the parish here, and a person of faith.
Here is what I truly want to say to everyone in a number of languages. Please note it has an equivalent in every language:
- donec interm conveniant – Latin
- hasta que nos encontremos de nuevo – Spanish
- donadagohvi – Cherokee
- a hui hou – Hawaiian
- auf wiedershen – German (Note: As with many of these examples, if said in casual conversation it is considered polite. But said to one you really care about like family member, like the parish family we have here, it takes on stronger and truer meaning.)
- au revior – French
- arrivederci – Italian
All of the above are closest ways I could find to say in English, “Until We Meet Again!”
Please know all of you will always be in my prayers. I am very excited for all of you because Fr. Rich and I are being followed by a couple of really great priests. My only regret is I didn’t to know get many of the wonderful people here better. Although, another thing I’ve learned over the years is I see and run into many of the wonderful people God has blessed my life with in some of the most amazing places. I like to think of things like this: We Dominicans never really leave a ministry. It just looks a little different every now and then. And, we have been known to show up at odd times and places! So, rather than saying good bye …
Until We Meet Again,