One more week to go.

In a week’s time I will be halfway through my studies for the Licentiate in Canon Law. It is often hard to see how far I have come because my eyes are so fixed on how far I have yet to go before I hold that diploma in my hand, before I can hang that Latin document on my office wall and call myself an expert in the law of the Catholic Church. And even then, all my required course work being completed, I know full well that I will still be only a neophyte, with a lifetime of constant study and learning ahead of me, with always there being more legal and theological knowledge left to apprehend than I can ever hope to master.

But, for all that, I have come a long ways already. I have spent the past year immersed in a field of study that few have even heard of, a field that I for some reason feel called to labor in as a core part of my vocation as a follower of Christ. Tribunal ministry is, for some reason, where God has directed my path, and I am thrilled every day that I have finally found the courage and strength to turn my steps to follow that path in heed of that call.

And the work awaits me with impatience. My diocese has placed all their confidence in me, struggling on without a licensed Tribunal director for more than three years while they await me to be properly trained to fulfill that rôle. I find it very difficult to refer to this arrangement in a way that does not feel arrogant. But in truth I am deeply humbled by this set of circumstances, fearful lest I disappoint, yet more often hopeful that I can with grace rise to such an occasion, and offer a fitting service to the People of God as my life’s work.