I am fairly certain that it was about a year ago that I began this effort at “blogging” when on the way home on AMTRAK from the annual bishops’ meeting in Baltimore, I wrote my first entry. It is an effort which I have enjoyed immensely and I am grateful for all the compliments and even the occasional criticism which have met my various efforts. Next week the bishops will be meeting again in Baltimore but I am unable yet to be present. I regret this reality but accept it as an additional part of the occasional suffering and disappointment which accompanies my long recovery.
I spent last night reading the materials for next week’s meeting. The public agenda is rather light and the “Executive Session” agenda looks interesting as it always does. A recent trend which I have alluded to in the past is to put the more important issues requiring discussion and discernment into “Executive Session” and place only those items which are ready for final debate and vote into the open, public sessions. This trend would deeply bother many of the bishops I knew well and admired from the late seventies and eighties who were pleased with the move to openness and transparency but we are a different breed of “bishop-cat” these days, preferring not to air certain issues in public until they are ripe and ready.
What I will do this year since I will have the time is provide my own comments and thoughts on matters before the bishops each day of the meeting and at the conclusion of the daily sessions. Obviously, I will not be privy to closed session discussions and even if I were, I would respect the confidentiality of those meetings. To do otherwise would be “going rogue” as we have recently come to understand that phrase.
Looking back on my year in the blogosphere, I am learning still. I think I made a good decision in the beginning to allow my readers to share comments with me but not publish them. I prefer catechesis to confrontation and have no desire to enter into polemical jousting with anyone. Most of the comments have been helpful and constructive – some, especially from those engaged in keeping “Hillsborough Cares” from coming into existence have been vicious. But I read them all and have corrected some errors in my own work as a result of the constructive criticism which has come my way through the “comments.”
Finally, if it is indeed an anniversary for the “Blog” it can right be celebrated by all of us, not just myself. Thanks for listening, reading and responding over the last twelve months.