Br. Jim came back from the post office in Madang a few days ago, excited to tell me that I had received my first actual mail from the US.
Two Christmas cards and a package!
There’s just something special about receiving “real mail” these days, and it’s even more special when it comes from home far away. The extra thought and expense is truly appreciated and it invigorates that bond with home.
So, first on my “Mail of Fame” list are:
Matthew, Tracy and Ellie Pepper from Santa Fe, New Mexico. These are some of my dear friends from my earliest days as a campus minister. Matthew, Tracy and I have lots of great shared memories and travel experiences, so I’m not surprised at all that they are some of the first to think to send me a Christmas card, all the way to PNG.
Mac and Katherine Barron, from Swainsboro, Georgia – also known as “Catholics in a Small Town” to SQPN and Catholic New Media folks. I’m sure this is all Katherine’s doing, Mac’s too much of a guy to have thought this up :-). They are a great family with a great story to tell of living their Catholic faith in a small town in Georgia. I’m so glad to call them my friends and hope you’ll take my word that you should check out their podcast at http://catholicinasmalltown.wordpress.com/ or subscribe through iTunes.
That package came from the good folks at Word on Fire, publishers of the fantastic Catholicism DVD series. When I discovered that I arrived in PNG with one of the DVDs missing, they very kindly, and with some expense, sent me a replacement right away. It arrived in our mailbox in under 2 weeks. This must be some sort of PNG record! We’ll be using the Catholicism series as a part of the catechesis for new seminarians coming to St. Fidelis next month. The effort of Word on Fire to get the DVD to me so quickly is enormously appreciated by the teaching staff here at the college.
At the risk of sounding REALLY self-serving, if you suddenly feel inspired to send me some mail, or chocolate chip cookies, you can mail it to:
St. Fidelis Seminary
P.O. Box 827
Madang, Papua New Guinea
(just kidding about the cookies! They would melt long before I received them or be intercepted by some Fijian mice or something)