February 16, 2011


Dear Carter,
Well, little Brutus is fitting right into our family. He is a really good puppy, although he has kept me up every night since he got home. I know that he'll figure out his schedule sometime soon though.

As I say Hello to our new little friend, I was so sad to learn that we will have to say goodbye to another important person in our lives. He probably has no idea how important he really has been to us, but he has been the shepherd for our faith for most of our adult lives.

Our favorite priest and the pastor of our church, Monsignor Bonnell, announced his retirement to us on Sunday. Although we knew that he obviously couldn't work forever, we were a bit stunned by this announcement. It just seemed that he would somehow always be there, and I guess in a way he always will. We aren't quite ready for him to go yet, but we know that he deserves his time to rest. He certainly holds a special place in our hearts, and has been especially helpful during the time when you went to Heaven.

Monsignor has been at our church since 1989, and has actually been an ordained priest since 1960. Isn't that amazing! Some might find him to be a little harsh, but that quality is something that we have always appreciated about him. Our family had their first encounter with him when he performed your Grandpa Mike's funeral. We didn't see him too much more after that until 2002 when your Daddy and I decided that it was time to get involved with the church. We signed up for his adult Catholic education classed, and that is when our relationship with Monsignor truly began to develop. He is an amazing teacher, and has a spectacular way of explaining every tidbit of the Bible, Jesus Christ, and our church. I honestly feel like my relationship with God is so much stronger just because of Monsignor.

During our time with Monsignor not only did he perform your Grandpa's funeral, but he has married your Daddy and I in the church, and baptized your Daddy, Mikey, and Jovie. He also came to the hospital within an hour of you being born to give you a blessing. He checked on you at the NICU several times before you were transferred to the children's hospital, and made phone calls to us to be sure that you were doing OK. We were planning on having him baptize you as well, but things got a little crazy, and another priest ended up doing it. Monsignor also performed your funeral, and everything he had to say during it was simply perfect. He has been comforting through our whole journey of mourning for you.

We are still simply sad to say goodbye to such an amazing man, but feel incredibly blessed that we had him in our lives. When he announced his retirement the very first thing I thought was "not yet....I'm not ready" and then I realized that this was how I felt when you left too. I just need to be thankful for the time I have been blessed with, and not dwell on what time I didn't get. You had better believe that I will be listening to each of his final masses intently trying to soak up all of the messages that he has yet to give us.

I know that we will be OK...I know that he will be OK. In a small way I am actually excited to see where our new pastor will lead us, but for now we have to say goodbye to our shepherd.

Although I know that he will never read this, I want to say thank you to Monsignor Bonnell.....and goodbye.

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