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He seems pretty pastoral to me

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

May 22, 2019

“Some of the guys are more pastoral, others are more administrative,” said Father Christopher C. Carrara, speaking about the priests of the diocese as he was explaining some aspect of his role as Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Personnel early in my tenure with the diocese. “I’m more administrative.”

Father Carrara celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood on May 14, the same day I celebrated a year of working for the diocese. As I reflected this week on all the graces, struggles, funny moments and changes I’ve experienced in my first year, a couple moments with Father Carrara stood out as especially impactful.

The day after Father Carrara made that statement, I attended my first department head meeting with the diocese. I was more than a little nervous about how I’d perform my first time reporting to the assembled group of diocesan department heads and Bishop Terry R. LaValley.

After that meeting, Father Carrara went out of his way to visit me in my office to tell me he thought I did well presenting my activities and plans.

The simple gesture made me feel accepted. He seemed pretty pastoral to me.

On another occasion, Father Carrara and I were walking out of our shared office building, chatting as we walked. At the time, I was struggling with health issues and was reliant upon a cane to walk.

As we proceeded down the front steps of the building, my cane missed the edge of a step, and I almost went crashing to the concrete below. I caught myself with the railing and, in the process, uttered the worst of all the curse words.

I instantly regretted my utterance and began apologizing to Father Carrara. His response:

“Can’t walk and talk at the same time, Darce?”

It was the perfect response! Instead of dwelling on my inability to control my tongue, he made a joke to lighten the moment.

The light-hearted and humorous response seemed familial and made me feel at home. Again, he seemed pretty pastoral to me.

These were small moments, but in these small moments, an “administrative” priest made me feel like I belonged, both in my role and in my new workplace family.

He seems pretty pastoral to me.

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