Father Simeon Daly, OSB - Finding Grace in the Moment: Stories and other Musings of an Aged Monk


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Farewell to Friends after a Sabbatical in 2000-2001
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This was a letter written to friends that I had visited during the sabbatical after my retirement from the library. I fulfilled a dream of being able to say goodbye to friends who had a special place in my heart. Not being able to say goodbye was one of the special aches on one occasion when death was nearby. I continue to savor the joy of this special time in my life.

The days and hours of this fantastic pilgrimage are closing in. Wednesday, February 28th, I will return to Saint Meinrad to take up my place again in the community. I have counted this time away as a great blessing. I return refreshed. The memories of my encounters are deeply etched in my heart. I have had my opportunity to be present to you in some loving way, and to say good-bye. We may meet again, but even if we do not, I will not be able to say I never had a chance to say good-bye when next I come face to face with death. The grace of this time will make it easier to move on, content that I have made an effort to thank you for your love and care. I hope I have brought some joy to you. I am almost overwhelmed with joy and thanksgiving for what you have done for me.

I will begin a new employment when I return to the Archabbey. I will be doing editorial work in the development office. I find this very compatible. I look forward to this new adventure. I continue to care about the library, but it is now a part of the past. I recently saw and expression on a napkin: "I don't look back. I'm not going that way." I hope I can let go so.

I have not kept a record of my travels to get in touch with you all. I will not bore you with the tale. I have many friends around the country that I did not contact. Those of you that I did, though, are very special to me. I drove over 11,000 miles to see you, not counting my trips to friends in Europe whom I visited a year ago. What a wonderful adventure this whole trip has been. Thank you for receiving me so warmly. I imposed myself on you, frequently with short notice. Had I felt unwelcomed, I probably could not have continued on and on as I did. My travels took me to ten different monasteries. I stayed for some time in eight of them.

Thank you again for being a part of this lovely moment in my life. Although I say I am going back to the monastery to spin myself into a cocoon and wait for wings, I am sure the transition will not be that drastic, and that we will be able to keep in touch at least remotely.

May God bless you and yours and keep you in His peace.

With affection,
Fr. Simeon
(fsimeon@saintmeinrad.edu)
February 26, 2001
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