Good people



I would like to wish all of you a very happy Easter. He is risen! He is truly risen!

The end of this month – April 29 to be exact – marks my three-year anniversary with the Diocese of Evansville. It’s quite difficult to believe that I ended up here after growing up in Wisconsin, then spending 35 years in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Evansville was never on my radar as a possible residence. But the Lord called, and here I am.

My wife and I were both kind of shocked at just how pleasant people are in this diocese. Not that people are unpleasant elsewhere, but the good people of Southwest Indiana have a level of pleasant that is akin to overdrive in a car. It’s just such a natural state for people that it does not seem out of the ordinary.

When we were discerning our possible move to Evansville, we were told by a long-time friend and resident that the people here possess a certain Midwestern sensibility that is hard to find elsewhere. I have to say that that is entirely true. I’m certain there are people here whose lives are filled with drama and whose demeanor is far more sour than sweet, but we haven’t crossed paths with many – if any– of them.

Whenever we go into a store, people we have never met smile and say hello. When we walk our dogs, we are constantly stopped by people who want to meet the dogs and talk to us as though we were old friends. We always get waves and smiles from those driving by who see us.

This Indiana pleasant also carries over to my co-workers. The Catholic Center is filled with extraordinary people and is remarkably drama-free. I cannot remember a single person grousing about their work situation or engaging in office politics and gossip. Being with these fellow workers in the vineyard is just plain joyful.

Much of that can be attributed to Indiana pleasantness, but the tone of relationships in the Catholic Center is set from the top – Bishop Siegel.

If you don’t know Bishop Siegel, you should. He is a faithful servant-shepherd who loves his flock. He cares deeply about the wellbeing of those who work here; and if one of us is facing some kind of medical issue, he is first to offer prayers and words of encouragement.

While those of us who work here ultimately answer to Bishop Siegel, the man to whom we report is the same one who runs the day-to-day operations of the Catholic Center – our Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, Tim McGuire. Tim is responsible for making sure we all get our work done.

Tim is the first one into the Catholic Center in the morning and the last one out in the evening. He leads from the front, and people are glad to follow him. His leadership style is to hire people who can do their jobs, then get out of their way and let them do their jobs. Personally, I would find it very difficult to work for a micro-managing over-the-shoulder-looker. Tim, however, is as far from that as can be.

Which brings me to April 29 again; not only is that my work anniversary, but that also will be Tim’s last day at the Catholic Center. He won’t quite be retired, but he will be slowing down. He has spent 14 years in a position that that carries responsibilities that are greater than one person ought to be able to handle, and he has done it effectively and gracefully, always tempering accountability with compassion.

It has been an honor to work for and with such a fine human being, and I am grateful to Tim for his leadership, thoughtfulness and friendship. Tim has given his all to God in service to the Church and is the embodiment of faithful Catholic stewardship.

Well done, good and faithful servant.

As always, thanks for reading. I would love to hear from you. Write to me at [email protected]