Graduation Day

Dear Reader,

You’ve probably noticed that in recent months, this blog has been a lot less active. I’d like to share some good news with you to explain why.

The seed of this blog was planted when I made a pilgrimage to a Marian shrine in 2015. While I was there, I had a lot of time to reflect and meditate on my years as a priest coming to terms with his own Asperger’s Syndrome. In an intense burst of work I wrote down the rough notes and outline which eventually became this blog.

Over the following two years, I slowly shaped and polished those notes and released them at a rate of roughly twice a month.

After that, I blogged occasionally as interesting thoughts arose, but by then I had already achieved my purpose – sharing my experiences of a priest coming to terms with Asperger’s. In the time since I launched this blog, I have had numerous contacts from Catholics, including priests, with Aspergers’, – and also from parents whose children had been diagnosed. I have thus been assured that this blog has reached its target audience and has been of use to souls who need it – and will continue to serve this purpose as long as it exists somewhere on the Internet.

In recent months I have had the opportunity to work closely with a lay community of men and women who are not afraid to show affection physically, yet chastely. I have learned a great deal about how the language of touch works, by being able to observe others and experiment in a safe place. I now understand more about how touch is a language which can be spoken in a tender whisper or an awkward shout – and the latter is seldom appreciated. I’ve reached the point of feeling confident that I can interact with other people by an appropriate affectionate touch without coming across as ‘weird’ or ‘creepy’.

I am now a happy, functioning, priest, surrounded by a circle of friends who love me – and I can see that they love me through the things they say and do. I’m sharing this news at Easter, the great Day of Resurrection, to bring hope that there is not only life, but life to the full, for those who deal with their Aspie traits honestly and prayerfully.

In the mysterious workings of God’s plan, I am celebrating this Easter at the very same Marian shrine, accompanied by ‘Chelsea’ and some members of my lay community. Since this blog was born here, it seems fitting that it be laid to rest here. Will it also experience a resurrection? Who knows! If the need arises, I will blog again. But for now I will place myself under no pressure to post again.

So I would like to end with a big shout out to Chelsea for sticking with an awkward priest through years of experimentation, and to my lay community for teaching me more fully how to love. I’m not yet 50, and have been a priest for more than 10 years – but as an Aspie seeking life’s lessons in how to love, today feels like Graduation Day. Getting here was a bumpy ride, and sometimes painful, but our faith is one where we walk the Way of the Cross before seeing the Glory of the Resurrection. Maybe God will call me to post some ‘higher studies’ here one day, but no promises. To all of you, whether you are an Aspie, a typical human being, or a unique individual aware of other traits, I wish you a most joyful Easter, and I look forward to meeting you in heaven, if not before.

Christ is Risen. Risen Indeed! Alleluia!

With every blessing,