This is a topic that I would rather not face. Kristi Bentley, my administrative assistant, is leaving her position at Vanderbilt Catholic for family reasons. See picture -- it is worth at least a thousand words. I am so grateful to Kristi for so much. I literally do not know what I would have done without her.
For my first year here, I was totally on my own. Although very happy to be at Vanderbilt, I was really lost and frustrated down deep. I tried to keep smiling! I wanted Vanderbilt Catholic to be everything that it could be. The big problem was that there was just me. Then came Kristi, and everything got better -- especially me!
Kristi was exactly what we needed. Of course, she is organized and on top of things -- a big necessity when I can't even organize a two-car funeral procession! And incredibly cheerful to boot, even with morning sickness :-) Most importantly Kristi embraced our mission before we even knew what it was: proposing Jesus Christ and forming His disciples. Kristi has a spiritual maturity so far beyond her years! She did so much spiritual counseling "on the sly," particularly for the chaplain.
She keeps saying that she "loves her job." I have to confess that she has been overworked and underpaid -- welcome to the Church! Kristi -- remember that you can call in just about any favor at any time from me. I owe it to you. You have helped me in my mission here, and you have helped me to grow through some difficult times. You developed the marriage preparation retreat that I have always wanted to offer since I became a priest. And on and on. You have a bigger and better job to do, but we will miss you here!