Sunday, September 20, 2009


is my name, I decided many decades ago. Epimetheus ("Afterthought" in Greek) was Prometheus' ("Forethought") brother. So many occasions in my life I made decisions about which I had to explain to myself or others as "Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time."

One of the more egregious examples was joining the RCIA team in the parish. There were certain encouraging signs that I took to be God calling me forward. And I'm still not sure that it wasn't true. But I charged in without "due diligence" and so was unprepared for the conflicts that arose over those three years. Those conflicts were, in fact, completely foreseeable. If only I had done the research and thought and prayed first.

But Estel is my other name. So I remain hopeful that I can learn from experience and do better in the future. So when Father invited me to become an EMHC early this year I was non-commital. The invitation was renewed a little while ago, so I started praying, thinking and studying. There is Hope after all.

A regular position of service in the parish would be a good thing, at least in the abstract. But the issue of EMHC's isn't all light and happiness. Some respectable Catholics argue that their very use as currently seen (regularly scheduled and quite ordinary in that sense) is, in itself, an abuse.

If and when you get past that meta-issue, there are some specific areas of concern:

Training, whatever that consists of, and Archdiocesan guidelines, to the extent these are written and accessible, will help with some of the answers.

But this time around, I intend to do all the praying, thinking and researching in advance, so that I can ask the appropriate questions and only then make a well-informed decision.

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