As I stepped out of my car in front of the parish house, I saw a priest and two people talking across the street. His voice sounded like that on the phone recording. He said goodbye to the couple and approached me. “Are you Father Bill? I’m Patty James, and I left you a message this morning.” He was indeed Father Bill Hill, and he had not listened to his messages yet.
Father Bill is young (like late twenties) and grew up in Wyoming, attended college at Loyola Chicago and Mundelein Seminary. He was appointed to St. James in 2010, and serves that parish as well as a mission parish in Glendo. He has to be very busy, in that he is THE priest in the parish. I remarked how fitting I thought it now that it was the church of St. James, patron saint of travelers, that Sandi and I were led to in 1970, and that I may walk part of the Camino de Santiago in a year or two. He replied, “Do the whole thing!”
It was now about two p.m. Father Bill was taking communion to a parishioner. We said farewell and wished each other well on our respective “caminos.” What a delight it was to meet him and close that circle of my travel chronicle.