“Pay no attention to the man behind that curtain!” – The Wizard Of Oz
Heedless of the poor Wizard’s advice, I will now part the curtain a little. My name is Fr. Mark Nolette, and I have been a priest of the Diocese of Portland, Maine, since 1987. Since that time, I have served in a number of parishes across Maine, and have done chancery and tribunal work. I was involved with Engaged Encounter for years. I also do some spiritual direction.
After years of discernment, and with the approval of my bishop, I left full-time parish ministry in 2010 in order to follow the call-within-a-call to be a hermit as well as a priest. I do a little parish ministry, but most of my life is devoted to solitude and prayer. I have not been professed as a hermit under canon 603 of the Code of Canon Law, but I use canon 603 as a guide for my life.
Having said something about my hermit vocation, I can now explain the name of this blog. “Anchorite”, in some literature, is simply another word for “hermit”. However, in other literature, “anchorite” names a specific kind of hermit: one who lives in a small structure attached to a church. Julian of Norwich lived as an anchoress for many years. Since I now live in a rectory attached to a church, perhaps I can refer to myself as an anchorite – even if this rectory is much larger and more comfortable than anything Julian of Norwich would have dreamed of!
In case you’re wondering what “Aspie” is all about, “Aspie” is one nickname for a person with Asperger’s Syndrome, or Autism Spectrum Disorder, as it is now officially called. My formal diagnosis happened in 2014. Learning this about myself has helped to explain a number of strengths and challenges that I have had throughout my life.
People find me rather reserved when they first meet me, but if they hang in there long enough, the curtain parts a little more and they get to see something of what’s behind there. They will see someone with a strange combination of a logical mind and a sensitive heart. They will see someone with a slightly eccentric sense of humor, who loves wordplay and puns. They may even get to hear my “Downeast” dialect. I love long walks, reading, and music. I have a natural aptitude for all things digital. I am fiercely loyal to anyone and anything that matters to me. Above all, and underneath it all, is my faith and love for the Lord, which flows, of course, from His love for me and for us all.
In the “Contact Me” section, you will find a form if you wish to send me any questions or comments. I will do my best to respond to anything constructive. This blog is a first for me, and a work in progress. There may be a glitch or two.
Thank you for honoring me by visiting my site. I’ll keep you in my prayers, and I ask that you do the same for me.
One final note: every photo you will see on this blog (except for the one of me above) was taken by me. So, I’m the one to praise – or blame! – for the pics!