My Dear Friends,
I have been blessed to be here for 18
years. For the most part it has been absolutely delightful. The damages of the storms of 2004 and 2005
were tough! 2007 and 2008 were really trying. The recession racked us, our
staff and our school. It demolished the morale of our staff. But we survived
it. God is always good. We are stronger for the experience. Some staff members
were deeply hurt, but they have not only survived but thrived. Life goes on if
we live by faith!
I take this opportunity to thank all of
our staff members that have struggled and striven to do and be their best all
these years. I could not have asked for a better group of people to team with
in the mission of this parish and school. I thank the members of this community
that have been so very generous with their time, their talent and their
treasure. You are so wonderful as ministers and leaders, catechists and
generous supporters. Know that I love you dearly. At my retirement reception I
greeted so many people for four and a half hours. To my surprise I knew almost
all of you. And you are precious to me. Thank you!
You have some tough times coming. After
all these years there are some things that need to be fixed. The lower roof of
the church, the chiller for the 100 and 200 buildings, the ACs in the 300
building, just to name a few. And our reserves need to be restored. A capital
campaign is coming. Soon. You have always been there, generous, and with no
difficulty stepped up to the plate in sacrifice. We probably need about $1.5
million dollars. You did it before when I first arrived. I know you can do it
again. I know you will be there with Fr.
I take this opportunity to welcome Fr
Jeremiah Payne. He is a good man, highly intelligent, a fine preacher, teacher
and presider over the liturgy. And he has a very humorous side! I leave you in
good hands. Be as good to him as you have been with me. You will all thrive!
Blessed be God!
I intend to stay in the area. I own my
house with Sally. Diocesan policy requires that I not work in the parish for a
year to give the new pastor room to establish his own domain. I understand that
and respect it. It will be tough, because you have been my prayer community for
almost two decades. Please pray for me. With his permission, after 12 months, I
can return to serve our community. Please pray for me, as I will for you. Love
Fr. J as much as you have loved me. God bless and keep you. Pray that I stay
healthy and can come back to serve you in “my old age.”
In His Love,