Because all of you have been such a blessing to me, I do not know how to adequately thank the Lord. When I first came to Our Lady as a seminarian intern, I had never lived in a parish before, meaning that I had no idea whether I would actually want to be a priest. I thought I knew my vocation, but I couldn’t be sure until I lived in a rectory and did “priest stuff.” I was a bit scared. But, Fr. Tony and all of you taught me how beautiful parish life is. My internship was one of the happiest six months I have ever had.
When I was assigned as the parochial vicar, I was thrilled, though shocked, for it is not normal for the bishop to assign a new priest to his internship. It made for an easy transition because I knew people, I knew that I loved the pastor and work well with him, and that life would be good for me again at OLC.
As a final word of encouragement, I have noticed in the Church that divisions are forming along similar lines as to those in the country. At Our Lady of Consolation, I hope that you will be an unusual witness in the world today of forgiveness. The Lord is merciful, be merciful as he is merciful. Persist in unity with people you disagree with, so that all may be one as Jesus and the Father are one.
I am confident that, because the Lord has called me to serve in other places, he will take care of all of you. If a parish becomes complacent in comfort, then it becomes less imaginative, lukewarm, and will shrink. It will be exciting to see how the Lord draws you closer and closer to himself in the
Finally, know that I will pray for you every single day. This is better than any active work I can do on your behalf.
Don’t forget to pray for me,