There is a saying that goes: “All good things must come to an end.” As my tenure as your pastor comes to an end this week, this is the last column I will write for you.
When a priest, especially a pastor, comes to a parish, he is expected to teach the congregation about Jesus and all that the Catholic Church teaches and believes. While this may be true, it is only one side of the picture. The other side is what the congregation teaches the priest.
As much as I may have enriched your lives, you have enriched my life incredibly more. Your faith, your dedication to the parish, and your sharing of your families with me have touched me very deeply. I am a better person and a better priest because of all of you, and I am deeply grateful to you. Life is about growth, and I hope that we have all grown from the encounters we have had with one another. I know I have.
I view retirement as another adventure in my life. We’ve all had them. Some adventures are happy, and some are sad. As I look ahead to the life of a retired pastor, I am sad because I am leaving you and this parish. You have all been an important part of my life these last 5 ½ years. I am grateful to Jesus for sending me to Saint James the Apostle parish, which I believe was for my own growth as well as yours.
I leave this parish with a renewed hope in God’s people and the church, but especially in all of you at Saint James the Apostle parish. You will forever be in my thoughts and prayers as I begin a new chapter in my life.
THANK YOU, ALL, for who you are, how you have enriched my life, and what you have allowed me to accomplish as your pastor. GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!