MESSAGE FROM FR. MICHAEL – February 24, 2018

Dear Parishioners,
My last few words before departure.  Putting these few words on the screen brings the reality of my leaving into focus for me. Being asked to come as the Administrator last May by Cardinal Sean was another assignment in my priestly journey. Since June 1, 2017
I have come to know once again many wonderful parishioners, talented lay members and brother priests. Truly you and this parish have been another blessing to me, and I thank you.

Each parish I have been called to serve has unique as well as similar characteristics, much like all the people we meet throughout life. There are a variety of personalities, talents,
abilities, likes/dislikes, faults, strengths/weaknesses and so much more. In so many ways, remembering we are all human beings, created in the image a nd likeness of God, helps me to be grounded and to see more clearly the true beauty of God’s  holiness in all creation. We are not better than nor less than only a little different than everyone else. All the parishes I have assisted through transitions are unique and at the same time very similar to each other.

I would also like you to know that I have been blessed with the priestly assistance of Fr. Joe and Fr. McGowan during these past many months. Their insights, friendship, talents and banter have made my time living here less heavy and more relaxing. They are talented, caring and gifted men in their individual priestly vocation and ministries. The Pastoral Staff have been most diligent in their responsibilities and assistance, too. Our new School Principal, Kellie Kickham, continues to work hard with all the school staff and children, continuing to make Saint Mary School not only a place for education but also a Community of Faith.

Parishioners often ask me when leaving, “where are you going for your next assignment?” I have to confess that I also have a part time job usually during the winter months. It’s a
position not too many priest are able to handle. I spend some time doing the difficult work of counting coconuts and inspecting beaches at no cost to the government or to the
Church. Some people do not like to get sand between their toes, getting their clothes wet or walking a number miles at times looking at the ocean and shore lines. It is hard work, but
I try my best!

Once again, my sincere appreciation for all you do to help Saint Mary Parish to be an outstanding Catholic Community of Faith here in Winchester. Thank you for all the ways you share your time, talent and treasure with the parish and community. May Almighty God continue to bless you during this Lenten journey and help all to keep our hearts focused on Jesus as Our Lord and Savior. Blessings always as you continue to be the living the history of the Church in Winchester.
Blessings and prayers always,
Fr. Michael