Tempus Fugit!.....time flies. Hard to believe that 2017 is ending and we begin a New Year. It happens whether we are here or not.
Last weekend we celebrated the Joyous Solemnity of Jesus’ Incarnation with Christmas Masses. I wish to express my sincere appreciation to our Music Ministry, our Lectors/Eucharistic Ministers, Altar Servers, Decorators, Ushers, Parishioners, Guests and Snow Plowers. Each in their own way helped Saint Mary Parish give Praise, Glory and Honor to Almighty God. From Fr. McGowan, Fr. Joe and me, thank you for your lovely Christmas cards and Christmas greetings.
As I compose these few words I want to assure you my continued time here as Administrator has been and continues to be a blessing in my Pastoral Ministry to God’s People. I hope that in the coming few weeks I will receive a phone call telling me that a new Priest will be assigned here on a more permanent basis and then I might buy a ticket out of cold New England for a while. Change/ transition is not easy in our lives or in the life of parishes. Our Parish has experienced changes in the Pastoral Staff, mourned the loss of Fr. Dick, buried a number of active and former parishioners, Baptized, Confirmed and given Holy Communion to a large number of younger members and we continue to be the Catholic Community of Faith we are being called to be. Saint Mary Parish continues to be the faith-filled Parish it has been for over 140 years and will be as we enter 2018. God is generous with His Blessings and Graces.
During Christmas time I often remember the many other Christmases celebrated with family, parishioners and friends. In my family we get a little hissy about how things ought to be cooked and even remark at times that Mom never did that way. Sometimes our memories are not as clear as they ought to be, and the current recipe turns out much better than the older version. A number of years ago I was being transferred from a parish and a newly ordained priest was assigned. He was concerned that he had shoes to fill, and I assured him that every priest takes his shoes with him and the People of God will love him, too. As we prepare for a new priest, I believe it is important to open our hearts and receive him with love and cooperation. We know each priest brings his own set of gifts, talents, personality and abilities to his Pastoral care of God’s People. We Praise and Thank God for the all the Pastors, Parochial Vicars and Curates who have served here. Saint Mary’s Parish has had many good, talented, faith-filled and caring priests assigned over these past 140 plus years. I am confident this will continue with the new priest to be assigned. Your prayers, friendship and openness will be important to his ministry here continuing to build up the Body of Christ, outreach to those who feel alienated from the Church and faithful to our Catholic identity. May the Lord bless him and Saint Mary Parish with much Joy in 2018. May God, the source and origin of all blessings pour out His blessings in abundance, grant you integrity in the faith, perseverance in charity, endurance in hope, good health, happiness and peace in the New Year.