May the Lord give you peace!
Greetings to you, my brothers and sisters in Christ. As you may know, the week of July 9 will be my last at Sacred Heart Church. The experience of serving the parishioners of Sacred Heart and my brothers as their guardian has been wonderful and truly rewarding over these last three years. I have witnessed firsthand the energy and effort put forth by the men and women of this city and parish. Parishioners who freely give of themselves to care for and respond to the needs of their brothers and sisters on the peripheries.
You, the people of God at Sacred Heart, have done a tremendous job when it comes to living the Gospel. You have truly brought life to the Beatitudes by caring for those who are poor in spirit, for those who mourn, and for those who are hungry. You have been examples of peace makers to those who you have served, bringing to life Matthew 25: “when you did it for the least my brothers and sisters you do it to me.” I have had the wonderful and blessed opportunity to work alongside two of our parish’s outreach groups, Hands of Hope and Giving From the Heart, both exemplifying a way of Gospel living which is very Franciscan and has renewed in me a spirit of giving and acceptance.
My life as a Franciscan is itinerant, traveling from place to place when asked to serve. Many of you may have served or have had family members who have served in a branch of the military. You know that when the call comes, you answer. Friars are aware that at any given moment we might receive a call about going to another assignment to serve the people of God. My new assignment as guardian of Holy Name College (Silver Spring, Maryland) calls me to work with and join our formation team to minister to and with the men entering the initial formation to Franciscan life. I have been assigned to St. Camillus Parish and Holy Name College in the past, first as a student, and again as a parochial vicar in the parish. It is interesting to be sent back to a formation house after many years in parish settings. One of my favorite shows is Star Trek. We all know the famous saying, “to boldly go where no man has gone before…” This will truly be a bold journey, but to go back to where I have been before; a journey filled with hope for what is to come.
I want to thank each of you for the kindness you’ve shown me during my assignment at Sacred Heart Church. To all of you who supported or cheered for me…thank you. I am human, so if I have offended anyone for whatever reason in my time here, I ask your forgiveness and your prayers. Please pray for me as I will continue to pray for all of you and the many works of Sacred Heart Parish. This is not a true goodbye. It is “see you later.”
In Peace, Love, and Gratitude,