How time flies! I remember like it was yesterday walking into the parish hall for the first time and bringing in the new year together as I became Pastor of this amazing parish. Since that first moment of encounter we have been through a lot together and in the end, I believe, have become a closer family as a result. My greatest treasure is the openness you had in sharing your lives with me. From the joy of baptisms, weddings, first communions, confirmations, quinceañeras, and our celebration of the Eucharist together to the sadness of praying by the bedside of a loved one and anointing them with the soothing oil of God’s tenderness and even the grief of laying a loved one to rest in the hope of eternal life.
As a parish family we have focused a lot on the Parish's financial stability, needed repairs/renovations, and improvements. In the last five to six years we have completely brought new life into our parish by freeing ourselves from debt, cutting our expenses by over $300K, updating and improving parish security, lighting, liturgical celebrations, and have begun repairs on all our Stained-glass windows. We have built a strong Parish School and have continued to make our buildings more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. However, the church is not a building, but a people. The greatest challenge for the future lies in bringing a renewal in the midst of everything our nation and our church has gone through. I truly believe that Saint Patrick's best days lie ahead as individuals and families continue to answer the call to be true disciples. This is an invaluable time to grow in grace and cultivate a joy in proclaiming the gospel that draws other thirsting souls to the font of life-giving water that is Jesus Christ.
As we prepare to enter Phase Nine of the Archdiocese of Boston Disciples in Mission, per protocol, I have submitted my resignation as Pastor as required by the Archdiocese. At that time the Parish becomes available to other priests who submit an application to the diocese to become Pastor. That being said...I have prayed about my decision and I will submit my application to once again be Pastor of Saint Patrick Parish for six more years if the Archdiocese will grant that request. However, I have every confidence that if they pick someone else to become Pastor of Saint Patrick Parish, we have set the Parish in the right direction. I pray whoever the Archdiocese chooses as Pastor will be ready to lead our parish community for the coming years and continue the work that we have begun, becoming “one body, one spirit in Christ.” Change if it comes, is never easy. Like a child maturing into adulthood, growth can sometimes be a key process as muscles, tendons and bones expand but the end result is maturity. My prayer is that we will grow to mature together for six more years. The call of the gospel is demanding, but it can be accomplished through love.
Know whatever decision is made by the Archdiocese, that you will always hold a special place in my heart and that no matter where the Lord might call me to serve in the years ahead, I will always consider myself a son of Saint Patrick Parish. You taught me how to be a Pastor and I will be forever grateful for your patience, understanding, faith and above all…love.
May God abundantly bless you,