From our July 13, 2014 bulletin:
I am a priest for you, for your benefit and sanctification. A vocation of a priest has no meaning or purpose apart from the service and care of the people of God. A shepherd exists for the sheep. He has no other purpose.
In order to be able to care for the needs of the parish, I need to get to know you, the parishioners. One of the ways for me to do this is to come and visit with you in your homes. Please feel free to call me to invite me over. If your home has not been blessed recently, I would be happy to bless your home and to spend some time with you.
From the prophet Jeremiah, we hear the Lord saying: “I myself will gather them…” “I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them…”
As your pastor, I am called to make the ministry of Jesus, the Good shepherd present to you in three ways:
- through my leadership of the parish,
- through the sacraments, and by
- proclaiming & teaching the Word of God, according to Apostolic deposit of faith.
Please pray for me that I can be a good and holy priest and a wise pastor for you.
As you can imagine, with two parishes, there is a lot to be done! I will be working with the parish council from each parish to advise me on how I can best serve each parish.
I will also be looking for volunteers to assist me so that I can devote more of my time to handling the pastoral concerns of the parish.
From our July 20, 2014 bulletin:
A priest is called in a special way to be Christ for you, not because of his own merits, but because Jesus wants to be present to his people to shepherd them. By the grace of ordination, the priest makes Jesus the Good Shepherd, present to his people.
A priest, by the grace of his ordination, has been given the power to act in the person of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd and head of his people.
When the priest holds up the Host, “he says “This is my Body…” because he is acting in the person of Christ. When he absolves, he says “I absolve you,” because it is Christ who is present through him speaking the words of absolution.
This means that you should not hesitate to call on me when you are in need: when you are sick, when you have a question about the faith, when you need to confess your sins, or when you are having difficulties in your marriage or other areas of life.
Please know that I hold all of you in my prayers every day. Pray for me that I can be a good and holy priest and a wise pastor for you.
From our July 27, 2014 bulletin:
The Second Vatican Council speaks of how the priest needs to be a “man of communion.” By being in communion with God and the Church, the priest seeks to bring others into full communion with God, through the ministry of the Church. This is to fulfill the prayer of Jesus that we see in the 17th chapter of John (vs. 20-21) where Jesus prays that we might all be one as he is one with the Father.
Our relationship with Jesus is meant to draw us together. Think of the spokes of a wheel. Jesus is the center, and as we come closer to him, we come closer to each other.
When we receive Holy Communion, we are not only renewing our “communion” with Christ, but also with each other. Through this sacrament we are united in a sacred communion with all of the members of Christ’s Body.
My goal therefore, as your Pastor, is to try and unite people in Christ. Our two parishes are composed of people with a variety of interests and preferences with regard to the Liturgy and other areas as well. On a number of different issues, some would prefer we do things one way and others would like to see it done just the opposite. My goal is to try to unite each parish in a manner that will best serve the people of each parish. (And yes, the parishes will remain separate parishes, which, by necessity, are sharing common resources.) To do this, I will need your input. I will be meeting on a regular basis with the parish council of each parish. I will be looking for ways that we can build up each community.
Please know that I hold all of you in my prayers every day, and that I count on your prayers for me.
From our August 3, 2014 Bulletin:
Jesus appointed 12 apostles as shepherds to his people. He entrusted his flock to Peter and the apostles to guarantee that his lambs would be fed and protected.
This shepherding ministry of Jesus the Good Shepherd, which was entrusted to the Apostles, is continued through the ministry of our Pope and bishops. Priests serve as an extension of their bishops, who are the duly appointed shepherds of God’s people.
Next Sunday, August 10th, Bishop Roger Foys will install me as your pastor so that I might share in his ministry of caring for God’s flock in Bellevue and Dayton. I am honored to be entrusted with this responsibility and pray that I will be a good pastor for you.