On October 4th, I celebrated my 38th anniversary of ordination. My first assignment as Pastor was effective on October 7, 1996. I've spent almost 15 full years of my priesthood working at Saint Joseph's -with a seven year stretch in between my first and second terms. These have been very rewarding years for me.
I want to thank all of you for your support and your active participation in the parish in so many ways. One of the highlights of these recent years was the celebration of our Sesquicentennial. We had a large number of people preparing for a year's worth of events that were intended to appeal to all segments of the parish. Whether we were traveling to Lancaster, praying at our parish mission, celebrating with ethnic foods or smiling for the parish photo directory, there was always joy and cooperation among parishioners.
There are so many people who contributed to the life of the parish. Rectory and school staff, choirs, musicians, cantors, ushers, lectors, extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist, servers, church cleaners, church decorators, groundskeepers, bingo workers, ticket sellers, etc. all did their part to make our parish viable and welcoming to all. You also reached beyond our borders as we worked with parishes within our Cluster in educational and sacramental programs. We recognized the universal character of the church when we participated in various diaper drives, clothing drives, food drives, etc. and when we participated in such endeavors as the Annual March for Life and 40 Days for Life events. Time and time again, you dug deep into your pockets to make financial contributions to those in need in far off lands.
I apologize to anyone that I may have offended in any way over these years. Please forgive me and keep me in your prayers. Be assured of mine! Anyone who knows me knows of my dedication to our school. You often put a smile on my face. Know that I will always treasure the special memories and carry them with me when I think of you in prayer.
Finally, please give Fathers Kevin, George, Dave and Fred and Deacons Tim and Joe a warm welcome. They will appreciate your friendship as they begin a new journey in their lives. Together, you can make it work! Be patient, be open-minded, be understanding and be forgiving. God will be there as you come together as a new unit.
My new location will be at Saint Bartholomew's Rectory- don't be afraid to call or visit. You are always welcome. God Bless you all!