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As you know, one of the challenges of moving is the increased physical distance that will separate us from the friends we have come to know and cherish. Although I will not be far away—specifically, at Saints Simon and Jude parish in Huntington Beach—we all know that life goes on and each of us must “bloom where we are planted.” That being said, I would like to give you a couple of ways to stay in touch with me if you desire to do so. One way to be in touch is through my personal email: (notice that “father” is spelled out, not abbreviated, and “philip” has only one “l”). Another way is my personal phone number: 714.673.9272. Whether we remain in touch or not, I do hope we will continue to pray for each other. Prayer can span any geographical distance!

The new administrator of St. Edward the Confessor and San Felipe de Jesús will be Bishop Tim Freyer. I am happy for him, as he will be joining one of the finest parishes in the diocese. I have no doubt that you will make him feel welcomed and supported. As I told the parish staff when I first met them on December 6, 2018, every moment can be a moment of grace. Let’s tap into the graces of the present moment and continue along the path to sainthood. That’s the reason we are here, and that will assure all of us a joyful reunion in the place that knows no “good byes.”

Gratefully Yours,

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!

How inscrutable are his judgments and how unsearchable his ways!

These words, from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, begin our Second Reading for this Sunday. God is great, and his thoughts and plans far exceed anything we can imagine. With St. Paul, we are called to wonder and worship before the ways of God and the will of God. He has called us to the amazing adventure of striving to become saints.

Now this wonderful adventure is about to take a new turn for you and for me. Bishop Vann has asked me to move on to a new assignment. I will be leaving St. Edward the Confessor and San Felipe de Jesús on September 12th. As I think of this news, my heart is filled with gratitude for the 4½ years we have had together. What a blessing it has been to be part of such a loving, welcoming, thriving community! Thank you, with all my heart, for all you have done to make our parish the awesome place it is!

I cherish your friendship and will miss you very much. Let’s remember, though, that we never have to be more than a prayer away from each other. I beg you to pray for me, and I promise to pray for you in return. Along with the prayers, happy memories are sure to fill my heart as I recall the special time during which we have traveled toward heaven together.

Gratefully Yours,

The other day I was thinking about random things and it came to my mind that a year ago at this time, we were still watching the Pastoral Center being built, and all parish offices were clustered in modular units in the parking lot. Remember those times? It’s good to remember, and then to realize how blessed we are.

Now we have a beautiful facility where all kinds of groups can meet to celebrate, serve, and evangelize in a wide variety of ways. It’s wonderful to look at the calendar and see the vast array of activities that now have a home in our Pastoral Center. Of course, I am especially happy that we have resumed our Bible Study based on The Chosen. Besides being an awesome opportunity to see the Scriptures portrayed in a beautiful and relatable way, I really value the opportunity to spend time with you, discussing things that are important and/or interesting to us. If you’re not coming to this Bible Study, I hope you’ll give it a try. There’s a reason why it is so popular!

Looking towards the future, you will notice that we are already accepting registration for our Faith Formation programs, including preparation for First Reconciliation, First Communion, and Confirmation. I encourage you to register as soon as possible so that you can get the classes on your calendar. Please also consider volunteering to be a catechist or a helper in one of these programs. Our young people learn about our Faith by watching us live it—not just listening to us talk about it.

I am grateful to God and grateful to you for this wonderful life of Faith, which all of us share. Let’s continue to pray for each other!

Gratefully Yours,

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