Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Over these past few weeks, I have received a number of emails, letters, phone calls as well as met in person with many people who have had questions, thoughts, opinions and concerns about our parish. The more common questions (asked very politely) is, “Why did the bishop send you here?” and “How are you going to be part time here and part time at the diocese?”. These are excellent questions. Because Bishop Vann views this is an important parish he wanted to put in a person that has had experience as a pastor of a large parish. Given that my last pastorate was of a tri-lingual parish with 6,000 families and 10 weekend Masses in an economically challenged area, he thought that I would be able to take care of the administration more easily than a priest without that background. We also didn’t want to rush and just put anyone here, but to have me here for 9 month shelps to give a realistic idea of the strengths and needs of the parish and the type of pastor that will continue to build it up for many years.
I love my ministry so I don’t see it as work. Thus, I am willing to spend 10-12 hours a day 6 days a week in ministry. I have also reduced my commitments at the diocese. Being in a parish again gives me great joy and I am delighted to be with you. Having had the opportunity to speak with so many of you and to observe how things are going, there will be some minor changes here and there. For example, the other priests and I noticed that a number of people choose to receive Holy Communion kneeling and have a difficult time getting back up. We will eventually have a kneeler available at a communion station so as to prevent people falling. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in all of our discernments that everything we do will be His will.
I hope to see you at the Diocesan Eucharistic Congress next Saturday. Bishop Tim Freyer