April 28, 2019
Apr 25, 2019
Happy Easter, may the peace and glory of the Easter message be with you!
God promises a Covenant … LOVE!
“God added: “This is the sign, that I am giving for ages to come, of the covenant between me and you and every living creature with you: I set the rainbow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.’” Genesis 10: 12 –13
As I prepared for my ordination in 1979, I chose this Scripture quote to be a motto of what I hoped for in my years as a priest. As time has passed, I have tried very hard to live out this covenant of God’s love the best way I know how.
I can assure you that my ministry has been a series of both successes and errors. Perhaps someday, I will perfect it, but in all likelihood that will be only after I have been called to the heavenly home. In the meantime, I will continue to put my full effort into bringing God’s love into the daily situations of life. The only way I can continue to do this is with the supportive love of the Christian community with whom I share Eucharist.
God has been good and has blessed me with many wonderful assignments in the Diocese over the last 40 years. I extend my thanks to the people of St. Ann – Hornell, St. Patrick – Seneca Falls, Strong Memorial Hospital, Catholic Charities of the Southern Tier and Rochester (known as Catholic Family Center), St. Helen – Gates, Good Shepherd – Henrietta, and for the last 17 years Transfiguration. Each assignment has been unique and provided situations that called upon me to use my God given talents.
In each place, I encountered people and situations that brought tears of sorrow and tears of laughter to my eyes. The list of memories is endless, but here are a few that come to mind when I think back across the broad spectrum of my ministry. I will never forget the overly distraught young man who mangled his face in a botched suicide attempt. Today, 35 years later and after many surgeries and much counseling, this man has a wonderful family and holds a professional position. Then there is the sadness of eight young people who died unexpectedly and we held their funerals at Transfiguration. I obviously must add the joyful events of the countless Baptisms, Marriages and Confirmations. The beauty of parishioners experiencing the wider Church in Kentucky, El Salvador, Nicaragua and now Honduras. Obviously, topping the list for me is the joy of celebrating the Eucharist with you and doing so with you “with a passion for excellence”. The list of joy and sorrow that are part of ministry is unending.
Then there is the humor! There are many humorous stories but the one that comes to mind is the man who wanted to minister to “the priests.” His ministry was delivering freshly baked pie to the rectory every Sunday morning. He thought we loved his pies, unfortunately, they weren’t very good and a pie a week was a little much. We didn’t want to hurt his feelings and we didn’t know how to stop the pies. Well, God did it for us. The pies finally stopped when he lost his bid to be on the Pastoral Council! Suddenly, we gained “piefree” Sundays. The situations we get ourselves into are something else. A good sense of humor has been a vital part of my ministry!
The stories could continue, but more importantly I thank God for my 40 years of priesthood and the blessings of a countless number of people who have shared faith and life with me. THANK YOU!
Happy Easter and let us continue to pray for peace in our world!
In peace and courage,