My Dear Parishioners,
"I thank my God, each time I think of you and when I pray, I pray with gladness." These are the words of St. Paul to his people in Phillipians.
Time flies so fast! Life is always changing and everything, whether good or bad, will eventually come to an end. As we age, our body changes. We have health problems, financial problems, emotional problems and spiritual problems. Nothing in this life remains the same; only God is unchanging and constant in His love, at all times. In a parish, from time to time, a new parish priest is appointed and the parish adapts to the new spiritual leader of the community.
Saying farewell or goodbye is one of the most difficult things in life and we never seem to learn to be good at it. It is never easy because its a bitter-sweet occasion. As the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. And as I move from another parish, we look back and acknowledge the good things we done for our parish.
Back in June of 2014, I was fortunate enough to become the parish priest and rector of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes. For almost three years in serving the parish, I could see from the start that the people here were strong in their faith and in their desire to serve God and one another. That desire in serving God has been the greatest blessing to the parish because we have come to realize that Jesus is the greatest blessing we could possibly ever have.
I have been assigned in different capuchin parishes and I can honestly say that NSOLL parish is one of the most rewarding and the finest parish community that I have encountered. If you remember when I was appointed to be your parish priest I told you that I am so excited to take this journey of faith, hope and love and recognize this is hard work, and that there will be painful times of loss and misunderstanding, moments of both grief and joy. At the end of my term, I am so grateful to God because we were able to realize the importance of supporting one another in serving our parish despite of our differences.
Finally, I want to personally thank all of you especially for your love, prayers, and support. I would like to thank the Parish Pastoral Council, represented through various ministries for your ardent, fervent and dedicated service. All your efforts will be truly blessed. I would like to convey my deepest appreciation to my Parish Pastoral Team - for their exemplified leadership and for the love of the community, which I will treasure. I would like also to thank my Capuchin brothers for collaborating with me in my ministry. Their support and prayers are truly essential for the good of the Community. It is hard to leave you, but as I said in the beginning of this farewell note, change is inevitable and all of us have to adjust to it. I hope and trust that you will give the same love and support to the new parish priest as I take my new assignment. May God bless us all!
"Smile, God Loves You."