Last week we said goodbye to Fr. Patrick who was offering us sacramental assistance. In his brief time, I think it is safe to say that we all fell in love with him. Unfortunately, due to immigration issues, we were not able to keep him. Please offer your prayers for him and for his journey in priestly ministry. We have been very blessed by all the priests who have come from Nigeria. God speed, Fr. Patrick!!
Fr. Patrick’s departure means that Fr. Fister, who is serving us half-time, and I will do our best to serve you as we can. Unfortunately, that means our response time to some things may take longer, as the demands of ministry do not decrease simply because we are less one priest. Clearly, we are feeling the pain of the priest shortage. But, instead of seeing the glass half empty, I want to encourage us all to recognize the glass which is not just half full, but overflowing with his loving grace. God is blessing us. Yes, and he will bestow on us even more for our faithfulness during difficult situations.
This is a time for us all to more deeply reflect how God is calling each of us to offer our stewardship to our faith community. I ask you again to look into your heart and see where you can offer your gifts, especially in terms of time and talent. When asked to help in an area, please recog- nize the need, evaluate your own gifts, and don’t sell your- self short. God may very well be calling you to serve.
I love being a priest. I love being your pastor. Thank you all for your love and encouragement. I am so fortunate to be part of such a wonderful community. I look forward to the days and years ahead. God is busy doing something in our midst. Do you see it? It is wonderful to be sure!
Fr. William Holtzinger