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The Transition Process
As many of you know from my homily at Mass last weekend, I will be retiring from
full-time ministry in June of this year – 2018. If you did not have the opportunity to read my column from last week’s bulletin in this regard, it is reprinted below.
In the transition process that is about to get underway, the first step will be to conduct an open meeting for all parishioners to convey their hopes and wishes regarding a new pastor. That gathering will take place this Sunday, January 14, at 4:00 P.M. in Fellowship Hall. Msgr. Pflomm, Director of Clergy Personnel, will conduct the meeting with the assistance of Msgr. Fink, the area dean and Msgr. Sheridan acting as Bishop Barres’ representative.
The next step in the process takes place with the Personnel Assignment Board who will review all the recommendations that have been submitted either verbally or in written form. This information assists them in determining the priest who is best suited for pasturing Good Shepherd Parish. At the same time the announcement of Good Shepherd Parish as “open” to welcoming a new pastor is communicated to all the priests of the diocese. Every qualified priest can then submit his name to the board for consideration. The bishop in conjunction with the board them makes the final decision and the official appointment which will take effect at the end of June.
I invite you to pray fervently for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as the decision
is made regarding the next pastor of Good Shepherd. It is my intention to work with the incoming pastor and provide for a smooth transition. It is my hope that whatever good has been accomplished in the past five years will sustain and strengthen the parish as a new chapter in its history begins.
On a much more practical level, please be aware that the flooring in the narthex will be replaced over a two-day period: Monday, January 22 and Tuesday, January 23. The original tiles are coming loose and breaking apart. Consequently, access to the church will be limited during this two-day period. This is another component of our on-going renovation process.
January 7, Letter
The Time Has Come
Since I first came to Good Shepherd in June of 2013, I have written this bulletin column each week as a way to communicate to the parishioners of Good Shepherd. Sometimes it has been a commentary on a current event, or information affecting the parish in general, or a personal story such as my column last week. This week’s column is a combination of all three.
When I first came to the parish, I had envisioned taking on my final years as a pastor for a term of 6 years. I felt I had the stamina and the experience to be an effective spiritual leader and to begin a new chapter in the life of Good Shepherd following upon the remarkable pastorate of Fr. Tom Spadaro which spanned a period of over three decades. For the past year, however, I have had to do an honest and careful assessment of my priestly ministry and my role as pastor and its impact on my physical, mental and spiritual health. As I approach the age of 73, I have come to the decision to retire from full-time ministry in June of this year- 2018.
As you can imagine, this was not an easy decision and I spent many months of prayer and
reflection before requesting retirement from Bishop Barres which he has granted me. I had two meetings with the bishop and on both occasions he was attentive to my request and affirming of my ministry in the diocese over many years.
Change is often difficult and certainly a change in pastors brings with it many emotions and concerns. Yet I have great trust in the spirit and strength of the Good Shepherd Community. The way you welcomed me and affirmed my leadership over the past five years assures me that a new pastor will discover the same thing.
As parish priests we come and go, but you remain as faithful and dedicated parishioners who love their parish and share your gifts and talents for the good of the church. Moreover, Fr. Lachlan, associate pastor, has shown himself to be a very capable and dedicated young priest. He will remain in the parish and provide both stability and continuity in the year ahead.
Over the next 6 months I will be working with parish leaders to assure a smooth transition.
It has been the diocesan practice in recent years to arrange for a gathering, a kind of
“town meeting,” to allow parishioners to offer input to the diocesan representatives who will
be responsible for choosing my successor. Those attending the meeting will include
Msgr. Peter Pflomm, Director of Clergy Personnel, Msgr Edward Sheridan, local vicar, and the local dean, Msgr. Charles Fink. This will take place on Sunday, January 14, at
4:00 P.M. in Fellowship Hall. (Snow date is Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 7:00 P.M.). All parishioners are invited.
I intend to remain active as a “senior priest” and to assist in the diocese where there is need
for weekend help, but I will be relieved of administrative responsibilities and be able to follow a slower pace and have more time for study, prayer and relaxation. Of course I hope to remain in contact with you in the years ahead and will always consider myself as part of the parish family of Good Shepherd, a gift for which I will always be grateful.
Sunday - January 14
7:00 a.m. People of the Parish 8:30 a.m. Edward Ritter 10:00 a.m. Mass Guild Members 12 Noon Dorothy Barry 5:00 p.m. Josephine Giardina
Monday - January 15
8:30 a.m. Mary Catherine Meyers
Tuesday - January 16
9 a.m. Joseph Richetti
Wednesday - January 17
9 a.m. Serafina Gioia
Thursday - January 18
9 a.m. Mary Joseph Kannathana
Friday - January 19
9 a.m Intentions of: Maryjane McQuade
Saturday - January 20
9 a.m. Arciado "Dean" DeLaPena 5:00 p.m. Kevin Fox
Mass Guild Members
Ryan Christopher D’Auria
Joseph Matthew Buderman
Andrew John Robayo
We ask the family of Good Shepherd to pray for the following couple who will receive the Sacrament of Marriage in January 2018
Tara White & Michael Saunders
Arthur H. Jockin