About Fr. Jerry:
Fr. Jerry Ringenback has been pastor of Good Shepherd Parish since June of 2013, when he succeeded Fr. Tom Spadaro who had led the parish for over 30 years. A native of Long Island having grown up in Floral Park and a priest of the diocese since 1972, Fr. Jerry sees himself as the spiritual leader for over 4000 families that make up Good Shepherd. He aspires to bring the people of God to a deeper commitment to Christ as disciples, to create a welcoming community of believers, and to develop strong lay leadership. In this day and age he recognizes that there is a priority for reaching the unchurched and to intergrate one’s faith life into every aspect of daily living. Fr. Jerry believes that the pastor is called upon to be the bearer of the parish vision and the initiator of change.
About Fr. Lachlan:
Peace be with you! Since my arrival at Good Shepherd, I have been able to greet some of you. Thanks again for your warm welcome. As promised at the Masses I addressed last weekend, here is a brief biography.
My father is Scottish; my mother is American. Having married in New York in 1972, they immediately moved to Scotland, where my father had his business. They spent the first twelve years of their marriage there, and my sister, two brothers, and I were born in Scotland. When I was almost three years old, my family moved to New York, settling in Bellerose Terrace and registering at my mother’s childhood parish of Holy Spirit in New Hyde Park. My siblings and I attended the parish grammar school.
After graduating Holy Spirit School, I attended Chaminade High School. During my high school years, I often felt the Lord calling me to service in the Church. Encouraged by my parents, parish priests, and the Marianists at Chaminade, I quietly discerned a call to priesthood. Sometimes I heard the voice of the Lord strongly, other times faintly. This discernment continued on and off for a few years. However, by the end of my time at St. John’s University, I decided to study for the priesthood, and I entered the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington in 2003. Thanks be to God, after five years of formation, including a Pastoral Year at St. Joseph’s in Ronkonkoma, I was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre at St. Agnes Cathedral on June 14, 2008.
These first years of priestly life have been full of joy. The Lord has been good to me. Immediately after ordination, I was assigned to St. Rose of Lima in Massapequa, where I ministered in all aspects of parish life. During that time, I would also cover an evening Mass at Hofstra or Adelphi Universities, and in 2012, I was appointed the Catholic Chaplain of Adelphi University.
In the fall of 2012 I was asked to enter the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy in Rome and prepare for the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See. Priests in this work, stationed in most every country throughout the world, help the Holy Father fulfill his role as pastor of the universal Church. After a period of prayer, I accepted the invitation and began the lengthy formation process in early 2013. The experience was enriching, but as the months passed, I realized that this particular way of living priestly life was not for me. The life is one of constant change, moving between posts every few years, and I came to realize the importance of stability and rootedness in my life. Within a year, I asked Bishop Murphy to return to the diocese. Happily, he welcomed me home and temporarily assigned me to
St. Anthony of Padua in East Northport as an Associate Pastor. I was there for six months.
Next, I was assigned as the Director of the Diocesan Office of Worship and as an Associate Pastor at St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre. After a year in those positions, I was then sent for further theological studies in Rome. Thus, in 2015, I returned to the Eternal City to begin a Licentiate in Sacred Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. Recently, after two years of study, the prospect of doctoral work and another degree was before me. While the thought of undertaking such study was exciting, for a variety of reasons I did not feel moved to pursue it, so I asked Bishop Barres to return to the diocese. He graciously accepted my request at the end of September and assigned me to serve in Holbrook. I am excited to be back in parish life and to be here with you at Good Shepherd.
I look forward to greeting you in person. Until we meet, know of my prayers.