Goodbye, Farewell, auf Wiedersehen, Adieu, & Ciao!
Dear Friends: I write to inform you of my impending departure as the Pastor of Visitation, BVM parish & of my reassignment as a Parochial Vicar with the status of Senior Priest. This means that I will join Msgr. Tom Murray as a Pastor Emeritus of Visi, & in just a few weeks the parish will then have 2 pastors’ emeriti.
I learned over the course of the past year that this big, busy parish is too much for this one priest to handle, due to limitations regarding both my age & health. If I was a decade or two younger, then things would be different. I learned from the archdiocese recently that most likely there will not be 2 priests at Visi going forward—which the pro tem designation accompanying Fr. Bill’s recent assignment as parish vicar means—that he likely will not be here for very long.
With all of the above in mind, & in conjunction with a period of prayerful pondering, I requested this change of status pending the approval of Archbishop Nelson Perez—whose approval I received over the course of this summer.
I am grateful for my time among you—especially so to all of you who were accepting & welcoming of me upon my arrival; as well as to those of you who were genuinely supportive over the duration of these past 4 years.
I will be moving to Maternity, BVM parish in the Bustleton section of Northeast Philadelphia, beginning there on August 28th. Visitation’s new pastor is Fr. Bob Gross, currently a vicar at St. Helena, Blue Bell. Please pray for me as I anticipate this coming transition & continuing journey of my 40-years-long priesthood into a ministry free from the burdens of administration & finance; & with a focus on pastoral care & sacramental/spiritual work—to the degree that my physical energies will continue to permit.
Please know that I will be praying for all of you, & especially for Fr. Bob—Visi’s next pastor—that he may be a good fit all around, both for all of you in this parish community as well as for him, personally.
May God & our Blessed Mother, Our Lady of the Visitation, continue to guide, lead & bless this parish community with abundant graces for its future. Amen!