When I was leaving my first assignment, a priest once said that your first assignment is like your first love; there will always be something special about it. I believe that is true. As I leave St. Thomas More, the place I became a pastor for the first time, I believe that it is not like a first love. It is something more. As a pastor, you put down your bags and say “I’m home!” For fifteen years St. Thomas More has been my home. A home is a place where you celebrate, you mourn, you worry, yes you can even get a bit frustrated but most of all, home is a place where you find love.
St. Thomas More has been just that for me; a home. I have had the honor of sharing in your lives. I have been honored to be a part of both the good and the difficult times. I have baptized your children, shared their First Communion with them and helped them on the way to receiving the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation. I have had the honor of being a part of the celebration where the hearts of husbands and wives are united in marriage, while at the same time watching hearts break when they have to let go and say goodbye.
I have truly enjoyed my time at St. Thomas More. Each day was a new experience and I never knew what the day might bring. Many days I thought I had a game plan and knew what my goals would be for that day. God always had other plans and goals for me those days and my plans had to wait for another day because I was needed elsewhere. Through it all my friends, you were always very patient and understanding and for that I thank you. I would like to thank you for all the support, the prayers, the gifts, the time and energy, the many volunteer hours, the smiles and laughter. Basically, all the love you have given me these past years. Words cannot express my gratitude for all you have done for me, so from the bottom of my heart and for a lack of better words, thank you.
I know that I have not always been on top of things. There have been missed phone calls, forgotten appointments or missed opportunities to bring our Lord to you and for this I am deeply sorry. I have tried my best but sometimes my best wasn’t good enough. I may have said some things that might have been offensive or hurtful. It was never meant to be said in that way but if I have offended you in any way please accept my sincerest apology. If in any way I have done or said anything to make you leave St. Thomas More or hold resentment against the Church, please forgive me. I am just a simple man who is a sinner and I screw up! Please know that I am truly sorry and please accept my most sincere apology.
I know as time passes others pastors will come and take my place. It is my hope and prayer that I will not be remembered only for my name or the crazy things that I have done, but you will always remember that there was a priest who really loved God and us! For the last time……
Peace and Goodness,
P. S. Please keep me in your prayers as you can be assured of mine. Love ya!