From Fr. Paul
As I reflect on my fifty years as a priest, I acknowledge the many who have shaped, graced, and influenced my life. I am grateful, thankful and humbled by the blessings of many opportunities shared with me and the support, love and affection given to me.
Fr. Leo Trese, in the 1950’s, wrote many spiritual books about priests and the priesthood. During my seminary days they were very prominent. One title that has made a big impression on me was “Earthen Vessels”. It just reminds me of how much we are like clay vessels – fragile, easily broken or chipped. I’m personally reminded of so many of my poor judgments, mistakes, embarrassing presumptions, and insensitivities.
But as I review these last fifty years as a priest, while well aware of many shortcomings, I take to heart some of St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians which directs and energizes me. “I do not claim that I have already succeeded or have already become worthy. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won. Of course, I really do not think that I have already won it; the one thing I do, however, is to forget what is behind me and do my best to reach what is ahead. So I run straight toward the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus to the life above.”
Over the years our parish has faced a lot of important decisions and some very tough decisions. We have has some great mentors and guides in trying to steer the right course for our parish. I feel profoundly grateful for the support, guidance, and trust accorded to myself and our community. First and foremost I am deeply grateful to be a member of this community. I will always carry this parish in my heart with gratitude for all your support, your trust, your guidance and most profoundly for your friendship.