The hardest part about being a priest is the transition of uprooting your heart and planting it once again in a new assignment. An older priest once told me, “it’s not the personnel board or even the bishop who assigns you, but ultimately the Good Shepherd who makes those assignments, and you’ll eventually always find the purpose.” It’s a word of advice that I turn to again and again and will once more trust in. I am very excited to begin a new journey as I have been assigned to St. Raphael’s Parish and School in NE St. Petersburg. St. Raphael has much in common with Christ the King (CtK) at half the size and similar demographics and family make up. I am grateful for the many of you who’ve shared with me your family and friend connections between these two parishes.
My short time with you at Christ the King was filled with many grace-filled moments – from sharing the ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and successes and crosses that make up our daily life. I have had an immense joy in working with the many who do tremendous pastoral work at Christ the King. From working alongside the homebound ministry, Care Club, and Bereavement, all the way to journeying with those of our Stephen’s Ministry- who work with our aged, ill, grieving, and those facing hardship and challenge. I also loved working with our couples preparing for marriage and family life, the various men’s and women’s groups, Knights, St. Monica Mothers, and the St. Joseph’s Society. I particularly have a heart for and appreciate the work of our catechesis in faith formation, and much of my time and energy was spent in our school and programs.
If there’s one affirming truth that I would want you to know about CtK’s community is that you support your priests. I have always felt prayed for and amply supported. I’ve enjoyed the invitation to homes, the small talks at the coffee shop, and the countless ways you’ve shared your support in caring for your priests. Thank you. I am truly indebted to the wisdom and mentorship of Fr. Len and Fr. Jacob. I will especially take away their love and reverence for the priesthood. After my time here at CtK, I plan to add to my practice Fr. Jacob’s tradition of saying to the servers -while washing his hands after preparing the altar at Mass- that the best job in the world is to be a priest.