Dear Seton Family,
It is with a heavy but grateful heart that I write this letter to you. After nine joyous and rewarding years serving this community, Archbishop Lori has appointed me as Pastor of St. Michael, Poplar Springs, Maryland, effective July 1, 2022.
During these past nine years, I have watched many of your children grow into adulthood. I have buried people whom not only you loved, but I as well. I have been privileged to baptize your children, offer Reconciliation, give First Communion to our little ones, administer the Sacraments of Initiation, teach and protect your children, witness weddings, listen to your heartbreaks and offer advice if desired, mentor seminarians and deacon candidates, anoint the sick and come to the bedsides of those passing over to eternal life. These moments I cherish; these are the things that make me want to get out of bed in the morning. I want to say thank you for trusting in me and appreciating my priestly ministry. Your faith and love, especially during these last two years of the pandemic, inspired me to become a better pastor and a better person.
I have enjoyed working with all of you in the various ministries of the Church. I have learned so much from the Parish Staff, Pastoral Council, Finance Council, Parish Corporators and so many dedicated parishioners. It has been a great pleasure serving you in the best way that I possibly could. I have come to learn that this is a very special community that strives to always be united under the loving care of our Lord, Jesus Christ. I have learned that you love your priests, no matter how imperfect we may be. But the most important thing that I have learned is that you loved me, and that is worth more to me than gold.
To be a priest, and especially to be a pastor is to regularly come under scrutiny. People say all sorts of things. But trust me, I don't know anybody who's more critical of me than I am.
And I am painfully aware of who I am—
with all my faults, all my failures.
And so for all the ways and all the times that you have experienced:
my lack of charity,
for the times when I did not act as a good shepherd,
I want to sincerely repent and humbly ask your forgiveness.
Change can be difficult, but as a parish priest we pledge our obedience to the Archbishop as he discerns what is best for our Archdiocese. I am very grateful to him for giving me such a great parish as a first time pastor, an assignment that I will never forget. I ask you to please pray for him and for all our diocesan priests who will be facing transitions in the summer months. To that end, Archbishop Lori has announced that Msgr. Richard Woy will be the next Pastor of Seton Parish also effective July 1. You may remember Msgr. helping me out with the Mass schedule while he was on sabbatical last year.
Thank you for loving, challenging and encouraging me as your pastor. I will always keep the memories of my ministry with you alive, and when I pray, I will pray for you. Please pray for me and for St. Michael’s parish. I will never forget you. I love you all and will surely miss you.
In other news….
TONIGHT—Soup and Bread at 6:30pm in the Parish Center, followed by Stations of the Cross at 7:30pm in the church. Please join us!
THIS MONDAY we join together with parishioners from Our Lady of the Fields and St. Joseph, Odenton for an interactive evening of hope and encouragement as we listen to the movement of the Spirit in our hearts and community through conversation and dialogue. Join us at 7:00pm, Monday, March 28th at Seton for our Tri- Parish Lenten Mission with members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) staff. A zoom experience will also be available for the evening gathering. Please register for ONLINE participation at the following link: www.tinyurl.com/triparishmission22.
Finally, on Tuesday, March 29 I will offer extended times for the Sacrament of Reconciliation from 9:30am-12 Noon, 2:00-4pm and 6pm-7:30pm in the Church. If it has been a while since your last confession, don’t worry, I’ll help you through it!
Did you know that we have a Lenten Playlist? Listen to selected songs while you workout or take a walk in our beautiful community. Click here and let us know what your favorite song is by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Open your camera app on your smartphone and aim it at the QR Code (left) to access other items of interest in our Lenten E-zine.
A reminder....although masking is now optional, I encourage all parishioners to use your best judgement about wearing a mask especially if you are not vaccinated or immunocompromised. Please use the hand sanitizers in the Narthex and when you enter the church at the Food Pantry entrance. As always, if you are not feeling well, have a fever or persistent cough, please stay home and watch our live-streamed Mass online.
As usual, we will continue to live-stream Mass (Mon—Thurs at 9:00am and Sunday at 9:30am) on the parish Facebook (link) and uploaded on YouTube (link), and our parish website, https://www.seaseton.org/Resources/Media. If you do not have Facebook but wish to watch our livestream, click here for instructions.