The Imperfect Goodbye
Ten years. What a great time. So many things have happened. The parish has changed. I have changed. But before I get started talking about all the great things I have learned; I want to start off with an apology. I know there are some people I may have hurt over the years. I’m sorry if I did anything that may have hurt you. I’m sorry if there were times that I wasn’t there in your need. There is no excuse other than to say I am sorry.
I want to say thanks. There are so many people to say thanks to. I want to start off with thanking the Parish Council and its many forms over the years. There were so many things we did starting from the very beginning with the people who stayed with me that first year. We transformed the council into what was needed in this modern age. We accomplished so much. We learned how to make prayer the focal point of all our actions. We learned how the parish worked. We learned the needs of the parish. We created new committees and coordinated parish leadership meetings. Many great people came out of the councils. Brenda Bone would be-come our Parish Coordinator. Mary Patterson would become our Auction Chairperson. Matt Collins would become our Youth Leader. Gene Mattler was already discerning and now he is becoming a deacon. Many people became involved in the ministries of the church. I learned so much from you. You have taught me to become a better leader, even when I stumbled. I know that St. John Paul II is going to greatly benefit from what you taught me.
Thanks to the backbone of the parish, the Finance Council. You have helped guide the finances of the parish through good and bad. You were there when we hired Mariann Jones, a wonderful principal. You helped me realize the need for a part-time business coordinator and a part-time pastoral minister. Right now, we are able to fill that need in Brenda. You have helped me keep the school afloat. Thanks to you the parish has received many grants. Through you I have realized to trust the providence of God.
I thank the Auction Committee, the Picnic Committee throughout the years. I thank St. Vincent de Paul, a tireless and thankless organization I have never had to worry about since I have been here. I thank the Knights and the Ladies. I thank the Youth Ministry. I thank the Adult Faith Committee and the newly formed Stewardship Committee. I thank the school and PSR. The newly formed Trivia Committee. I know I am forgetting some people and I am sorry if I have forgotten you.
One of the biggest things I want to thank you for is how you all came together to remodel the church. Because of you I have physi-cally experienced what collaboration is all about and the power of one. There are many other thank yous that are not written in this letter which I believe it would take a whole bulletin to just scratch the surface.
The last thing I want to tell you is that I love you. I have loved you from the beginning until the end. You are worth dying for. Be-cause of you I already know that love awaits me at the next parish and that they have my love too. Love is not a limited resource. My love is boundless for you and I know it will grow even more over time.
P.S. Thanks Mary Lou