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Farewell from Max & Rob

Dear St. Patrick and St. Malachi Parishioners,

My journey on the Near West Side as a seminarian intern has quickly come to its conclusion. I am thankful for the ways in which all the people of St. Patrick and St. Malachi parishes have accompanied me throughout this internship year. This year will certainly go down as the most important year of my life to date. From my introduction address in September, many may remember that I requested an urban setting for my parish internship in order to break barriers and encounter different types of people with diverse backgrounds, and that is what happened this year. While I grew the most I ever have throughout this internship year, I have also come to know myself in profound ways both through the observations of others as well as through my own prayerful reflection on the person that I am. Considering all that I have learned about myself and everything that I have experienced this year, with the support of trusted advisors I thought it to be a wise decision to take a year away from seminary next academic year by requesting a Leave of Absence. I know hearing about this can cause mixed reactions. I would like to stress that this decision did not result from failure, nor does it mean that anyone’s time or prayers were wasted; rather, this decision reflects that this year was a success. I was able to understand the person that I am through all the ministry activity that I was a part of and have thus been able to better understand where and how I may best serve the Church. Please keep me in prayer throughout this year as well all those who are in formation to serve the Church through formal ministry, and be assured that the parishes of St. Patrick and St. Malachi will always have a place in my prayers as well as a special place in my life’s story. 

Sincerely and thankfully,


Dear Parishioners,As I reflected on the time that I was able to spend at St. Patrick and St. Malachi it occurred to me what a bittersweet moment this is. I have learned so much from my field education assignment and met some truly amazing people doing God’s work here on Earth. From the moment that I came into the parish, my wife and I have felt like this truly was our home parish. We were welcomed and invited into your home with open arms. When people came up and told us we had a beautiful family and took the time to speak with us, it meant the world to us. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. As I continue on my journey of ministry and discernment, I ask for your continued prayers for me as I will continue to pray for you. I will see you next year for beignets and bacon!  

Gratefully in Christ,

Rob Blackburn