Dear Friends and Parishioners of Saint Patrick Parish,
Within hours of starting my new appointment here on March 9, 2018, I was greeted by members of our Church Restoration Committee who enthusiastically warned me that I had no idea what to expect in seven short days. And they weren’t kidding. I quickly learned that Saint Pat’s loves a good celebration!
The 17th was soon followed by Holy Week and Easter Sunday. A vibrant spirit was evident as parishioners gathered during these holy and joyful days.
I remember telling family and friends how impressive these first experiences were to a stranger who walked into their lives—especially considering the fact that, less than two months earlier, this same family of faith gathered for the funeral Mass of my predecessor, Fr. DiNardo, who faithfully and lovingly served for over three and a half decades as their pastor. With grief upon their hearts and tears still fresh, my new family gave witness as to how—even with death—life changes but doesn’t end.
Although the joy which would ordinarily accompany a patronal feast or an Easter Sunday was very different for our parish due to loss and transition, signs of joy were abundantly present.
Four years later, as we return to some pre-Covid form of celebrating our patronal feast, I reflect upon all that has happened since those first days in 2018, including a pandemic that would bring to a halt many of the cherished celebrations and events so cherished by our community. Even now, as we crawl out of the worst of Covid (please God!), many find themselves full of grief and with tears still fresh from the losses or unresolved good-byes we experienced these past couple of years.
May our celebration this year renew our hearts as we gather again as a family of believers who fondly recall the past while looking forward to a hopeful future. Let this joyous feast be a bold reminder how life changes but doesn’t end!
Be assured of my prayerful best wishes for you and for all those who call Saint Patrick Parish their home. Happy Feast Day!