Dear Friends of Jesus,

Greetings in His name! All over the world many pastors are bidding farewell to their churches as they receive new assignments and St. Mary is no exception. In His providential care the Lord thought it wise that this small-town pastor should serve our brothers and sisters at the Archdiocese for the Military Services as the Judicial Vicar. 

As I celebrate daily Mass, I will always carry you in my heart. I look back over these past six years and my heart is filled with gratitude and praise to the Lord for the work He has done. I will not try to list here all of the things we have accomplished together in the Lord. But one accomplishment bears mentioning, that the people of the parish are more in love with Jesus Christ at the end of my priestly ministry then they were at the beginning. It has been a joy to see so many of you become His disciples.

As our Heavenly Daddy continues to love you, He also therefore, provides. When I heard that Fr. David Fons was to become the new shepherd of St. Mary Parish and School, I breathed a sigh of relief because he is a priest after Christ’s own heart. I have no doubt that you will welcome him with the same love and care that you welcomed me. This will bring me great joy. 

Lastly, transitions can be hard. Change is hard. Elijah led God’s people through many transitions and changes, but when he prayed “I have been zealously zealous for the Lord God of Hosts” (1Kings 19:14) the Lord heard him and preserved both him and the people of God. He will do the same for you and for Fr. Fons if you make this your prayer as you attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass each Sunday. 

So, with a full heart I bid you farewell. Let everything that you do in the future be done in love.

Fr. Mark