Hello and Happy 4th of July!
I am overjoyed to begin my time here at St. Mary and I am so grateful for the warm welcome and many prayers that I have already received. In particular I am very thankful to Fr. Mark for all of his help, encouragement and prayer for me. It is clear to me how much he loved all of you of this parish and how much he poured himself out for the Gospel here. Thanks be to God.
What a strange time to begin at a new parish! There are so many things that are uncertain or difficult to cope with right now, but I want to begin by recalling that in all our trials of suffering we are always called to go to Jesus. He is the answer and the source of all the grace that we need. In our Gospel this weekend He says so directly: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28) The Lord can use even the difficulty of this pandemic for the good of our souls. Let’s not forget that He is always with us!
A little bit about myself: I have been a priest for five years, and have loved every day of it. I am from Ann Arbor (yes, if and when sports resume, that’s where my allegiances lie) and I have one sister and one brother. As many of you know, I recently finished a degree in canon law in Rome, which I was undertaking over the last three years.
These last 4-5 months have been very hectic since I was not able to stay in my house of residence due to the coronavirus. However, the Lord provided and I was able to complete everything necessary for the degree online from Michigan. Being done and transitioning into parish life again is something that gives me a lot of peace and even though these times are very challenging to start at a new parish, I am trusting in the Lord for His plan and protection.
I am greatly looking forward to meeting all of you, and there will be time for longer introductions in the following weeks. After each Mass next weekend, July 11-12, there will be a small reception for getting to know each other.
We will also be having an online introduction and Q & A soon, so please watch our website or Facebook page for that information. My goal is to get to know you, and also to learn names, as quickly and safely as possible. I will do my best, but please remind me of your name for a couple encounters, especially if we meet on a video call or with masks on!
Thank you again for your prayers and welcome. Please feel free to express to me any concern or comment you may have, and know that you are all always in my prayers, especially at Holy Mass.
Fr. David Fons