Before moving to my new pastoral assignment at St. John Vianney College Seminary, I wanted to thank you for many wonderful years shared with you at St. John Neumann. “Thank you” does not truly describe the gratitude in my heart for you. With the remnants of COVID-19 among us still I did not think it was proper to have a large gathering of parishioners. As you know that I love history and language. In looking at “goodbye” the word came to usage in the eighteenth century as a shortened way of saying: “Go with God.”
Please know that it has been a true blessing to be your pastor. I have lost track of how many joyful times spent with you and with your dear families at Baptisms, First Communions, Conformations and Marriages. The privilege has been mine also to accompany you during times of crises, sadness, illnesses, and the death of loved ones. The life of a priest is a call to share the joy of the Gospel in preaching God’s Word and celebrating Christ’s life in good times and in bad. God has blessed me with this opportunity as your parish priest for this many years. I have been with you long enough to baptize children of “children” to whom I gave their First Holy Communion.
A priest does not work on his own. I thank all of youâ€¦particularly our very talented and hardworking office staff. Of all the parishes I have served I have never encountered so many involved and committed stewardship parishioners in the many ministries that serve the needs of our parishâ€¦I thank God for all of you. Thanks also to those who have shared their wisdom and advice with me on the Parish Pastoral Council and the Parish Financial Council. I also want to express my immense gratitude to all the priest with whom I have served. They have been truly brothers. Thank you most of all, for all the prayers that I have so needed and continue to need. Please keep them coming.
Fr. Jose Alfaro, your new pastor is blessed in you and You are also blessed in him. I take great comfort and He will continue the work that was started by Fr. Hickey and built upon by Father Russell. I believe that I am leaving you with a wonderful priest to guide the parish forward.
Good bye and God bless you! With my prayers and love,
Msgr. Pablo A. Navarro