It’s hard to believe but last Wednesday, July 6th was my one-year anniversary of arriving at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish as your pastor. The year seemed to fly by, at least for me. Perhaps it did for you too. Some people know that I am a Star Trek fan (a “trekkie” as some say!). There is a line in the film Star Trek: Generations in which Captain Jean-Luc Picard remarks: “Time is a companion who goes with us on the journey, and reminds us to cherish every moment because they’ll never come again.” I’ve very much enjoyed my time here at OLQH over the past year and I cherish the moments that I have been able to spend with you.
I know that not every one may have agreed with some decisions I have made or things that I have done. There may have been times where I said something to you or someone you know that was taken the wrong way, out of context, or perhaps I was rushed, tired, or distracted. If, over the last year, I have offended you or been unkind, please know that I am sincerely sorry. Priests are human, very human, and sometimes our humanity comes out a little strong. Like you, I work each day to try to be kind to everyone in thought, word, and deed.
As I begin year two here at the parish, as we say ‘good bye’ to Father Levi Schmitt, and as we welcome Father Steven Weller, I encourage you to pray often for priests. We need your prayers. Being a priest is not easy. There are numerous difficulties—many unseen—that challenge all priests. Please pray for us. Below is prayer you might consider using:
O Jesus, I pray for your faithful and fervent priests; for your unfaithful and tepid priests; for your priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for your tempted priests; for your lonely and desolate priests; for your young priests; for your dying priests; for the souls of your priests in purgatory.
But above all, I recommend to you the priests dearest to me: the priest who baptized me; the priests who absolved me from my sins; the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me your Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way.
O Jesus, keep them all close to your heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.