A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
June 30, 2020
Farewell Good Friend
June 30, 2020
This week completes my seventh year here at St. Francis Xavier and I cannot express enough how grateful I am to this community for having the privilege to serve you. Doing so has afforded me the opportunity to witness incredible acts of lived faith as parishioners share their gifts with our parish.
The colleagues with whom I share ministry are incredibly gifted people who make coming to work a good thing. The experience of the Catholic School here at SFX has been a blessing in my life, the excellence of the teachers and curriculum, the core values of respect and care for one another witnessed in students and staff is a blessing to this community. And then the Mass! The experience of prayer and song and participation is incredible! All members of this faith community can share a well-deserved pride in what you have accomplished together. So, I have heard the rumors, as many have approached me to ask if I am retiring now with Fr. Tim. That is not my intent. I plan to remain on staff, if you will all have me, and I look forward with joy to another great year. However, there is a great sadness as Fr. Tim, after 43
years of sharing his chosen vocation with God’s people here in our diocese, officially retires and leaves his ministry here at St. Francis Xavier. This weekend he will say his final Mass as a parish priest. What a blessing he has been to us all these past nine years! We will miss his gentle manor, his genuine interest and care of his people and we will miss his beautiful messages of the wondrous love of Jesus Christ. In all my years in ministry, coming up on 47, I have worked with many priests here in our diocese. I can honestly say, I have never witnessed in another priest one who has worked as hard and as fervently as Fr. Tim. He truly was and is a shepherd to this community. He has touched the lives of countless people in the celebration of the Mass, the sacraments, his mindful ministry to the sick and dying and his presence and love expressed to those among us who grieve. He has inspired young couples as he prepared them for marriage, he has walked with many through difficult life circumstances, he has baptized a multitude of children and adults whom he welcomed to the Catholic Church. He is a thoughtful and insightful leader who provides opportunity for those with leadership skills to use them successfully to further this faith community and assist in the building of God’s kingdom in our midst. We will miss his greetings before and after Mass, our children will miss running to him for hugs, we will miss his smiling face and his most reverent presence at the Eucharist. We will go forward to continue building God’s kingdom with new leadership, a new pastor who, like Fr. Tim will become our shepherd as we move forward. Let us together pray, asking God to generously bless Fr. Tim with continued good health and many years of retirement that he might receive reward for the genuine compassion and care he has shared with God’s people.
May he always know the love of his people and the presence of the Lord in his life. We bless you and we thank you Fr. Tim. Farewell good friend, enjoy a well- deserved retirement! With deepest respect and gratitude,