I am not sure that there are adequate words to express my gratitude to all of you for making the past five years as your shepherd an experience beyond words. As I said at the end of the Masses last weekend of all the parishes I have had the honor of serving over the years of my priesthood, this parish community ranks as Number One!!!! This sentiment comes from the very depths of my being as I give thanks and praise to God for all that has been.
I wish to thank all of you who expressed such kind words through the cards and letters you sent and after each of the Masses last weekend. God is truly a God of surprises as all of what was shared touched me deeply. Again, words cannot express my feelings and how much your sentiments mean to me. I take all of this with me as I begin a new phase on my life’s journey as a “senior” priest of the archdiocese. As our theme this past year was, “New Beginnings are a Gift from God.”
The new phase for me will be working with men at Sacred Heart Seminary and School of Theology in the area of formation who are preparing for priesthood. I look forward to walking with them and assisting them as they discern God’s call in their lives. It will be a wonderful gift to be a part of their journey as so many were a part of mine.
I leave St. Joseph’s with a heart overflowing with gratitude to God and will continue to hold this parish community in my thoughts and prayers. I know that you will love and support Father Adam as this has been the tradition of St. Joseph’s for which you are to be commended.
I also ask that you continue to keep Oliver Niles, the seminarian from our parish, in your prayers as he continues on his journey to ordained priesthood. He is an exceptional young man of whom we can all be very proud. God has blessed us with this vocation from our parish. Please continue to pray for more.
As always, let us keep one another in prayer as we continue on the journey to our destiny in the new and eternal Jerusalem.
- Fr. Dennis, July 15, 2021