Happy Easter. I pray that our continuing celebration of the paschal season has brought many graces and joys to you all. As we enter into the third week of Easter, I would like to share the news that effective July 1st, 2019, Archbishop Sartain has appointed me as pastor of Saint Mark’s parish in Shoreline. At that time here in Lewis county, Father Milhton Scarpetta is appointed as the new pastor and Father José Maria Cuauhtemoc Ramirez as parochial vicar (better known as Father ‘Temoc’ in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, from which he will be arriving).
Additionally, it was announced late last month that in preparation for Archbishop Sartain’s early retirement due to ongoing back-related health issues, Archbishop Etienne (pronounced Eh-chen) has been named coadjutor of the archdiocese. We have much to pray over and entrust to the heart of Jesus.
While we have two months yet to begin making our goodbyes and anticipating new ‘hellos’, let us begin our prayers for each other today. We have weathered many changes over the last several years, but one constant has remained with us throughout: that where two or three are gathered in His name, Jesus Christ is present, most especially in the celebration of the Mass. We place our faith – along with our hopes, fears, and desires – in His hands!
To the parishioners of Saint Mark’s parish, please also know of my prayers for you as we prepare to meet in July. I know that Father Mitchell’s departure will be bittersweet, especially given his generosity in delaying senior status in favor of continuing full-time parish ministry in Shoreline. I would like to note his coming fortieth anniversary – a fact I am sure you are already aware of! – and express my admiration for his many years of service throughout the archdiocese. We are blessed by his faithful ministry.
In many ways, our next steps are to ‘hurry up and wait’, knowing that change is coming but not yet here. In the time before that change arrives, let us re-commit ourselves to mutual prayer for each other, especially at our Sunday Masses. (And of course, if you haven’t gone yet – or recently – go to confession!) May God abundantly bless us as we continue to draw near to Jesus & each other in prayer, worship, and service.