As the end of the month of June fast approaches, priests’ moves take place in the Diocese of Hamilton. Five years ago I came to this parish, and I am happy to report that the Bishop is leaving me here for a while longer. I’ll be starting my sixth year in this parish, the longest I’ve ever served in one place. These have been happy years for me, and I hope that I can stay for a while longer. Fr. Francis will be starting his third year with us, and I’m so happy that he is here with us. I’m grateful to Bishop Crosby for allowing both of us to stay for now. Fr. James will be leaving us on Monday, after 8 years of service in our parish. Four of those years were under the pastorship of Fr. David Reilander, and four with me. Fr. James has reached that venerable age when he has been allowed to retire from active ministry as a priest. As we know, a priest never really retires, and so is the case with Fr. James. On Monday Fr. James will be moving to the retirement home administered by the Carmelite Sisters in St. Catharines, where he hopes to assist the sisters with pastoral work. I want to take the time to thank Fr. James for his faithful service, his prayerful example, and his kindness to me and all members of our parish. Fr. James will always have a place in our hearts, and will always be welcome to come and visit with us. May the Lord Jesus and His Blessed Mother bless this good and faithful servant of the Church with health both in body and spirit as he continues to another stage of his life. On Wednesday a new priest will arrive to take Fr. James’ place, and his name is Fr. Greg Merkley. Fr. Greg has been a priest for 2 years, and has served at St. Ann parish in Ancaster (one year) and St. Joseph’s parish in Guelph (one year). On behalf of all parishioners I want to welcome Fr. Greg to our parish and thank him for generously accepting the Bishop’s assignment in “God’s country”.
Our building project continues to encounter delays, which plagues many industries these days. Even though we were hoping to finally start foundation work on the new rectory in the month of June, it looks like we won’t get there until the middle of July. The important thing is that we are making headway, and we are moving in the right direction (forward), even if it is at a slower pace than we would have hoped. But, such is life, not everything can be controlled, and so I renew my resolve to be patient and optimistic. Thank you to everyone involved in this important work, especially members of our Building Committee who work tirelessly to keep moving things along. May God bless our efforts.
Summer months are now upon us, so I pray that we will take the time to live in the moment, and give thanks to God for allowing us to see another beautiful summer. May it be a summer filled with joy, peace, and moments of grace in God’s presence. Fr. Wojtek Kuzma