Being with dedicated ministers is a blessing - Catholic Courier
Matthew H. Clark Matthew H. Clark

Being with dedicated ministers is a blessing

As I indicated in the last "Along the Way," this week has been spent on the road.


During the weekend of Sept. 18-19 I presided over eucharistic liturgies at which we formally installed pastoral administrators in two of our parish clusters.

On Saturday evening at St. Rose, Lima, we installed Sister Karen Dietz, SSJ, as pastoral administrator of St. Rose; St. Agnes, Avon; and St. Paul of the Cross, Honeoye Falls.

On Sunday morning at St. Gabriel in Hammondsport, Deacon David LaFortune was installed as pastoral administrator of St. Gabriel and St. Mary in Bath.

The communities gathered at both events were warm and welcoming to their new leaders. Both communities seemed to me lively and ready to move into the future supportive of their new leaders. Following both liturgies there were receptions at which people had the opportunity to offer their good wishes to Karen and David and to socialize with one another. I noted with some interest how many people stayed for both events and how enthusiastic was the spirit of both groups.

The people in both of those groups of parishes have a strong sense of community. Even as they make yet another adjustment in their pastoral organization, they demonstrate a beautiful level of trust that the Lord will be with them in all of it — even in the unknown. I came away from both celebrations much inspired by the good of the people and impressed by the generosity and commitment of Karen and David as they take on their enlarged pastoral responsibilities.

I write these words in my room overlooking Alexandria Bay where I am spending the early part of the week assisting at the annual convocation of priests and deacons of the Syracuse Diocese.

I am honored to be included in this event so important in the lives of our neighbors to the east. It has been a pleasure to be in their company and to work with the other two presenters they invited, Patricia Kelly, PhD, a psychologist from Philadelphia; and Father John Rose, a priest of Syracuse who currently serves on the staff of St. Luke Institute near Washington, D.C. We were asked to share our experiences and thinking on a theme that centers around the health, well-being and spiritual growth of priests and deacons in challenging times.

As always, it is a blessing to be in the company of dedicated pastoral ministers who are in touch with both their faith and their own humanity and who desire deeply to keep growing in the Lord.

Tomorrow evening, I’ll be flying to New York for a two-day meeting with the bishops of the New York Province that includes the eight dioceses of New York state. I always look forward to the companionship and the exchange of ideas that we enjoy on such occasion.

The annual September meeting also holds the opportunity to meet first with the leaderships of congregations of women and men religious who minister in our dioceses, and then with representatives of our eight Presbyteral Councils.

Much as I look forward to all of that, I know that I will be very happy to come home on Friday evening.

Be assured, please, that in the midst of all of the comings and goings, you are in my prayers — that God will bless and continue to sustain you in all that you do.

Peace to all.

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