This week I will offer updates and comments on several August
1) Early in the month, I installed two new pastoral administrators
— Michelle Bertot at Holy Name of Jesus, Greece; and Sister Doreen
Glynn, CSJ, at St. Mary of the Lake, Ontario. This experience of
pastoral ministry is a new one for both women and both parishes.
The joyful spirit and enthusiastic participation by everyone
involved left me with the strong impression that this new experience
will be beneficial to all. The people are generous, open and faithful;
their new administrators are well-educated, rich in pastoral experience
and want nothing more than to serve their parishes in love and
I add a word of thanks to Father Ted Metzger, who will be the
primary sacramental minister at Holy Name, and to our pastors in
western Wayne County — Fathers Rob Bourcy, Peter Clifford, Bob Gaudio
and Lance Gonyo — who will serve the sacramental needs of St. Mary of
2) I had the chance to celebrate liturgy with the community at Camp
Stella Maris on Aug. 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration. I love to
preside at liturgy under any circumstances, but there is a special joy
in experiencing the spirited and enthusiastic participation of more
than 300 children. They reminded me that reverence and prayer have many
expressions, and that the structures and options available in
liturgical books encourage full and active participation by all in our
3) We had a meeting of the campaign cabinet for Partners in Faith
and also a report meeting that gathered men and women representing
parishes that are participating in Block 2 of the campaign.
I was much encouraged by those gatherings. A detailed accounting of
our progress soon will be communicated, but thus far — because of the
sacrificial work and gifts of many — we are showing solid results!
Mind you, we will be successful only if we work hard to the very
I am aware that the challenge before us is a major one. I just want
to renew my thanks to you for your generosity, and encourage you to
pray every day that God will continue to bless this effort.
4) Last Saturday, I joined the people of Rochester’s St. Philip Neri
Parish for a liturgy on the occasion of the parish’s formal closing.
Those who joined the celebration had deep and mixed emotions. They
dealt with grief and loss and the powerful impact of uncertainty about
the future. But they were consoled by happy memories, a sense of new
possibilities in their experience of faith, and their unshakable
conviction that the Lord is always with us.
It will be a long time before I forget the incredible spirit they
showed at a picnic on the parish grounds after the closing liturgy. I
thank all of them for their strength of spirit and for all they have
taught me about faith through the process leading to Saturday’s
5) The irony of life is that the morning after that celebration, I
went to Scottsville to celebrate 150 years of God’s grace experienced
at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish.
This parish, too, has a pastoral administrator, Irene Goodwin, who
began her service just a short time ago. As was true at St. Philip
Neri, the experience at St. Mary’s reminded me of the enormous beauty
and richness of the Eucharist. There is a place for everyone at the
table — those giving thanks, suffering, craving healing or searching
for a sure path. I was mindful that both celebrations created a sense
of belonging to a family larger than their own. We all need the
consolation of such awareness.
6) When I finish writing these words, I’ll be on my way to St.
Vincent DePaul Parish in Churchville to formally receive Edison Tayag
as a candidate for priesthood for the Diocese of Rochester. Soon,
Edison will be leaving for the North American College in Rome to begin
theological studies in preparation for ordination.
Also starting his theological studies this year is Paul Flansburg,
who will study at the Theological College at Catholic University in
I am delighted that Paul and Edison are taking this step. I ask you
to join me in daily prayer for them and for young men like them who are
considering a vocation to priesthood.
I repeat my hope that you are finding some renewal this summer.
Peace to all.