I paraphrase the opening line of the English poet, John Milton’s sonnet 7, “How soon hath Time…”: How soon hath Time the subtle thief of years stol’n on his wing my nine years as pastor at OMC! As I conclude my ministry in this vibrant faith community of Our Mother of Confidence and begin my retirement, I am filled with deep gratitude for the myriad blessings that God has showered upon me over all my years of serving in this local church of the diocese of San Diego and most particularly at OMC. I am so very thankful to all the bishops of our diocese for the many opportunities they afforded me for serving God’s people in the many parishes to which I have been assigned.
My time at OMC has been a blessed experience for me. I was blessed to succeed two exemplary pastors, our founding pastor Monsignor James O’Donoghue and his successor Monsignor Donal Sheahan. Each of these dedicated priests served OMC faithfully with skillful leadership abilities and built up a vibrant faith community. Let us continue to remember them in grateful prayer.
I had the singular joy of living here with that saintly man Father Richard Hopkins and also my life long friend Father Tom Prendergast. Each of these priests taught me many lessons about life and living. I am also grateful for the priests who were assigned with me here over the years, Father Ray Roque, Father John Smith and Father Andy Kunambi. They are now my special friends. I appreciate greatly the ministry of Deacon Bill Klopchin, Deacon Scott Wall and for his time with us Deacon Jim Hackett. Each of them is supported in their ministry by their faithful wives, Rosemary, Michelle and Lisa. I am grateful to Greg Settelmayer and his wife Suzanne for their discernment that Greg would commit to the Formation Program for the ministry of the Permanent Diaconate in our diocese.
I wish to sincerely thank our parish staff who work so very hard to faithfully serve our parishioners day in and day out but especially during the pandemic, COVID-19, that we have been living through. These women and men are true Church persons who have never hesitated to take on the many new programs and ministries I initiated at OMC. Together we have bonded into a coalition of dedicated and intentional disciples.
I am inspired by the countless volunteers who have been and are serving faithfully and joyfully in the various liturgical ministries and outreach ministries over the course of many years. Without their loyal support my dreams for excellent liturgical celebrations, evangelization and outreach ministry could never become a reality. I have truly enjoyed the ministry for music and song gifted to us by our choirs and exceptionally talented musicians.
Furthermore, I have delighted in each and every Dinner Show that has been staged by these very talented musicians and singers. Of course, I have a special place in my Irish heart for the now famous Saint Patrick’s Dinner Dances which for so many years were organized by John Walsh, Ellen Artley and Kathleen McEvilly until their retirement some years ago. They were succeeded by John Ohle and his team of volunteers who are carrying on the tradition in grand style.
One very special group of persons at OMC has been the fraternity of the Knights of Columbus under the leadership of the respective Grand Knights who have been incredibly supporting of my vision and dreams for OMC. The Knights of Columbus have taken on with great success the organization and running of the bar for the various Dinner Shows and the Saint Patrick’s Dinner Dance.
I know you will warmly welcome your new pastor, Father Steven Larion. I wish Father Steven many happy and fulfilling years of ministry here at OMC.
So, with a grateful heart for my years at OMC I simply say it has been a delightful carousel! Thanks for the treasured memories! Let us continue to hold each other in prayer.
With much affection,
I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:15-19