By the end of the day today, I will have been ordained a priest for 25 years!
Were it not for the pandemic, my 25th anniversary would have been celebrated very simply with a private Mass in the Motherhouse chapel with perhaps a handful of local New York friends in attendance. But, because of the pandemic, my term as pastor was unexpectedly extended. So I have an unanticipated opportunity to mark my anniversary with the parish community I have served these past 10 years. On the other hand, in a year when even the Al Smith Dinner went “virtual" and when there has been so much disruption and suffering, a simple celebration seems appropriate.
That said, as I mark this occasion, I do want to use it to thank God and the Church for these 25 fulfilling years. And, in a particular way, I want to thank the people of the three parishes where I have served for accompanying me on this wonderful 25-year journey. My anniversary Mas tomorrow will be offered in particular for all the people - living and deceased - of Saint Peter's parish, Toronto, Saint Paul the Apostle parish, NY, and Immaculate Conception parish, Knoxville. I thank all who helped and supported me along the circuitous route that took me to that day 25 years ago, and all those who have sustained and encouraged me since that day. It has been my greatest privilege and my greatest joy to have been a parish priest, and I will surely miss it.