July 1, 2022
My time at SMOY and St. Columban begins in July 2022. This will truly be a new adventure for me since the first 21 years of my priesthood were spent in Dayton. I am looking forward to ministering in a different part of the Archdiocese. The staffs at both parishes have been extremely welcoming. It is already obvious that we have some very faith filled and dedicated people on both staffs. I look forward to working with them all. I also look forward to getting to know both communities.
Much has been made of the Beacons of Light process (and rightly so). However, I hope to spend the next several months getting to know the communities and the staffs of both communities before any serious conversations concerning Beacons of Light. One of the blessings of Beacons of Light is that it allows us to combine our strengths. The idea is that we can be stronger together than either parish could be on its own. Having said that, I want to spend some time appreciating and respecting the gifts of the individual parishes before broaching the subject about how we might combine those gifts. Beacons of Light is going to take time. We are all going to need patience.
I ask you to be patient with me as well. While I have been a pastor for 18 years, I have never had more than one large parish at a time. It will take some effort to figure out how to divide my time and energy between St. Columban and SMOY. The silver lining in this change is that lay leadership will have to take center stage at both parishes moving forward. When we allow the gifted people at both parishes to use their gifts for the glory of God, the Catholic community in Loveland is sure to become a beacon of Christ’s light. I look forward to working with all of you as we learn new ways to bring Christ to the world.
When I was in the seminary, Fr. Jim Willig was my spiritual director for a number of years. When Fr Jim was struggling with cancer, he talked about his greatest desires: to love God better, to love others better, and to help others love God better. With God’s help, we can make that happen together.