Beloved parishioners of St. Mary’s,
How good it is to be back! In the week that has passed since I arrived in Vancouver, I have met with representatives of virtually all parish groups and ministries. I am delighted and amazed at what St. Mary’s Parish has become in the eleven years since I left the parish. I take this opportunity to thank Fr. Pierre and all of those who worked with him to plan the numerous encounters that I have had, as well as all those who came out to meet with me, and brief me on their respective ministries. I am profoundly grateful for this generous gesture of welcome, and for the excellent “snapshot” that I have of the parish, as I begin anew as pastor.
I give thanks to God for the obvious and abundant presence of the Holy Spirit to the parish in my eleven-year absence. I will miss Fr. Pierre as much as you all will. Back in the years when we were together here at St. Mary’s, his presence was so reassuring to me, because of his rock-solid pastoral judgement and his many other qualities. But I have to trust, as we all must, that just as the Spirit has been present to you in the past years, the same Spirit will continue to walk among us, and make us the Church that God wants us to be in the years to come. Let us make this act of faith collectively. Let us entrust our parish’s future to God, on the strength of our experience of his presence to us in the past.
As we begin this new chapter in the God-graced history of St. Mary’s Parish, let us simply pray, in the words of Psalm 67: “May God be gracious to us and bless us, and make his face to shine upon us, so that his ways be known upon earth, and his saving power among all nations…”
God bless us all,