With St. Paul I write: “I give thanks to my God at every remembrance of you, praying always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the Gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:3-6).
You did not choose me as your new priest and I did not choose you as my first assignment, this choice was made for us. The Holy Spirit brought us together and I am grateful for this providential gift. It’s been a grace-filled four years! See what happens when God is in the driver’s seat? I hope and pray that you’ll pray with the Word of God and read your Bible daily. I hope and pray that you’ll look for opportunities to share the Good News with others and pray with others. I hope and pray that you’ll yearn for a greater outpouring of the Holy Spirit in your life and in the life of the Church. I hope and pray that God the Father’s love will continue to bless you with generosity and kindness. And, I hope and pray that you’ll be a blessing for Fr. John Mulhollan as he begins his assignment here. God’s providence brings him here, also. And, as one Body of Christ, each with differing gifts, we build up the Kingdom of God. I bless and thank Fr. Merzweiler and Fr. Mulhollan. I thank God for their priesthood and brotherhood. May your blessing and care continue to rest upon them and build them up so that we can all be united as one in Christ. I will miss you. You will always hold a special place in my heart: You are the Nazareth of my priesthood. You send me forth with encouragement and love. And, I carry the graces of this parish with me now to St. Columbkille’s in Parma to co-labor with Fr. Anthony Suso and a new flock. Say a Hail Mary for Fr. Suso and St. Columbkille’s, too. We have a kingdom to build, you and me. Let’s build it with the Spirit’s power and mercy united in Christ Jesus to the glory of the Father. Amen.
Fr. Jacob Bearer