In Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, the famous, oft-quoted phrase, “Parting is such sweet sorrow” was uttered by Juliet and thereafter came into common use by anyone ‘leaving’ to go to another place.  The ‘sorrow’, of course, speaks to the parting and the ‘sweet’ looks forward to the next meeting.  I love my vocation and try to embrace everything that comes to me without reservation or regrets as my journey requires.  My time here has been filled with enormous blessings as well as challenges. Through it all your acceptance, warmth, love, respect and support have lightened whatever burdens I have encountered these past five years and my gratitude to you is great.  There was no way I could have anticipated the fullness of your generosity and enthusiastic embrace of all the changes and refinements we have implemented to fulfill our mission in the Church.  Priests come and go to parishes, bringing with them their skills, interests and dedication to their calling as best they can, sometimes successfully and other times not so.  Regardless of the outcomes of their efforts the one ‘constant’ in the mix is the parish community that remains as the priests come and go.  When a parish thrives it is usually the pastor, the identified leader of the parish, who receives the credit when in fact, the true recipients of credit should be his followers, the parishioners and staff who are rarely in the limelight but who are the ones who “make things happen”.  I have been blessed with truly remarkable parishioners and staff.  You are the ones who deserve any credit to be received for the vibrancy of this parish. There is no doubt in my mind that my successor will immediately recognize the qualities of this faith community that will continue to grow in strength and commitment in “Building a Church of Missionary Disciples by Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Reaching the Poor!”  So it is with “sweet sorrow” that I say farewell to you who will no longer be found in the pews of my church but will always reside in the recesses of my heart. Thank you for your good wishes for my future and know that you will always be in my prayers.

Pastor’s Points is a bi-weekly feature about faith, family, and life, from our pastor, Father James Flynn. It is published in our parish bulletins, as well.