My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Having been here with you for a little more than three weeks, it may seem a bit early to be thanking you but your response to me and welcome have been so wonderful, that I felt it appropriate! Your warm friendly greetings each time our paths cross touch my heart daily and reassure me that indeed I am exactly where God has lead me and intends me to be. For me the witness of your strong and deep faith is something that not only impresses me, it touches my heart. I often think (though its only been a short time) how blessed am I to be here with people who have such a deep and strong faith.
I know I’ve said several times in my homilies, that I feel like I’m preaching to the choir because you really do get it. It’s so wonderful to look out on you at Mass and know that you are not only understanding what I’m saying but that you get it and you’ve been getting it for some time. I am so thrilled to be here with you on your journey of faith as we grow deeper in union and love with our Lord.
As we see in the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus is feeding the multitudes that are with him. Through my ministry here, I feel that I am called to feed or nourish each of you spiritually. Because it’s through that nourishment that you will be able to enrich your faith, you will be able to grow deeper in love with our Lord, you will yearn for more and more. I hope and pray that I am always able to provide you with that spiritual nourishment and that it always leaves you hungering and thirsting for more. Like Jesus in the Gospel today, I want to not only meet your spiritual needs but exceed them so that we may journey in faith together.
My first three weeks with you have been a busy time, a time to settle in, to unpack (which I’m still working on), a time to become acquainted and a time of course to pray and worship with you. I feel truly blessed to be here with you all and I must thank you for the warm welcome and for your patience and understanding. I so appreciate the help and guidance that has been shared with me.
Before I close there are a couple orders of business that I need to share with you. Sue put in last week’s bulletin a request for anyone who has keys to any of our buildings to please contact the rectory so that we can have an accurate list of who has keys. I ask you to please do so as soon as possible. We are finding doors left unlocked in the Church, hall and other places and this cannot continue. If we can’t get an accurate list compiled in an expeditious manner we may have to have the locks changed and I’d really rather not have to incur that expense.
The other item that I wanted to share with you is, we are in need of hiring a maintenance person. We are currently looking into whether it will be a full time or part time position. If you or anyone you know might be interested, please call the office so that we can talk about the position. In the meantime, if you might be available to help out with some projects that need attention, please call the office and let us know. Anything that you might be able to do to help will be greatly
Again, thank you for all your kindness and the warm welcome. Know of my prayers for all of you.
Yours in Christ
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Father Mark Groeger is the Parish Administrator of Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.