Note from Father Bill July 3,2022
I realized last weekend that it was 8 years ago that I came to Good Shepherd Catholic Community as pastor! Time certainly seems to fly by! When I arrived here I assumed I would probably be here for seven years until I reached the retirement age, which was then 70. But, with the shortage of priests the retirement age was move to 75 years old, which is the retirement age for priests in the universal church. Bishop Matano feathered in the change though for priests approaching age 70, so for myself I will be eligible for retirement in the June after I reach age 74. That would mean, I will be eligible for retirement in June 2025. Bishop Matano, himself had to submit a resignation letter to Pope Francis when he reached 75. He though will continue to serve as our Bishop until Pope Francis appoints another Bishop to shepherd our diocese. Bishop Matano has never liked the term “reaching retirement age” for priests; instead he will say “reaching Senior Priest status.” Which is really a better term since a priest never really “retires”: a priest is a priest forever, and most Senior Priests continue to serve the church in varying ministries way beyond age 75.
Regardless as to when I reach “Senior Priest status”, I plan on continuing to serve the people of our diocese in ministry, in whatever form that may take. I must say my health is relatively good, “if I keep on taking my daily pills”, but I know that I am slowing down with age. But I continue to look forward to serving our parish, and working with so many good people here in Good Shepherd Catholic Community. Recently the Parish Pastoral Council met for a year end picnic meeting and we celebrated the transition of Council members. Maria Gentry and Stephanie Quill completed their terms on the Council. I thank them greatly for sharing their faith in this special ministry. As we begin the 2022/2023 Council year the new members will be Cathy Sheils, from King Ferry, and Lori Kupiec, from Union Springs. They will be joining the current Council members, Anne Miller, John Schmitt, Tom Steger , Joe Gagnon, and Luke Gentry who will continue as an appointed Youth –Representative. I am looking forward to working with them all and I ask you to keep them and our parish in your prayers. May the Holy Spirit give us guidance to follow God’s plan for our parish as we journey into the future.
Have a Joyful Fourth of July. God’s blessings and peace, Father Bill