I can’t believe a year has passed by this quickly. It was truly a great year with many blessings and challenges. Both the blessings and challengers have helped me become the priest I am now and the priest I hope to become as I continue my ministry beginning in Pierre Part, Louisiana. I did not envision what happened to me last year. I didn’t suspect I would be a Deacon an entire extra year or that I would be here for a year. However, I’m glad it happened this way because my priesthood has been and will be that much better because of my time here. I don’t have the room to mention all of the people who have had a personal impact on me but know that many of you helped me grow and develop into who I am now and who I will become.
I want to share some of my favorite memories from my time here. First, being thrown into Vacation Bible School from the beginning was a great experience – getting to know all the kids, from the ones at school volunteering to all the kids attending. Secondly, I enjoyed helping out at morning car gate or the carpool line at school. I especially enjoyed seeing all those smiling faces in the morning. It added joy to my morning to help the elementary students out their cars and get to their classes. I loved all of the school events I participated in-saying the prayer before football games, going to the Super Dome, watching basketball and baseball games, joining the Seniors for their retreat, along with many other events!
One of the greatest blessings of being at this parish was joining the prayer groups which are so active in this parish. Initially this was an opportunity to get to know everyone in the parish, but as it continued it was an opportunity to get to know you more and to deepen my own prayer life.
I also found enjoyment and blessings in some of the ministry groups in the parish and attending their meetings and events such as the Knights of Columbus, the St. Joseph Altar society, just to name a couple. Not only did I enjoy the great food but the fellowship and time together.
Lastly as you know I have some struggles that I publicly spoke about. As difficult as this was at the time, it is one of my greatest memories of my time here. You showed me such great support and helped me grow into being a better man and now a priest.
Finally, it’s not easy for me to say goodbye to such a loving, welcoming and supportive parish. The Holy Spirit was behind this assignment of mine I’m convinced! It was truly a great joy and a blessing to be here with all of you. Thankfully I won’t be too far away from Donaldsonville, but then again the demands of my new assignment may make it difficult for me to come and visit. I know some of you have camps down in Pierre Part and I hope you can come and attend some of my Masses! However, at the same time please show the same love and support to Fr. Matt Dupre as you did to Fr. Paul and me.