It has been my privilege to be in ministry with you over the past 6 years. Many of you have remarked to me that it doesn’t feel possible that it has been that long – which I hope is a compliment to the ministry we have shared together.
I have seen you change as much as I have changed. We have matured together and challenged each other to love more deeply and serve more boldly. My heart is truly filled with joy and gratitude, namely for:
- the support and friendship of Frs. Bernie, Jack, Tom and Joji
- the dedication, care and laughter of the parish and school staff
- the uplifting and prayerful music
- the commitment, outstanding generosity and enthusiasm of the many involved in the various ministries of our parish
- the wisdom and example of our seniors
- the enjoyment and depths of purpose of our married couples and merry singles
- the hope and energy of the young people of the parish
- the gift of so many children and their smiling faces
- the faith and dedication of all the people of Saint Anne
I am delighted to see what God is doing among you, but I am also aware of how God is moving in me.
As you know, I have been appointed by Cardinal Cupich to be the new Pastor of Saint Paul the Apostle in Gurnee.
Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye. This transition will be as hard on me as it is for you. From my very first day in 2013, you have been asking me to stay “forever” – and it’s been tempting because there is extreme magic on these waving hills of the Fox River Valley and Barrington area. There are wonderful things happening in this very church, but I have always known that my ministry among you wouldn’t be forever. I didn’t know how or when it would happen, but I knew that one day, I would be blessed enough to seize the next adventure. I hope that you embrace the changes that await you with the same bittersweet enthusiasm that I find myself in right now.
I would like to close with one of my favorite Scripture passages from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians 1:3-6, 9-11:
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
May God bless this time we have shared together as we look forward to what may come with God’s love. Smile; God loves you and so do I –
Father Chris 😉