Thank you very much for such a warm welcome my first weekend at Holy Innocents. I can tell that this is a very warm community of faith. I am sure that I will enjoy my time here as I get to know you all much better. I would like to take this opportunity in my first letter to the parish to tell you a little about myself.
I was born in Freehold and grew up in Howell, NJ. (So, you can say I’m pretty local. I’ll just say my mother is very happy that I’m close by.) I was raised in the Lutheran Church and converted to Catholicism while in college. I attended The College of New Jersey in Ewing and entered seminary immediately after earning my degree in mathematics. I went to St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, PA. In 2010, I was ordained a deacon by Bishop Smith. In 2011, I was ordained a priest by Bishop O’Connell.
Since then, I have been stationed at Our Lady of Sorrows-St. Anthony Parish in Hamilton, NJ. I was involved in many ministries during my five years at OLS-SA. I had a particular care for Faith Formation and Youth ministries. I visited the school there and the CCD program almost every day. I assisted the youth ministers of our Youth Group. I was director of the RCIA program. I founded a bi-weekly group dedicated to books on the Catholic faith and discussing them. I also hosted Family Board Game nights and had a board game club in the after school program. I was both the chaplain of Notre Dame High School in Lawrenceville and a vocation recruiter during my last year at OLS-SA.
I thank God for all the opportunities He has given me to minister as one of His priests. I know He is leading me to where He knows I should go for my own holiness and growth. The priesthood is such a gift and I look forward to being here as your new Administrator. This is however a completely new role for me. So, please be patient with me as I get my feet wet. In the meantime, I am willing to listen and talk to anyone who has concern for the parish. So, feel free to contact me either through the Parish office at extension 11 or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
On a final note, it can be tough to see a beloved pastor such as Fr. Mike Wallack leave. But, he is going to do great things in the diocese as he promotes vocations and assists the Bishop as his secretary. In my estimation, I think he has great gifts that will aid him in those roles. As you know, he is a very genuine person that puts his whole heart into whatever he does. Please pray for him and myself as we begin these new stages of our lives.
P.S. What is the difference between an Administrator and Pastor?
An Administrator is pretty much the same thing as a Pastor except certain big decisions have to be done with consultation of the chancery and the Administrator is easier to move. The common practice recently in our diocese is to make a new Pastor an Administrator first and then later install him as Pastor. In almost all practical aspects of ministry and running the parish, there is very little difference between a Pastor and an Administrator.