Sometimes in life, when one question is answered, another question is left in its wake. A few days ago, the mystery about which priest would be assigned as pastor of Holy Redeemer, and have the somewhat unenviable task of following in the footsteps of the Redemptorist Fathers who have shepherded that parish since its inception, was announced. Along with it came a list of other clergy appointments, for making such decisions is never easy, and often involves a number of moves.
So it is that as of September 1st, Father Peter Moher, who is currently serving as the Pastor of St. Peter the Apostle parish in North Bay is being appointed as pastor of Holy Redeemer, and I will be appointed to succeed him as the pastor of St. Peter’s as well as St. Elisabeth’s parish in Temagami. Beginning in September, two priests are being asked to serve this community: Father Brian Dixon will be appointed as the pastor and Father Brendan Doherty, a Missionary of the Precious Blood who has served in various parishes throughout this diocese in past years is being appointed as Associate Pastor.
Knowing that my homily would involve sharing this news with you this weekend, I was not completely surprised to see that the gospel for today speaks of the commissioning of the twelve, and that the first reading speaks of Ezekiel’s call to prophesy in places he does not know. Like these apostles, priests today never know how long we will be privileged to spend in any given community. I cannot speak for others, but whenever and whereever I am called to serve, I try to respond in faith. In the coming weeks, there will be time to reflect with you about the years that have passed, about the blessings we have shared. A wise priest once told me that the time between the announcement of a move and the date it takes effect is often the time that we learn most effectively how to pray. Please pray with me that during these weeks, we will all be keenly aware of the presence of Jesus Christ in our lives and of the ways he invites us to turn the questions of our lives into opportunities, even as he fills us with spiritual blessings.