Here at the Cathedral, we have grown accustomed to seeing faces come and go, particularly with the resident priests and seminarians who have called this place home. Several seminarians have spent the summers with us, getting some exposure to parish life as they prepare for the priesthood. Many newly ordained priests have had their first assignments at the Cathedral, then after getting a couple of years of experience, they move on to the next stop in their journey. All of this turnover can be difficult, both for the priests and the people, but I think there are also many blessings to be found. Our parish community has had the privilege of getting to know more priests and seminarians than any other parish, which I think has been enriching in many ways.
Last weekend, we bid farewell to Father Peter Chineke as he prepares to begin his studies in Canon Law at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. I was very pleased with the number of people who stopped to greet Father Peter after the masses last weekend. As a parish community, you should be very proud of the role you have played in offering Father Peter some good formation that will serve him for many years to come. You have welcomed him as you have welcomed every priest and I know he will be forever grateful for his time with us.
This weekend, we welcome Father Paul Lesupati, newly ordained and just home from a trip back to his native Kenya where he spent the month of June. He will bring unique gifts to our parish that will add to the diversity of our experiences with priests here. I am confident that you will welcome him with the same joy and support that you offered to Father Peter and to all of our priests.
A few people this last weekend thought Father Dominic Vahling was also leaving. For the most part, your experience of him will be the same. He will still be celebrating masses and hearing confessions here. But now just being “in residence”, he will not be quite as involved in the non-sacramental ministry of the parish, such as faith formation and hospital visits. The same goes for Father Dominic Rankin. He will continue to be in residence, though we may even see him a little more regularly for some masses since he will soon be concluding his daily celebration of Mass for the Dominican Nuns. Their monastery in Girard is nearing completion and they will arrange for a chaplain who will be able to offer Mass for them daily. Father Rankin will be focusing more of his efforts on promoting vocations to the priesthood, religious life, and holy matrimony, so that might put him on the road from time to time, but he will still very much be present.
As for me, there is nothing new to report! As Rector, I enjoy a little more stability with regards to my time here. I continue my diocesan work as Vicar for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. And speaking of vocations, I am happy to welcome Phillip Gorrell, one of our seminarians, to the parish for the remainder of the summer. He has a short introduction later in the bulletin.
As we mark the halfway point of 2022, this gives me an opportunity to remind you to offer those three Hail Marys each day – one for the clergy of the parish (new and old), one for yourself personally, and one for the entire Cathedral parish family. On behalf of all of the clergy here, past and present, I offer my gratitude for your prayers and support. We love serving you and we promise you our daily prayers, especially each day at Mass.