Dear Brothers and Sisters of St. Andrew the Apostle,
First, let me thank everyone who helped to organize, who decorated altars, and who participated in the Eucharistic procession last Sunday on the Feast of Corpus Christi. It was beautiful! Many people who endured the 90-degree heat to walk, sing, and adore our Eucharistic Lord together commented on how glorious it was to worship together again in this way. As we come out of the pandemic restrictions, we pray for greater unity in our parish as we are transformed by God's grace.
Today, June 12, is the 11th Anniversary of Fr. Bresnahan's ordination to the priesthood. My 12th Priesthood Anniversary is tomorrow. Both of us would agree that our priesthood is an honor well beyond what we are worthy of and that we live in awe and gratitude for the many gifts we have received through it. While in our ministry we can both point to the crosses that come amidst the joys of the priesthood, I know that neither of us would change a thing. We would gladly answer God's call to the priesthood knowing all that it entails, for there are so many blessings.
The greatest gift of all is you, the parishioners we serve. I spent the first year of my priesthood as a student and then after my first parish assignment I spent over five years in an administrative role as the secretary to the Bishop. While I am grateful to God for those years, nothing compares to serving in a parish, where you can know and love the families you serve and become part of their lives. Priests are at so many of the significant events in each family's history, such as baptisms, weddings, and funerals. We are called spiritual fathers, and we see our parish as our family. Therefore, there's sadness when we are moved to a new assignment as Fr. Bresnahan will be on June 24. As a spiritual father, he will have new children at Nativity, but he leaves behind all of the families he has become a part of here in his two years at St. Andrew's.
As a reminder, Fr. Bresnahan will lead a Eucharistic Holy Hour on Friday, June 18, at 7:00 PM in the Church. I invite everyone to come and pray with us for the parish, for Fr. Bresnahan, and for all he will serve at Nativity. Then, on Sunday, June 20, we will have a farewell reception after the 12:30 PM Mass. Father Bresnahan's last Mass will be the 6:30 AM Mass on Thursday, June 24.
At our school, this has been a week filled with joy, memories, and some sorrow as our students depart for the summer. Last night we celebrated the 8th Grade graduation for St. Andrew the Apostle School with a Mass and awards ceremony. I thank all of the teachers and staff for their incredible perseverance and ingenuity in the past 15 months, especially our principal, Mary Baldwin. She rose to the constant and changing challenges in response to the COVID virus, keeping our students and faculty safe while providing in class and live-streamed instruction. She did it all with great enthusiasm and energy! We are truly blessed to have her here at St. Andrew the Apostle!
Please pray for all of our students as they end their studies this summer, and especially for all of our graduates. May they always stay close to our Lord, who guides them along his divine plan for their salvation.
Be assured of my prayers for you. Please pray for me.
In Christ,
Fr. Wagner