It is with sadness that I announce to you that I will soon end my pastorate at St. Louis Church. Moving into the field of retirement was certainly in my mind for the near future. Pastoral life and parish ministry have been a real passion of mine. Over the last 17 years at St. Louis and 43 years as a priest of the Diocese, I have been honored, fulfilled and happy to serve the Memphis Catholic Community. St. Louis Parish has become a home and its people my family.
One of the wonderful experiences of being a priest is the blessing of being involved in the personal milestones of God's people. I have been part of births and baptisms, education and Confirmation, faith formation, First Communions and Confessions, weddings, family celebrations, and sickness. To celebrate the Eucharist is the greatest gift of a priest. We have all struggled and cried together in the darkness of life through hurt, tragedy and death. Yet my treasure has been to see the Light of Christ in the people's faith. I will dearly miss these moments and all of the St. Louis parishioners.
Though I will not be involved in parish life, I am excited to be afforded the opportunity to be a sacramental chaplain at Christian Brothers High School. This appointment will be effective at the end of June. This month of June is being used to slow down. I am in and out of the office, but reflecting in gratitude on the past, discerning and dealing with the present, and anticipating the future with excitement. I do believe the leadership is planning a farewell reception on June 25, 2017.
I know that you will support the new pastor. You welcomed me and treated me with great love and respect. All of you are in my prayers daily and will continue to be all the days of my life. Please pray for me. Please pray for all the priests of the Diocese. I love you all! Thank you! God Bless you!
Msgr. John B. McArthur
P.S. I will still be in the "hood". Leftovers are always welcome. I'll never be named chef of the year.