From Pastor's Desk:
In 2006 when I returned from deployment from the peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, an area devastated by war in the 1990’s. We successfully helped to keep the peace with an international peace keeping force. I came back to the Diocese of San Jose in May and I didn’t know where I would go for an assignment, several possibilities were mentioned, none particularly attractive until the possibility of Saint Anthony of Padua came up. I found out later from a parishioner that a group of people prayed for the next pastor and thus I was prayed into this parish. Now fourteen years later, after serving the people of this diocese for almost forty-three years; it was time to petition for the possibility of retirement as I turn seventy.
As I announced to you the first weekend in February, Bishop Cantú accepted my request. Through a process of weighing the needs of the diocese and the church, the bishop decided to act on the requests from three other pastors also asking for retirement. So even though the pandemic restrictions are still in effect at this time, three current pastors and I will retire effective July 1st, this year.
In accepting this decision rather than being able to serve a bit longer, I am filled with mixed feelings, I feel sad for leaving and at the same time grateful for the fourteen years I was able to serve you, the people of Saint Anthony parish. However, this ending is turning out to be so much different than I could ever have expected in light of the pandemic. Over the past two weeks, I realized that I am only part of the picture; there is a larger, wider picture than just me and the parishioners of Saint Anthony parish. What is clear to me is that uncertainty is more a part of our lives than any of us would ever realize, but what is now certain is the decision is made. The likelihood of a farewell event before July 1st is improbable unless the current restrictions for gathering in groups dramatically changes over the next couple of weeks.
Whether now or later, I am confident there will be some kind of celebration, some event. In the meantime, I announced that Father Tad Terembula will be the next pastor of Saint Anthony parish. He announced the same in his parish, Saint Clare parish in Santa Clara last Sunday. He could see from the pictures you have sent in and posted on chairs in church a vibrant, loving, hospitable, welcoming parish where people truly care for each other, have interest in one another, and want to be a faith community in the Spirit of the Gospel. And I told Father Tad that the people in this community like to be known by name if at all possible.
What is admirable is the spirit of this faith community, your generosity to others through Outreach, serving the poor and helping others. That is one of many charisms of this community that I have enjoyed so much. A parish is not dependent on its pastor, because the pastor ought to encourage the gifts, talents and abilities present in the members of the community. May you pray Fr. Tad into this parish as you prayed me into Saint Anthony parish.
Father Larry Hendel