Pastor's Corner Jun 2 2019

You know we're in the "Church Militant". When we feel sorry for ourselves, we feel like we're in the Church Suffering. All the while, we strongly desire to be in the Church Triumphant. Indeed, our taste of this glory is genuine, but imperfect. We can become so preoccupied with our fighting and suffering, and disappointed by the lack of boundless glory, that we miss the obvious common denominator: we are members of the Church! We are members of the Mystical Body of Christ. We are members of a living, breathing person. This person is divine. "He gave them the power to become sons of God." (Jn.1:15).

The name 'militant' is meant to set our outlook: We are all part of a military effort which is larger than ourselves and our immediate circle. Remembering that 'war is hell' is also useful for forming and entertaining reasonable expectations. Hell is far from beside the point.

In this context, the Fraternity of St. Peter can rightly be seen as a military unit. However you see us, the Few and the Proud or the Bad News Platoon, we are part of the fight which is larger than ourselves. We are a tiny organization in the Mystical Body of Christ.

One of the unsettling aspects of war is change. Change that is too frequent can make us feel despondent--like nothing matters. This temptation must be avoided.

Big changes have arrived at the doorstep of St. Joseph Parish. It pains me to announce this but announce it I must: Fr. Gordon and myself are both being reassigned out of Richmond this year. Two soldiers are leaving; two more will take our place; the fight will continue. These decisions are made by the Superiors in the Fraternity and ratified by the local bishops in whose jurisdictions we minister. The superiors, like generals, have a unique perspective of the battle. While they don't see the details in every trench or fox hole, they are meant to see the whole enterprise. They are responsible for all the needs before them, using the all-too-limited resources at their disposal. Good generals will hold irrelevant the popularity, as such, of their decisions--there are far greater needs at stake.

Fr. Gordon is assigned to the FSSP parish in Colorado Springs. He is scheduled to leave Monday, June 24th. I am being assigned to the FSSP parish in St. Catherine's Ontario, Canada. (They were going to send Fr. Nichols up there until they realized he doesn't speak Canadian.) I will leave Monday, July 8th.

Your new pastor will be the no-longer-wet-behind-the-ears Fr. Karl Marsolle, FSSP. He will be ably assisted by Fr. David Franko, FSSP.

On behalf of the superiors, who have done their best to make the best decisions, I apologize for the pain and disruption they may cause. As for those who may welcome such changes, my hearty congratulations to you!

I suggest that a goodbye for Fr. Gordon be part of our Corpus Christi Festival on Sunday 23 June.

For me, I'm not ready to say good-bye just yet.

Please remember, we need to keep fighting the enemy, not each other. God love you.

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