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An Announcement From Fr. Jeff

This weekend we have given special recognition to Jesus’ role as the Good Shepherd.  The concept of the Lord as our shepherd is not new with Jesus.  Around 600 BC, the Lord promises to shepherd his people.  Going back even farther, we have the 23rd Psalm proclaiming The Lord is my shepherd. For almost four years now, I have led our parish as we try to become all that Jesus calls us to be.

In these four years, much has been accomplished with your support including:

  • After developing and implementing a strategic plan, the school is doing much better financially and enrollment has increased.
  • Calvary Cemetery is operating with a balanced budget and we have begun making some long term capital improvements.
  • We took care of our drainage problem in the parking lot, replaced the old greenhouse, and fixed a major structural problem in the office basement.
  • Last Fall we had our Parish Discovery sessions which has already led to more volunteers through our new Promise Tree and other groups working on other items.
  • With much work from our finance staff, and a very dedicated Finance Council and another volunteer, and your wonderful generosity with our increased giving appeal, we are looking to be in the best financial shape we have been in a long time.
  • We have given you more opportunities to deepen your faith including our CD’s in back and the book we were able to give out at Christmas because of the generosity of parishioners.

I hope I have had some role in making these things happen, but it wouldn’t have happened without our staff and volunteers, and most of all God’s grace.

God has a plan for our parish but it can’t happen without your continued help.

All this being said, after much prayer and discernment, as well as very recent conversations with the diocese, today I need to announce that at the end of June, I will be leaving Immaculate Conception.  I do not yet know where I am going, but I have come to believe that the Lord is leading me to use my gifts in another assignment.  I will continue to serve as a priest; I just don’t know where yet.  Hopefully, I will know sooner rather than later (I am not good at waiting).  I announce this so the diocese can start the process of finding who God is calling to be the next pastor of Immaculate.

Now I want to share with you a portion of the letter Bishop Matano sent me.

I will work with the Priests’ Personnel Board in determining your next assignment as well as providing for the future leadership of Immaculate Conception Parish.  Please convey to the good parishioners that the Priests’ Personnel Board and I spend many hours in careful and conscientious deliberation in providing leadership for our parishes, always mindful of our ministerial resources and taking into account the welfare of the parishioners and those entrusted with their pastoral care.

This period of transition presents the opportunity for the Parish to pray for vocations to the priesthood.  Our ministerial needs are many and the number of priests always needs to be enriched by those young men willing to answer the call of Jesus to follow Him.  In addition, the cooperation and collaboration of the faithful with their pastor positively advances the Church’s mission to teach, to sanctify, and to provide for the temporal needs of the faith community.

This has been a very difficult decision for me after forming a bond to the parish.  I think of some of Jesus’ words during his Passion, Father, not my will but yours be done and into your hands Lord I commend my spirit…


Fr. Jeff



  1. John Beach says:

    You will be missed Father Jeff. I wish you God speed, peace and good health.
    John Beach

  2. Laurie Konwinski says:

    Our sincere thanks, Fr. Jeff, for all the many ways you have supported our work at Catholic Charities. We are very grateful! Thank you also for sharing the story of your own journey back to the Church. It’s a wonderful example for people who may be struggling with same questions you did. God’s blessings on your ministry wherever you go!

  3. Bonnie Van Riper Balok says:

    God is leading you to be the best person you were meant
    to be. You and the parishioners have accomplished a great
    deal over the years you have served as Pastor in Ithaca.
    You have served your parishioners well in Ithaca as well
    as in Elmira. God bless you and continue to guide you.
    God’s will be done.

  4. Nancy Liguori says:

    Father Jeff, I pray that your journey leads you to peace and the joy of Christ in your heart. You a been a gift to me in my own journey. I wish you peace and joy as you follow your calling . My prayer are with you!

  5. […] few weeks ago, I announced ( that I would be leaving Immaculate Conception Parish at the end of June.  This required a lot of […]

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