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My Final Newsletter Column at Immaculate

We are just about to mail our June 2016 parish newsletter.  As I prepare to leave the parish, below is the last column I wrote for the Immaculate Conception newsletter.

Final Thoughts

Four years ago, on June 26, 2012, I became the pastor here.  In a few days, June 28th, I will move on to St. Michael’s parish in Newark, NY and Fr. Augustine Chumo will become your new pastor.

In the last four years a lot has been accomplished.  In terms of our properties, we have completed reconstructed our church parking lot, replaced the old “greenhouse” entrance, replaced a failing wall in the office basement, painted the cemetery office building, and done some major roof repairs at the school as well as several repairs within the school.  We will be replacing the main boiler at the school over the summer (contact our Principal, Don Mills, if you would like to contribute towards the boiler costs).

We’ve continued and grown our evangelization ministry providing more opportunities for our adults to learn about our faith (for example we have the CD rack in back of church).  We developed a strategic plan for the school that has turned the decline in enrollment around and led to a balanced budget for the school.  Thanks to your generosity in our Increased Giving Appeal and the hard work of our Finance Council and staff, our church finances are in much better shape.

One of the most important things I have witnessed in my time here is the people who hadn’t been to church in a long time return.  For example, I know of at least one person at each Mass who started coming to church after the death of a loved one whose funeral we did.

As I think about all the wonderful things that have been accomplished, I have had an important part to play but it would not have been possible without the help of our volunteer parishioners.  The generous gift of your time, talent, and treasure is so important to help our parish grown to be all that God wants it to be.

As I think about the last four years and the future of Immaculate Conception, I would like to make a couple of requests:

  • First, when I arrived I received a very warm welcome from the parish. I ask you do the same for Fr. Chumo.  Be open to getting to know him as who he is.  He won’t be exactly like me.  He won’t do everything exactly the way I did.  Give him the same chance you gave me and pray for him always.
  • We have many good volunteers here. Some have been actively volunteering in the parish for years.  Some have just started volunteer since I came.  Our volunteers have given generously given of your time, talent, and treasure.  I ask that you continue to do so under Fr. Chumo to the best of your ability.  Some of you might not be able to do as much as you used to.  Others might be able to give more.  Some of you may have never volunteered but feel called to do so now.  I just ask you to do the best you can.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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