More Change

Well, if you have been reading my blog for a while, you may know that I was ordained a priest in June 2007.  My first assignment was St. Mary’s on the south side of Elmira.  I served there for three years but after two years the pastor’s term was up and a new pastor came.  The following year, my three-year term was up and I moved to Our Lady of the Lakes for a different experience.  One year after I arrived at Our Lady of the Lakes, the pastor left to take a new parish.  So, a new pastor came.

This June will be the fifth anniversary of my ordination as a priest.  I will have served in two different parishes with four different pastors.  One might think that I might be doing something to wear out pastors!  I hope not!

Well, this week Bishop Clark to give me a new assignment.  At the end of June, I will be moving to Ithaca to serve at Immaculate Conception.  You might wonder if I will wear out the pastor there too.  I hope not because I will be the pastor!

All kidding aside, through a lot of prayer and discernment, I do believe this is where God is calling me to be.  That is what is most important.  Before I received the call from the bishop, people sometimes asked if I felt ready to be a pastor.  My answer was ‘how do you know if you are ready to do something you haven’t done before?’

I didn’t feel ‘not ready’ but what does it mean to be ready?  Of course, in the years when there were a lot more priests, a priest may be ordained 20 years before they became a pastor.  Of course, in those days, most priests were ordained at 26 years of age and had never had another job.  I spent several years in engineering and was almost 38 years old when I was ordained.

The two parishes I have served in certainly have given my very different experience.  The first being a single church serving a portion of one county while the second covered an area spanning three counties (and three area codes) with four churches currently celebrating Sunday Mass.

Every parish has its pro’s and con’s.  Every parish can have its challenges.  What is most important is that it be where God is leading me.  As long as I go where God leads me and I remain open to His will, God will give me (often through the people around me) what I need to accomplish what He asks of me.

Please pray for me as I prepare to take this new assignment.


Fr. Jeff



  1. Dear Fr. Jeff,
    Fr. Leo announced the news of your new assignment today at Mass.

    Welcome!!! We do hope you will like Immaculate Conception and we look forward to meeting you. We have enjoyed reading about you and our prayers will be with you.

    Rudy and Kathy Schwoeble

  2. Hello Fr. Jeff,
    Welcome to Immaculate Conception! We are so happy that you will be our new pastor. What a wonderful treat to share your ministry through this blog. We’re very excited to meet you in person and hope you will love our parish as much as we do.

    Mike and Sylvia Allinger

  3. Thanks. For new readers, I started a personal website about 14 years ago with just stuff about me. While I was in seminary, I started putting papers and reflections on the website. Then, about 2008 was created distinctly as a website for Catholics. Then, I started blogging. I’m not sure there are many regular readers but some people tell me they like to read what I write so I keep writing.


    Fr. Jeff

  4. Fr. Jeff:

    All the best to you in your new assignment, they are lucky to have you! May God continue to lead you, and you will be in my prayers.


    Mike Lares

  5. Fr. Jeff, Welcome to Immaculate Conception. Our son in Fairport, NY is familiar with you (Frank and Julie Raponi) and he assures us that we are very blessed to have you coming to be our parish as the new Pastor. Looking forward to meeting you. God Bless you and we will continue to keep you in our prayers.

  6. Dear Father Jeff,

    Happy Easter! We are blessed to have you as our next pastor. I want to offer you any assistance that you feel you’ll need as you go through this change. Once you’re settled my family and I would love to treat you to dinner. We have a very diverse community here in Ithaca and I look forward to the journey that God has in store for our parish.


  7. Dear Father Jeff,
    Welcome to Immaculate Conception. We look forward to getting to know you and to work with you.
    God bless!
    Sister Elise

  8. Fr. Jeff – Don’t worry, we will try to help make your transition to ICC as smooth as possible. We are looking forward to serving God and His church with you as our Pastor. May God continue to bless you in your new assignment.

  9. Thanks. It’s all about working together to find God’s Will for us and seeking to fulfill that will. Looking forward to meeting you when I arrive at the end of June.


    Fr. Jeff

  10. Welcome Fr. Jeff,

    I look forward to meeting you and I have enjoyed reading your blog.

    Ronda Porras

  11. Thanks. It is nice to know people enjoy reading my blog and I look forward to meeting you when I arrive at the end of June.

    Fr. Jeff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.