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A Different Change

I left my job with the New York State Department of Transportation in 2000.  I then spent two years in Rochester completing my pre-theology studies.  Then I went to Washington, DC at Theological College for two years.  Next, I was in Rochester for a pastoral year before completing my final two years in seminary in Washington, DC.  After my ordination to the priesthood in 2007 I was assigned to St. Mary’s in Elmira for three years (with a pastor change in the middle).  I am just now completing two years at Our Lady of the Lakes (with another pastor change in the middle).

So, the last twelve years have had a lot of change.  You might think change has almost become the norm for me.  In just a few days I will be changing parishes again but this time feels very different.  As I began in both St. Mary’s Elmira and Our Lady of the Lakes, I was going as the Parochial Vicar with an established pastor in place.  With an established pastor in place, I didn’t attend any meetings or have much discussion before I actually began the assignment.  That was the luxury of having an established pastor there who could help me come up to speed while on the job.

Now, as I prepare to go to Immaculate Conception, I will be going as the pastor and only priest.  So, I went over in April for a tour.  I have been there interviewing candidates for a new “Director of Finance and Administration.”  I have been there for a joint meeting of the Parish Council, Finance Council, and Building and Grounds Committee.  I have met some great people at those meetings.  I have also had some good conversations with some of the staff.  I continue to look forward to my arrival on June 26th.

Going to these meetings before I officially begin has been different but what is really making this change different is the simple fact that I will be the pastor.  I’ve been spending time in prayer thinking about what being a pastor means to me and how God is calling me to serve at Immaculate Conception.  In the end, I am not trying to come up with a plan of my own.  The only plan I have is to listen to God and take the time to learn about the church to know what God’s plan is.  I have a lot to learn about Immaculate Conception.  God already knows all there is to know so I place my trust in him.


Fr. Jeff

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