I am putting what was in the bulletin here so that you can see what was announced:
From Fr. Declan:
St. Thomas More has been that to me. You have helped me grow into my identity as father; you have given me your patience when I mess up and as I develop my preaching. As your associate pastor, I have learned so much from all of you. St. Thomas More will always have a special place within my heart.
With that being said, the bishop has asked me to move to St. John the Evangelist as the associate pastor beginning July 1. Thank you for all your support and love you have shown me these past 2 years. In particular I want to thank Fr. Mike for all that he has taught me during these past 2 years. I am a very different priest today than I was when I first showed up 2 years ago. Know my prayers for all of you, and I ask you to pray for me as I move into a new assignment.
In the Love of Christ,
Fr. Declan McNicholas
In the Pastor’s Column:
In another section of today’s bulletin as well as at all the Masses this weekend Fr. Declan is announcing that he is being transferred to St. John the Evangelist Church in St. John effective July 1st. Please keep him in your prayers as he prepares for his second assignment.
Many of you might be wondering what that means for our parish. Who will our new associate be? The answer to that question is that we will not be getting a new associate.
There is a lack of priests in our world, our country, and our own diocese. We are being stretched thin. Instead of a new associate pastor, the Carmelite Fathers have agreed to step in and act as associates. They will be taking the daily 6:30 a.m. Mass as well as two Masses on Sundays. They will also cover for me when I am away from the parish on vacation, retreat, or for other reasons as well as make themselves available for sacramental emergencies and the like.
Please don’t write to the bishop questioning why he didn’t send us an associate. Truth be told, I suggested this arrangement to the bishop and the personnel board. This is in many ways a win-win for us, the Carmelite Fathers, and the diocese. The Carmelites have lost some of the parishes they had helped at in Chicago due to both the pandemic as well as consolidations. We will be gaining several priests who will be poised to help as needed.
What can you do for the future? Pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Pray, as well, for Fr. Declan as he prepares for his new assignment. Please pray for the others priests in our diocese who will move to new assignments. Some things may be incredibly difficult for us. Some things may be relatively easy. With the help of God, all things are possible!