A Letter from Fr. Joe

Hello everyone! I’m writing this note having just dropped off Fr. Ray at the airport on his way to spend some time with his family and then off to his new ministry in Scotland. I personally want to thank all of you for all the love and support you have shown not just Fr. Ray the past eight years, but to all the friars throughout the many years here at OLG. I know at times we friars have been difficult to live with, but I hope you have discovered that we all have something unique and special to share – either through laughter or tears.

This is what I would like to make my years at OLG about – RELATIONSHIP. It is by our being in relationship, not just the times we are happy or want to be in relationship, but also those times (perhaps especially those times) that we do not feel like it or want to be in relationship that invites us to a deeper conversion and opening of our hearts. In these moments of grace, we find ourselves changing, becoming more patient and open toward other. We find ourselves more accepting of the flaws and faults of others, while making us more aware of our own. We find ourselves discovering the gift we are as Church, as brothers and sisters which in turn allows us to discover the joy of living the gospel; the joy of being the One Body of Christ. It is my hope we can make this our focus in the coming years. We can begin by opening our hearts to forgiveness. If there are people we have hurt, perhaps we can begin by asking for forgiveness – it does not matter what they have done, but we ask for forgiveness for the hurt we have cause by our words and actions. If people come to us asking for forgiveness, perhaps we can respond with openness and charity.

I invite you to join me at the beginning of my new ministry and life here at OLG by reflecting on your relationships and committing to start again. Let us all pray that we have the grace and courage to build/rebuild our RELATIONSHIPS with one another, so we can truly be one family in Christ.

PS – Every time we have an opportunity to greet each other or talk, please keep telling me your names – I hope to learn all your names by December… Unfortunately, God did not grant me the gift of memorizing names!