I was recently reminded of something that I do not always think about – changes in assignments within our own clergy. Our parish recently underwent some changes with our Associate Pastor Father Paul Mawalla being reassigned to Perth and Father Michel Quenneville returning to our parish for the first time since being ordained a Priest. This move shows us that we must embrace change as it happens. It’s not just those moving that are affected, but also those Priests who remain.
I was recently in a small farming town parish near Lake Huron for Mass while we were visiting my wife’s family and they too had a new priest, Father Ray Lawhead, who was given exactly one week’s notice to move from Lasalle, near Windsor, to Petrolia, near Sarnia, an assignment with 4 parishes. Speaking with him after Mass that Sunday emphasized something that Fr Michel mentioned at our last general meeting, that there is a state of mourning that priests go through when leaving one parish to go to a new one. This is a change with moving away from friends and parishioners that you have become close to, your parish family.
I consider us very fortunate to have had time to plan and hold a farewell party for Father Paul. Father Ray in Petrolia will have to wait to go back to Lasalle for a visit when his time will allow. These men that we are lucky enough to call Father have hardships like the rest of us. They live a life of service, and we should do whatever we can to assist them, and we must always keep them in our prayers.
For all of our Priests, Deacons, and Religious, thank you for everything that you do, and know that we are here for you as Knights, men, and faithful Catholics. May God continue to bless your ministries.