My Dear Friends,
Twelve wonderful years has come and gone since I first arrived at St. Mary’s, and not it is time to move on to the next chapter of my life.
We have done much in our time together, and we should thank God for allowing this to happen. In our time together, we got our parish out of debt, expanded our ministries, increased our weekend Masses from 4 to 8, established the Upper Room 1871, made St. Mary’s as a destination wedding site, established a sister parish relationship with San Francisco de Asís parish in Honduras, celebrated the 100th anniversary of our parish, watched our church become a basilica, established the St. Mary Health Center with its medical and dental clinics, beautified our campus in many ways, re-named our social outreach ministry the Sister Isaac Center, creating a series of Hispanic Ministries that is second to none in the Diocese of Raleigh, creating the San Andrés School of Evangelization, creating and fostering a missionary awareness and culture in our parish, creating two new playgrounds, expanding our Camillus Ministries, developed state-of-the-art courses in the sciences and arts in our St. Mary School, began our Columbarium and Memorial Garden project, and many others.
So, I’m thankful for all we have accomplished. But most of all, I am thankful for, and proud of, the amazing staff we have and the joyful spirit we have in our parish. Although you may not know, our parish is seen as an amazing one in the Diocese of Raleigh – a shining star. Perhaps that is why we have been featured in such publications as the National Catholic Reporter, U.S. Catholic, Field Afar, and Maryknoll Magazine. And, you and I will be featured in an upcoming edition of Maryknoll Magazine.
One of my goals in Honduras is to establish a small retreat center for Americans to come and taste mission life. Perhaps you will be one of the guests there one day. I certainly hope so!
Well, that’s it for now. Know that you will have someone in the mountains of Honduras praying for you and telling stories about the amazing parishioners of the Basilica Shrine of St. Mary to all who will listen.
Until we meet again, may God hold you and your loved ones in the palm of His hand!
Sincerely yours in Christ,