Announcing the Inevitable
Feb 3, 2018
As many are aware, in the Diocese of Toledo, priests are normally appointed to serve as Pastors for a term of six years. The term for a pastor is often renewed once. Normally after serving for twelve years as a pastor in a given parish or parishes, the priest is given another assignment.
As many of us are aware, I was appointed to serve as Pastor of Resurrection Parish as of July 1st, 2005. On July 1st, 2010, I was also appointed to serve as the Pastor of St. Mary Parish. My second term at Resurrection Parish ended on June 30th, 2017. At St. Mary Parish, I am presently in my second term, which began on July 1st, 2016. Due to my age, Bishop Thomas agreed to renew my assignment as Pastor of St. Mary and of Resurrection Parishes on a year-to-year basis. The reason for the year-to-year basis is that on January 5th, 2017, I turned 75, the age at which bishops and priests are normally expected to resign from their respective administrative positions. Monsignor Marvin Borger, the Vicar for Clergy for our Diocese, recently shared with me that Bishop Thomas is allowing me to continue to serve as the Pastor of St. Mary and Resurrection Parishes until June 30th, 2019. On July 1st, 2019, our two Parishes will have a new Pastor.
Sooner or later, we all need to move on. I am grateful to Bishop Thomas for allowing me to continue to serve beyond the normal canonical age for serving in active ministry. On July 1st, 2019, I, the Lord willing, will be a Senior Status priest.
On behalf of Bishop Thomas, Monsignor Borger indicated to me that it is all right to let people know of this change at this time. We will not know who the new Pastor of our Parishes will be until the Spring of 2019.
It has been and continues to remain a privilege and an honor to serve as the Pastor of St. Mary and Resurrection Parishes. Both are vibrant parishes, each in its own unique way. In a lively parish, more and more people take a sense of ownership in the parish and in its mission. In many ways, the people of both Parishes have given and continue to give expression to this.
An advantage of knowing this far ahead of a change in the pastoral leadership of our two parishes is that of allowing for a period of adjustment. Every priest has a style of leadership that is unique. Some of you have experienced the leadership styles of a number of priests who have served as Pastors in our two parishes. Each of us is the Lord’s man in a given setting for the time in which he is appointed to serve.
I am grateful for the breathing room that the people of Resurrection and St. Mary Parishes gave to me when I was appointed to serve as your Pastor. I was not pressured into doing things or into a style of leadership that characterized former Pastors. I certainly hope and pray that you will offer this kind of latitude to my successor.
Another advantage of knowing when my present term is to end is to invite us to make the most of the time between now and then. The present situation can be likened to that of being on vacation. We all know the length of our vacations and we want to make the most of the days that are remaining. As we look to the months ahead, let’s pray to make the most of the remaining time in regard to the Lord’s mission for our two parishes. Let’s strive to do this in such a way that the transition from my presence to that of your new Pastor will be as graceful as is possible both for you as well as for your new Pastor.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor