I have been a priest for nine years, back in Hamilton for three years, yet this is still my first time serving our Lord as a pastor. I thank you for your patience as I learn. I prayer the Lord has been reminding me that pastor means shepherd. A shepherd feeds and protects the flock. It may mean teaching parishioners in the evening. A shepherd guides his flock to green pastures. That means heaven. Of greatest importance is getting closer to Jesus even now. In this life there are dangers to our salvation. God gives grace, help, through the Sacraments, and as a shepherd I have the joy and honor of making these graces present to those who seek Jesus with a sincere heart. Jesus is the head of the body, the Church. Through the Church we are united to Him.

This year I will be making a language immersion in Mexico. Learning more of the culture and language will enable me to better serve many parishioners at St. Julie Billiart. Today’s gospel is poignant in pointing out who our neighbor is. Fr. Mike has encouraged me to grow in my ministry to Latinos and is willing to serve as administrator in my absence to make this growth experience an opportunity for me. I plan to leave the last week of October and return the first week of March. Please be aware that I will be back with you to celebrate several Christmas Masses.

The Vacation Bible School at St. Peter’s that serves our pastoral region begins a week from Monday. Call the parish office for more information or to register.

What a joy to know, love, and serve the good God.