Thursday, April 14, 2016

Sorry - Thank you - I Love you

I want to take this opportunity of my last entry from my parish in Bend to say Sorry, Thank You and I Love you – the three words that I encouraged everyone to say more frequently throughout these past 2 and a half years.

I say Sorry to anyone whom I have offended or hurt by anything I did or said. Sometimes corrections were necessary, but I tried to do them gently. My ultimate goal was to involve everyone in this parish and reach out to those who could have benefited from being here every weekend. Morris West in his book-made-movie “The Shoes of the Fisherman” wrote “Give me a priest who can suffer for his people, challenge them, and lets them know how much he loves them.” Yes, I did throw a few challenges at you, but that’s only because I wanted you to get better in your Christian life, on your spiritual journey, and to help our parish in the process. I am grateful for all those who responded and again I apologize for sometimes pushing you too hard. But remember that it’s because of your example that others have joined our parish family – your example was a convincing homily, a tribute to the faith you profess, and now the journey has to continue.

I say Thank You for all the blessings you have brought to me, and for letting me become an important part of your lives. Whether it’s baptizing a baby, sharing First Communion, visiting and anointing our seniors, burying many of them, as well as marrying many couples in love, every celebration and ceremony was touching and meaningful because I always try to put my heart and soul in everything I do. Thank you to those who worked closest to me, Father Joseph, our hard-working Parish Staff, our Acolytes, altar-servers, many Eucharistic Ministers and readers, sacristans and ushers, our great Music Ministry, the members of the Altar Society, Catholic Daughters and the Knights of Columbus. We experienced a lot of healing in this parish over the past 2 and a half years. Being thrown into a cauldron of emotional upheaval when I was asked to come here, I did not do anything drastic, but I listened, I prayed, I smiled, I forgave, and most importantly I focused on the future, not cried over the past. And together we saw harmony and peace descend calmly on this parish.
I say today I Love You, because you will always have a special place in my life and in my heart. I have a good memory and remember faces well, as well as names, from the children in our school and Faith Formation program, as well as entire families. I say I Love You because you have made me a better person, a better priest, a better shepherd – your sense of appreciation and affirmation is deeply acknowledged and recognized. Yes there were many tears of sadness because of a loss, but there are also tears of joy because of the gain we all achieved as a community.
In my first homily here, I told you also about my favorite quote: “God never asks us about our ability or inability, but always about our availability.” And you all know that was a priority of mine in this parish. My door was always open to whoever needed help. I take with me to Malta many memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Both in my 22 years in New York, the years in John Day and the 8 years in the Cathedral at Baker City, as well as the past 2 and a half years here in Bend, I had nothing but blessings and opportunities to bring peace, healing and leaving behind me a unified community. I pray that it will stay like this and gets even better as the years go by.                                         

Since I will not have a computer or quick access to the Internet when I arrive in Malta, stay tuned for when these posts resume. Since I will be in a different country and continent, Blogspot may think I am a hacker, and may present some security issues. If I cannot place any posts, I will eventually start a new blog and will give you the new address. Thank you.

11 comments:

  1. An old cowboy saying... "Life's a journey, enjoy the ride!" You are a blessing and Malta is so lucky to have you. Enjoy your new chapter in this journey called life, my friend....

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  2. Thank you for everything you have done for our parish community. You have truly been a blessing in all our lives.

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  5. Thank you, Father Julian. I'm happy I got to speak to you just before you left. God bless.

    -Fernando

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  6. Will miss you always, but will look forward to your new Blog! God bless you.

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  7. God bless you Father Julian. Best of luck back home in Malta

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  8. I have just left Malta and did not know you were there! I met you when you baptized my grandson in Bend a year ago. Your native country and its setting are beautiful. I wish you great blessings as you have blessed so many.
    C. Hopper.

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