Dear parishioners,Merry Christmas! I wish each of you a blessed and joy-filled celebration of Jesus’ birth. Christmas is my favourite Church celebration. I am constantly in awe that our incredible, loving, all-powerful creator God chose to be born into our history as one of us.
It confers a dignity to all human beings, and constantly reminds me that God is truly “Emmanu-el”, that is, God-with-us.It has been 11 months now that I was first diagnosed with covid. In the ensuing months, I have experienced so much. I am learning about my limitations and my dependence on God and on others, in so many ways.
When I took time away during Lent, and then the spring and summer, I was convinced that I would return as pastor by the fall, fully healed from my symptoms. That has not happened. Since my arrival back in Windsor at the end of August I have been able to preside at Masses and a few other ministries on a limited basis. I am also working with a physical trainer and walking frequently to try and build up strength.
In addition to physical healing, I have been working with a psychologist and my spiritual director. At their prompting I have decided to take more time away. I may or may not heal physically; covid is still so new, and the future is still unknown. At the same time, I know that I need more emotional healing, and I am convinced that the best way for that is to step back from all parish duties for a few months, beginning after New Year’s..
I hope that this leads to my return as pastor by the summer. Only God is certain of my future. I am deeply grateful to the staff of our Family of Parishes; I know that my absence creates greater responsibilities for them. I am also quite aware of the luxury of being able to take time away.
I pray that it be for the best, to enable me to be of better service to you and all God’s people than I can be at this time.I ask for your prayer for me in this time. Please be assured of my prayer for all of you. May the newborn Christ Child fill you with blessings.