A Note from Fr. Gary -
This past week Archbishop Sartain made official appointments for the coming year, beginning July 1st. As we expected, these appointments affect us at St. Thomas Aquinas, Our Lady Star of the Sea and St. Joseph. As of July 1st, Fr. Thompson and Fr. Dwight will be moving to new assignments.
Fr. Thompson has been assigned to assist with the care of a cluster of faith communities in Lewis County. Fr. Thompson will be assisting the pastor, Fr. Jacob Mauer, with the care of three parishes, two missions and a station. Fr. Thompson will serve as Parochial Vicar for St. Joseph Parish in Centralia, St. Mary Parish in Chehalis, Sacred Heart Parish in Morton, St. Yves Mission in Harmony, St. Francis Xavier Mission in Toledo and Sacred Heart Station in Winlock.
Here in Southwest Washington, we are completing our second year with this model of clustering parishes under one pastor. Fr. Thompson will be moving to one of the oldest cluster of parishes in our Archdiocese. This way of living out parish life is becoming more and more common in our archdiocese and throughout our country.
We know that Fr. Dwight will also be given a new assignment as of July 1st, but the official announcement about what that assignment will be has not yet been made.
We will welcome Fr. Michal Dion as our new Parochial Vicar who will serve our three communities, beginning July 1st. While a seminarian, Fr. Michael served a summer at St. Joseph prior to his final year of philosophy studies at Mt. Angel. After doing his theology studies in Rome, Fr. Michael was ordained in June of 2016. Since ordination, he has spent this past year finishing an advanced degree in Rome.
The Archbishop has also re-appointed me for another term as Pastor of St. Joseph, St. Thomas and Our Lady Star of the Sea. I am very excited about what lies ahead for us. As I have said many times, I think we have a unique opportunity to continue to explore how to be communities of faith that are linked together under a single pastor.
We are grateful to Fr. Thompson and Fr. Dwight for the contributions they have made to our faith communities over the past year, and we wish them God’s blessings as they move to the next chapter of their lives and their ministries.
Our three communities have their distinctive histories and cultures which allows us to embody the sense of truly being “catholic,” that is, universal. It is a privilege to be part of the rich diversity of our church and to celebrate that diversity in our three communities.
Over the past year, leaders from all three of our communities have met as an Inter-Parish Council to reflect on where we’ve been and where we are headed over the coming years. These leaders have shared about the gifts and challenges of our three communities and have made practical suggestions about how to make our life together even more fruitful. In next week’s Bulletin I’ll share those practical suggestions.
On Saturday, June 3rd, four men of our Archdiocese will be ordained to the priesthood. Deacons Chad Green, Chris Hoiland, Jeff Moore and Colin Parrish will complete one part of their journey and begin a new one. We give praise and thanks to God for these men and their willingness to give themselves in service to the Lord and his Church.
Let us keep these men, as well as Frs. Thompson, Dwight and Michael in our prayers as they transition to their new ministries.
Fr. Gary Lazzeroni