Next week is our last week at St. Francis, and I wanted to take the time to let you know what this Parish has meant to both myself and my family. We began attending St Francis in 2007, and from the time my wife Nicole and I walked in, we knew this Parish was different. I was raised Roman Catholic from the time I was born, and can honestly say I have never felt the power of God’s presence like I have here at St. Francis. I leave this Parish being closer to God, and a better person than when I came.
The welcoming and up beat feeling this faith community has given me is indescribable. When we go on vacation and go to other churches, we often comment how we miss the energy of St. Francis. As we move on, we hope we can bring some of that energy with us to a new parish. This week and I know last week will be hard for us, because we are saddened by the fact we are leaving. Every Friar we have encountered has touched our lives in some way. Father Charlie baptized both of our children. The people are great. We will miss seeing those familiar faces on Sundays and greeting them. It is easy to see the presence of Jesus there.
I want to thank you for being part of faith experience. I believe there are no chance meetings in life and God has put you, all of the Friars (past and present), and this faith community in our lives to make us better Catholics, Christians, Disciples, and people. This speaks to power of the God in this community. I have personally had some trying times in my life, and I could always count on going to Sunday Mass to lift my spirits at St. Francis. There were several times when the homilies felt like they were geared to what was going on in my life. I have never had this happen before. As a grown man, I hate to admit that knowing we are leaving in a week sparks emotion in me. I know God is calling me to move on, and have a peace about leaving in my prayers, but it does not mean I won’t feel like I am leaving a loved one next week. The power of God is real at St. Francis.
May God bless you and the entire congregation. This community has been something special to be a part of. I am glad I got to be a part of it. Thank you for everything you do to make this community stronger in faith. I hope our paths will cross again the future.