Well hello to all and welcome back if you’ve been away over the summer. If you’ve been away you may notice a change at St. Francis. We have a new pastor. My name is Fr. Steve Patti, and I’m just getting started, and thrilled to be here. Fr. Mark Reamer has taken a new position in our province, working in the president’s office at Siena College.
Some background on how all this came about:
In June, the friars had what we call a “chapter,” a gathering of all the friars in our province (just under 300 total) in which we elect friars to different leadership positions in the province, and also in which friars may receive new assignments in the province. A week or so after the chapter, the friars are told to have their phone literally by their side to await a phone call about possible new assignments. Mark had been at St. Francis for 19 years, 10 of those years as pastor. Pastors generally serve nine-year terms, so Mark knew he would be awaiting a call with a new assignment. I was serving at St. Francis Inn, a Franciscan soup kitchen in Philadelphia, and knew that St. Francis and a few other places were open. I made it known at the chapter that I would be willing to serve at St. Francis as pastor.
And so, in the early afternoon of Monday, June 16, as I stood in the dining room of St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia with my phone in hand, the call came asking me if I would come to Raleigh and serve as pastor. I replied yes, I’d be thrilled. So here I am, very happy to be with you.
I arrived toward the end of August and am beginning to find my bearings, to meet people, to meet staff, and to get to know the parish. I’m familiar with St. Francis from the time that I served at Immaculate Conception in Durham, from 2003-2011. I know both David and Bill from my time at IC and am happy to be joining them as part of this local friar community. St. Francis is a big place, so please forgive me if it takes me a while to get names and faces down. I can see that I am coming into a vibrant faith community and I’m very happy to be getting started.
Thank you for your kindness and welcome.