By now you have probably heard the news that a new pastor has been named for St. Francis, and he is Msgr. Michael Clay. He will begin here as pastor on September 1, 2020. He will also have an associate who will be named at a later date. Msgr. Clay is currently teaching at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. In addition to his teaching, he has served as pastor of parishes in Greenville, Clayton, and Chapel Hill NC.
I have heard from some familiar friars – Mark Reamer, David McBriar, Bill McConville – all of whom know Msgr. Clay and rave about his becoming pastor here. He and I have spoken on the phone and he is excited about getting started here in September. Overall, St. Francis has made out well. He is an excellent choice for our parish and I am looking forward to working with him during this time of transition.
We friars will continue to be here through the end of August. As of September 1st, Fr. Jim Sabak, who now works part-time for the Diocese of Raleigh as Director of Worship, will become full-time for the diocese in that same role. He will continue to reside somewhere in the Raleigh area. Fr. Steve Kluge and I will move on to new assignments in September, and we expect to hear where we’ll be going sometime in the next few months.
We continue to monitor all the phases of the re-opening in North Carolina. As of now, our primary means of reaching people is via our Sunday 9:30 livestream. Bishop Zarama continues to waive the Sunday mass obligation, which means that people do not have to attend Sunday mass, due of course to the virus. There are still strict limitations on gatherings, and at this time we are looking at possible options we might have for any kind of re-gathering here on site. We will keep you informed as we continue to look into
Finally, an enormous thank you to those who have contributed financially to our parish during these times. We have seen more people sign up for Faith Direct, which is our online giving option, and that is very helpful to us. You can sign up directly by calling 866-507-8757 and giving our ID NC674. Also, many people continue to send in envelopes with donations, and we are grateful. Our parish continues its mission, only now in different form, and we are grateful for all who continue to support us.
Blessings on your week!