This weekend is the last weekend for the friars here at St. Francis, and who would have thought in early March that we would not have a full church back for this long? We thought the virus would postpone things a few weeks, and it’s been nearly six months. It’s a changed world. We had planned before the virus for a big farewell with barbecue and sweet tea and a big gathering, but that was not to be.
So here this Sunday it’s virtual on screens, looking into a camera, and imagining our usual vibrant and full church, as we prepare to move on to new places. I know I speak for all the friars who have served here throughout the years, and say thank you to you, the people of the parish, who have welcomed us and supported us over the past 30+ years. You carry on the gospel witness of Jesus Christ, which is all St. Francis of Assisi ever wanted to do.
Next weekend Msgr. Michael Clay will be here, along with Fr. Jairo Maldonado, and our parish is in good hands with both of them. Fr. Steve Kluge leaves for Beach Haven, New Jersey today (Sunday) and I will be leaving for New York on Tuesday.
Fr. Steve Kluge’s new address will be:
Steve Kluge O.F.M. ; 100 Third St. ; Beach Haven, NJ 08008. He does not yet know his new email address.
My new address will be:
Steve Patti O.F.M. ; 135 W. 31st St. ; New York, NY 10001. My email address is email@example.com
Fr. Jim of course will still be living here at St. Francis.
And thank you all, once again, for your kind and gracious welcome to us here over these years.
In the words of St. Francis, may the Lord give you peace!