My New Assignment

With twenty days left until I complete my time in Rome – and much yet to do to finish my academic degree – I am pleased to announce today the new assignment that Bishop Baker has given me for when I return.

My assignment letter.

From July 1, 2014 my assignment will be as follows:

  • Administrator of Saint Barnabas Parish in Birmingham (South East Lake), which has a K-8 School
  • Administrator of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Birmingham (Gate City)
  • Hispanic Ministry at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Birmingham (Huffman), under the guidance of the Pastor, Fr. Andrew Kennedy
  • Marriage Tribunal work, under the direction of the Judicial Vicar, Fr. Gregory Bittner

I am very grateful to the Bishop for this assignment, and look forward to going home, settling down, and getting to work. It has been constantly on my mind ever since I knew about it. And I have been praying for my future parishioners for quite some time now – from even before I knew exactly which assignment I would have. I look forward to meeting everyone!

Here is a Google Street View of St. Barnabas:

And here is a Google Street View of Holy Rosary:

Msgr. Eugene O’Connor, the pastor emeritus who served St. Barnabas for over 35 years, will continue to reside in the rectory, and I consider it a great honor to have him there and to be able to learn from him.

I also think of the most recent pastor, Fr. Michael Wrigley, who died quite unexpectedly last December, after suffering a sudden and serious illness while on retreat. He loved the Lord and strove to share that love with others. I have fond memories of Fr. Wrigley, who was a kind and gentle soul, and I pray that I can follow his good example of love and service. May he rest in peace!

I particularly look forward to visiting St. Barnabas School on a daily basis and getting to know all of the students, teachers, staff, and parents. Learning names has never been one of my strong points but I am determined to learn everyone’s name as quickly as possible!

Holy Rosary was generously served by the Salesians for many years. More recently Deacon Daniel Rogers has been doing a spectacular job carrying forward and building upon the excellent work of charity that has long been carried out there. It will be great to learn from him all about Holy Rosary and get to know everyone there as well.

No veo la hora de volver a la diócesis y reanudar el precioso trabajo con la comunidad latina. Después de estos tres años en Italia, en los que he tenido que aprender y hablar diariamente el italiano, mi español es un poco “oxidado”, pues ¡pido a Uds. su paciencia mientras “cambio el chip” y me amoldo!

Finally, the work that I will assist with in the Marriage Tribunal is extremely important in the life of the Church, and directly related to what I have been studying these past three years in Rome. I will have to begin making a practical application of what until now has largely been theoretical, so I know that I have a lot to learn, and that Fr. Bittner and everyone else in the Tribunal will be sure guides for me.

Although these assignments take effect on July 1st, my first public functions will be Confessions and Mass on Saturday, July 5th at St. Barnabas. I will be arriving back from Europe on the 1st, and from the 2nd until the 5th will be moving in, getting organized, and adjusting to the time change.

Please join me in praying that I will be a good father to all the people whom I have been called to serve! Thank you, and thanks be to God!

Read what Pope Benedict XVI said about St. Barnabas here.

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