During the celebration of the Holy Mass, the Reverend Monsignor Carl A. Kemme, Administrator of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois and a good friend, publicly installed me as Pastor of Sacred Heart parish in Virden and of St. Patrick parish in Girard.
Many positive comments have been received on the simply but profound ceremony. I am deeply grateful for Msgr. Kemme's support, encouragement and prayers. His presence yesterday was a great help to me and to the parishioners.
My favorite parts of the ceremony involved my placing my hand on the Book of the Gospels as I made the Oath of Fidelity,
and the signing of the Oath itself.
More pictures can viewed can be viewed on my Facebook page.
I'm happy to say the parishioners seem sincerely happy that I have been sent to them. They have been most gracious and welcoming and I think we will grow well together in love of the
Lord Jesus Christ.
Apparently, the talk around town - even among some who aren't Catholic - is that the lights in the rectory are on. That's a good sign; my presence is noted, even if sometimes leave town and forget to turn off a light or two :)
Today has been a good, productive and informative day. After Mass I cleaned the sacristy a bit. After unpacking a bit more in the house, I met with a parishioner and member of the finance council to talk through the parish finances. That meeting was very good and helpful. Soon I'll convoke the pastoral council and set to work on what needs to be done, both temporal and spiritual.
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