At Masses this weekend, I am announcing that it is our Provincial’s intention that Fr. James Thompson will be appointed Pastor of the Newman Center when I depart during the coming summer. We cannot make this “official” yet because we do not have the actual document of appointment in hand. (and we know from our experience last year that the Provincial’s intention can change as the needs of the Province change.) This has been Fr. Mark’s stated intention since assigning Fr. James as the Associate Pastor this year. We want to make this public now as Fr. James and I are beginning to do more and more things in tandem in preparation for his taking the reigns in July. He will be attending many of the meetings that I attend and getting to be much more familiar with the operations of the Center. I want to make sure that he “knows where all the keys are” when I depart.
As for me, I am planning to be here through most of June. We have a Province assembly in the Bay area in late June and I plan for that Assembly to be my departure. Days are growing short, but I look forward to the blessings of my remaining time here and to helping the transition happen as smoothly as possible.
The first Friday and Saturday of Lent, the parish will offer a Community Retreat. This will be a retreat for any and all members of the community. We will even have separate tracks for teens and children of the parish. The Friday night (March 7) will take place here at Newman and will include a simple Lenten supper. The Saturday (March 8) portion will be at a remote location and will include a continental breakfast and lunch. (Those of you who have been around for a while may remember that we did this two years in a row several years ago.) We hope that the retreat will set the tone for a productive and growth-filled Lent for the entire community. We will have many more details in the next couple of weeks, but we want you to mark your calendar now.