From the Pastor – April 25, 2009

This past week many of the priests of Louisiana got together for an annual “priest convention.” Among these priests were many from New Orleans, but also quite a few from the other 6 dioceses in Louisiana: Baton Rouge, Shreveport, Lafayette, Houma-Thibodaux, Lake Charles and Alexandria. It was a great time to renew priestly friendships, and to catch up on the news. Many of the priests, of course, knew about my new pastorate and some of the difficulties involved. I tend to be a “glass is half full” type of person, so I generally told them that I thought things were going fairly well here at Good Shepherd Parish.

But in reflecting upon this later, I realized that I needed to do two things: (1) I need to continue to reach out to those who are still feeling pain about the closing of Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Henry, and (2) I need to do more to express my gratitude to all of you.

First, many of you know that my pastorate has kept me busy, and I don’t mean that as a complaint. I love being busy! But replacing three pastors with one certainly puts a strain on both the pastor and those who might have expectations about the pastor’s availability. So I apologize if I have not always been as available as you might have liked. As I settle in, I find that I am getting better at organizing my time. But PLEASE let me know how I can serve you better. And please don’t do it with anonymous notes dropped in the mailbox or the collection. Come and talk to me, or email me at I really will do my best to listen.

And secondly, I do want to thank so many of you who have been so supportive and encouraging to me. In speaking with my priest-friends this week, I got the impression that we all feel the same way: as priests, we receive more from our ministry than we give. This is certainly how I feel. I’ve only been here for five months, but I look forward to being the pastor here for a long, long time. You are so good to me, and I appreciate your goodness. I am humbled by your kindnesses, grateful for your service to our parish and appreciate of your love and friendship. I thank God that He sent me here to serve you. Please pray that I am worthy of His trust!