I am still very excited and happy about the celebration of my Fiftieth Anniversary of ordination to the priesthood on the weekend of June 3-5. It was truly a blessed time as I gave thanks for the many graces that God has given me through the Sacrament of Holy Orders. The call from God to the priesthood was very clear to me and God has guided me to a very fulfilling and joyful life as He gave me the strength to be an effective pastor. I always felt the grace of Holy Orders was upon me.
A very significant part of my fifty years is the eighteen years I have enjoyed as pastor of Our Lady of Refuge Parish. It is coming to an end now as I will become a senior priest on June 30th. I will no longer be the pastor of Our Lady of Refuge Parish but I will still be able to live the priesthood although in a reduced capacity with less responsibilities. It is hard to summarize eighteen years but it has truly been beautiful. We have grown in our faith and with the help of parishioners and a wonderful staff have been able to provide many opportunities for spiritual growth and developed a campus with a beautiful church and an outstanding school that inspires anyone who comes to Our Lady of Refuge to be closer to God and uplifted by Him. This is our mission as we are all instruments of the Lord to do His will.
Now this work will continue with your new pastor, Fr. Ronald Richards who will arrive on Friday, July 1. He is excited about coming and as we welcome him we assure him of our prayers and our support. There are many challenges that go with being a pastor. We can be confident that God will bless Fr. Ronald Richards with the strength of Holy Orders as I have so richly received.
God be with all of you, giving you and I good health and happiness!!
Monsignor Gerald A. McEnhill