Dear Parish Family,
On behalf of the Staff and Clergy of St. Bernard and St. Matthew Parishes I would like to wish you a blessed, happy and healthy 2016. A new year always arrives with a spirit of hope, and an excitement for fresh beginnings. It is also a time when we look back at the previous year and remember those times that made the year memorable, both positively and negatively. Certainly one of the high notes for Catholics everywhere was Pope Francis’ visitation to the United States. He made a very positive impact, not only with the Catholic population, but with all people. His ability to be both humble and strong in proclaiming the message of Christ draws many to the Truth.
On the other end of the spectrum, When I reflect on some of the challenges of 2015 I can’t help but think of the terrible violence we’ve seen throughout our world. The total disregard for life is something we as people of faith can’t fathom. Such incidences make us appreciate our faith and its teachings all the more. We hold fast to who we are and pray for those who lack such a gift.
A little closer to home, I think we had quite a transformative 2015. One thing that stands out for both the parish of St. Matthew and the Vernon deanery was the retirement of Msgr. Jim Carini. He was a strong and loving faith leader and it was difficult to let him go. After 50 years a priest, however, I think he deserves to slow down a bit. We continue to keep him in prayers as I’m sure he’s doing the same for us.
Msgr. Jim’s leaving the parish in August lead to the yoking of St. Matthew and St. Bernard Parishes. When I reflect on the past five months, I have to give thanks to God for a relatively smooth transition. We have two wonderful and talented communities who have been very cooperative, open, and receptive to His will. Admittedly we have a lot of work ahead of us but I know that He will continue to bless our communities throughout 2016; the Year of Mercy.
May God bless you and your loved ones throughout this New Year.