Fr. Mark's Farewell Letter
My dear parish family of Resurrection,
How time flies! I remember like it was yesterday walking into the parish hall for the first time and bringing in the new year of 2011 together as I became pastor of this amazing parish. Since that first moment of encounter we have been thru a lot together and in the end, I believe, have become a closer family as a result. My greatest treasure is the openness you had in sharing your lives with me. From the joy of baptisms, weddings, first communions, confirmations, quinceañeras, and our celebration of the Eucharist together to the sadness of praying by the bedside of a loved one and anointing them with the soothing oil of God’s tenderness and even the grief of laying a loved one to rest in the hope of eternal life.
As a parish family we have focused a lot on renovations. In the last five years we have completely brought new life into our liturgical celebrations with a familiar but new worship space along with a new gathering area and refurbishment of our hallway. Just last summer we completely rebuilt our parish bathrooms and continued to make our building more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. However, the church is not a building, but a people. The greatest challenge for the future lies in bringing a renovation to living stones, which is a much harder process because it deals with the changing of minds and hearts. I truly believe that Resurrection’s best days lie ahead as individuals and families answer the call to be missionary disciples. A disciple is one who sits at the feet of Jesus and learns. This is an invaluable time to grow in grace and cultivate a joy in proclaiming the gospel that draws other thirsting souls to the font of life giving water that is Jesus Christ. You will be hearing more about “renovation” in the days ahead.
I have every confidence that Fr. Hector is ready to lead our parish community for the coming years and continue the work that we have begun to become, “one body, one spirit in Christ.” Change is never easy, everyone wants things to be different, but hesitates when it directly impacts them. This will be no different for a parish community that is slowly developing to answer the call of discipleship for this time and season in the life of the Church. Like a child maturing into adulthood, growth can sometimes be a key process as muscles, tendons and bones expand but the end result is maturity. My prayer is that you will grow to maturity together even if it sometimes hurts, causes confusion or even stirs within us our deepest fears. The call of the gospel is demanding, but it can be accomplished thru love.
Know that you will always hold a special place in my heart and that no matter where the Lord might call me to serve in the years ahead, I will always consider myself a son of Resurrection. You taught me how to be a pastor and I will be forever grateful for your patience, understanding, faith and above all…love.
May God abundantly bless you,
Rev. Mark S. Bialek