Something a little different this week. As you know, our area is slowly moving toward becoming a “family of families.” This family will likely include both St Max and St John’s. Since Deb’s medical leave and unfortunate passing, I have been covering for her at St John’s in a temporary capacity while the diocese and I worked things out. I am now ready to share that picture.

First, we are getting a second priest! His name is Rev Patryk Sobczyk, and he’s coming from St Gabe’s in Elma. He has been ordained just two years, meaning I’m no longer the baby priest here, for better or worse. Moreover, he taught for eight years and will be a great asset to our parishes.

Second, while continuing as pastor of St Max, I have been appointed pastor of St. John’s as well, starting September 25th. Patryk and I will take turns providing sacramental ministry at both sites. I thank Fr. Dick DiGuilio and Fr. Jim Walter for their service at St. John’s, and remain open to any support they can give! I hope they continue to feel welcome there and here, albeit under less pressure.

Third. This is a tough one for St Max. The diocese is requiring both priests to live together at the rectory in Alden. Thank you so, so much for those that worked hard to make it a comfortable home in the four years I spent there. I am just as much your pastor as well, no matter where I hang my toothbrush. Sue’s office hours are not changing, and I will still be available there by appointment. I’m still working out where and when pastoral office hours will be.

I consider a key part of my job now as being a bridge between the two parishes, helping them help each other. I encourage you to do the same, looking to learn from and help people with a similar mission or focus. That could mean opportunities for retreats, bible studies, works of mercy and so much more. If you are submitting material for one bulletin, consider advertising in both!

Please pray for your priests, our churches, and all of God’s people in Western NY. I plan to cover Masses at St John’s the weekend of the 25th to answer questions. Thank you everyone.

Peace, Fr. Dan