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Pastor’s Desk

August 20, 2017

(Retired!) Pastor’s Desk

After a week and a half of packing and moving, I am finally in my home and now have time to “move in” with the pressure off. After spending my first night at the house on Monday, I moved completely out of my office on Tuesday so that Fr. Donahue can begin his move from Napa to Petaluma. He and I concelebrated the opening Mass for our elementary school and it confirmed for me that he’s the absolute right person to come here as pastor to our parish and our schools. From the beginning we had agreed on a soft transition so that I would gradually move out as he gradually moves in. That’s where we are at the moment. His first weekend will be on September 2-3, Labor Day weekend. In the meantime, I’m continuing with weekday and Sunday masses and whatever personal appointments people are making. My last weekend is August 26-27th with a parish retirement celebration on August 27th that includes mass and reception in the afternoon. After that, I’ll have weekday masses August 28, 29, and 30. Then retirement for me becomes real and not simply official.

As I mentioned, school began this week with the opening mass for the elementary school on Wednesday and the high school opening mass this coming Friday. As most of you are aware, we have experienced a drop off in attendance at both schools, but most dramatically this past year at our elementary school. However with the untiring work of our schools’ President, Tom Coughlan, the Board of Regents (which now oversees both schools), and many volunteers from our school families, a great amount of work has been done in getting the schools ready for the opening of school year. The elementary school has already begun to experience an increase in enrollment from what we originally thought it was going to be just a short time ago. Fr. Bill is fully confident in the future of our schools and is coming here with great optimism and enthusiasm. The first time he and I met, he said that there is great residual strength at St. Vincent’s. It’s something I have experienced in my time here and a point he has repeatedly made at school meetings the last few weeks. The work that has gone into getting our schools ready and off to a great start is one more sign of it.

God Bless,
Fr. Gary

About our Parish and our Website

Our parish mission statement identifies St. Vincent’s as a Eucharist centered people who, as the Body of Christ, live our faith in word and deed by sharing our time, talent, and treasure to support one another and serve those in need.

This website is intended not only to provide you with the information you need about our parish but also to help us build up our life as a community and so help us in our mission. It provides a way for us to connect with each other; and we invite you to use it to share stories, to learn about what’s happening and what’s coming up, and to provide information you think we all need to hear. This site will evolve as our parish evolves; it belongs to all of us. I hope you find it helpful.

“All are Welcome in this Place.”

As one of Father Gary’s favorite hymns, this song speaks to the atmosphere, design, and heart of St. Vincent’s parish: there is a place here for everyone.  In fact, you are not only welcomed, but needed!  As we explore and expand our ideas of just what a Church community is, we recognize first that pivotal life events occur in church: weddings, baptisms, First Communion, Confirmation; but, we also find that we need community in order to be a Spirit filled Church where we praise God, share our faith, and help one another by way of fellowship, and the numerous ministries available to all parishioners. Through our stewardship, the gift of our time and talent, there is a wonderful opportunity to give and receive, to make friends, to help friends, to see how our talents are a gift from God made for sharing.  We are bonded to a group of people with whom we already have at least one thing in common, and that is our faith.  It is our hope that you will use this community website to build bridges and connect with one another, and see that each of us, too, is a gift from God meant to be shared.