Dear Fellow Parishioners,
Thursday, June 30th was an important day in the life of our parish and especially for two long-time members of our staff: Rose Marie Woodruff and Kimberly Williams, who retired on this mid-point of the calendar year.
When Rose Marie arrived here at SVdP 20 years ago, she already had 25 years of experience as a religious educator (what people used to call “CCD Director”). She has been a tireless life-long learner and teacher, with a gift for working well with everybody – parents, staff, pastor and, most importantly, students. For just as many years she has maintained a skilled, friendly and loyal team of volunteer catechists who share Rose Marie’s love of children and of sharing the Christian faith, in equal measure.
With the help of Deacon John Norris, Rose Marie also runs the most successful RCIA (adult convert) program I’ve ever been privileged to witness. Fortunately, she will continue to do that in her “retirement.” I put “retirement” in quotations because I’m all but certain that she will continue to be an active and visible member of our parish community. To her, we don’t say “Adios,” but “Hasta la vista” – until we meet again.
For over 12 years, Kimberly Williams has been an exemplary Office Manager and Bookkeeper, with a combination of efficiency and kindness universally appreciated and admired. Her help organizing volunteers for the Flower Committee and the Angel Food Network, which hosts receptions after funerals, makes our parish so much more a spiritual home. (I can’t tell you how many people have praised Kim to the skies for her kindness to grieving families). She has kept the good ship St. Vincent’s sailing so smoothly that we, the passengers, are barely aware of it. The cruise ship analogy is apt, as Kim takes the lead as “cruise director,” with the help of all parish staff, to host clergy dinners and staff celebrations. She will always be part of our SVdP staff family, and I look forward to seeing her at future staff celebrations.
Noelia Gonzalez has generously offered to step into Kim’s shoes as our new Office Manager. She is supremely competent and is the best possible choice for a position she already knows so well. I have also engaged the services of a part-time person highly recommended for her experience as a Catholic parish bookkeeper.
Cristina Ruiz will continue with her customary efficiency in her many current tasks.
In addition to meeting high standards of competence, one of the most important qualification for working in a Rectory is being a positive face to the community – on the phone, in e-mails and in person. I believe our staff more than exceeds that mark, and it makes me proud to be the pastor.
This week, I begin my sixth year as your pastor. This has been the singular honor of my life, short of ordination itself. I am grateful to every one of you for your support and personal kindness during these years. Now that Fr. Stuart is back, I am leaving on vacation for much of July. You, this parish and its schools will never be out of my prayers.
Fr. Bill Donahue