Thanks be to God

150 150 St. Mary St. Catherine of Siena

As I look back over these many years as a priest and before, I realize that my life has been more of a response to rather than a planning for.

Before I was a priest, my brother, Ed, and I would often meet up in the city for lunch or dinner. I recall on one occasion, he asked me what my life plan was. Where did I see myself in 5 and 10 years? I came up with an answer that was nothing more than spontaneous. Somehow, by God’s generous Grace, I have found my purpose and joy in being, especially as I have sought to respond to the call and prompting of God’s loving Spirit.

For me, the consequence of living in this way has been an overarching sense of gratitude to God for all I have received. I have found God’s Grace is ever-present, even in the most troubling of times.

Today, concluding these 18 years as pastor in this vibrant faith community and 40 years as a priest, I am amazed by all that has happened and overwhelmed by gratitude to God and to so many who have been part of this journey with me. The support and love of my dear family while I served in places near and far away has meant so much to me.

The parish pastoral team along with councils and committees and so many others have been a joy, literally and figuratively! Parishioners here, now, and so many who have moved on and passed away have enriched my life in countless ways.

So it is, this is the day that, once again, I thank God and all of you. I am blessed beyond measure – spoiled you might say! I carry all of you and the experiences of these years with me as I leave. And in return, for all I have received, I can only offer a promise of my continued prayers for this beautiful parish community.

Fr. Jim Ronan