As many of you know, this weekend is officially my last weekend, as your Pastor, to celebrate the Masses and complete my ministry at St. Peter and St. Casimir Parishes. Though my ministry officially ends on June 30th, I will be much pleased to celebrate the Masses for you until your new Pastor, Fr. John Potaczek, arrives on July 4th, the established date fixed for transition by Bishop Callahan. My departure date for leaving Stevens Point will be July 7th.
From the day that I announced my retirement, everyone, who has met me anywhere, has expressed their displeasure for my leaving the Parishes and my retirement. I have been honestly touched by your love. I feel that I cannot express enough with words my gratitude for your love and the best wishes, that you have expressed to me, since my retirement announcement. I came to you as a stranger; but now I leave as your friend. Thank you for not only your acceptance but also your demonstration of love over the years. I complete my ministry with great satisfaction and joy. I promise, at this juncture that I will not forget to offer my humble prayers for you all and invoke God’s mercy to fulfill your intentions according to His divine Will.
When I look back the last 12 years of my ministry at St. Peter and St. Casimir Parishes, I cannot but praise and glorify My Lord and God for having guided me admiringly with the light of His Spirit. Your unfailing support and the confidence, you placed on me, have been the added strength for my commitment, which enabled me to fulfill my parish responsibilities. Please accept my most sincere thanks for having spurred me with your cooperation and positive involvement. With respect to my farewell Open House this weekend, I would like to thank our Family Life Committee and the many parishioners who have organized this celebration. I would like also to thank the Parishioners of St. Casimir for organizing the Farewell celebration on the 2nd of July.
My departure date from Stevens Point will be July 7th. Since I am a priest of La Crosse Diocese, my permanent address for legal purposes will be: 800 4th Avenue. I intend to make periodical visits and so I very much look forward to seeing you all again in the future.
Hence, now I don’t want to say to you “Good-bye”; rather I say “See you again”.
May God bless us wherever we are
Fr. Arul Joseph V.