Dear San Francisco de Asis Parishioners,
For the past couple of years I have been spiritually moved by the Companions of Christ, a community of diocesan priests in Denver, Colorado who are committed to a common life of prayer, fraternity, and a rule of life inspired by the evangelical counsels of obedience, chastity, and poverty. After consultation with Bishop Olmsted and other priests and seminarians from the diocese, we believe there is a potential calling from the Lord to establish a community like the Companions of Christ within the Diocese of Phoenix, and the bishop has given me his blessing to take a sabbatical (from January through May of 2021) to live with the Companions of Christ in Denver, so as to experience their way of life and further discern the possibility of establishing a similar community within the diocese. In addition, while living with the Companions of Christ, I have been invited by St. John Vianney Seminary to assist with the spiritual formation of seminarians for the spring semester.
In his first homily last Sunday, Deacon Greg Blanchard asked the question, “What is our talent (or gift) that God is inviting us to invest?” For me, the greatest gift I have ever received is my priesthood. I believe God is inviting me to continue to invest this gift so that God might enrich it and multiply it.
Upon my return from sabbatical, I will resume my duties as pastor of San Francisco de Asis Parish. I feel very blessed to be here in Flagstaff and to serve this wonderful community. I hope to continue to serve here for many years.
While I am away, Fr. Dan, Fr. Peter, and Fr. Matt have all agreed to help in various ways to make sure the parish has all of the priestly support it needs. I am very grateful for them and their constant support. I am also grateful for our outstanding parish staff and deacons, and I am confident in their abilities to keep parish ministries and operations running smoothly during my absence.
Please keep me in prayer as this exciting opportunity quickly approaches. Be assured of my daily prayers for you.
Peace in Christ,