Each year at this time, changes in priest assignments in our Diocese happen, and unfortunately this year our own Parish is affected. On July 1, Father Edwin will be transferring to West Palm Beach to serve at a parish in that area. He will live in community with other Carmelites at Holy Name of Jesus but serve at another parish nearby. This change was required to happen by the Carmelite Order in Rome, so our Diocese had to honor their request or else Father Edwin would have had to return home to India. We are glad that we can keep him in our Diocese, rather than lose him altogether.
The loss of Father Edwin will be even more difficult because he will not be replaced. As you may or may not know, the priests of St. Mark are responsible for visiting patients at Lawnwood Medical Center (which is in St. Mark’s boundaries). Up until now, the calls have been handled by Fr. Edwin and I was on call one or two days per week. Now I will be on call seven days per week.
How will this impact our Mass Schedule on weekdays and Sundays? This will be discussed on Tuesday, April 27 at the Pastoral Council, and decisions made will be communicated as soon as possible.
Our Diocese is experiencing a priest shortage and it will become worse in the years to come. As pastors retire in the future, existing vicars will be moved to fill those vacancies, leaving more parishes with only one priest too. I ask that you pray for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, especially for the Diocese of Palm Beach.
May the Lord call men to the priesthood for the sake of the future of the churches in our Diocese.
Thank you for your faithfulness and support for our Parish.