Tuesday, May 26, 2009
On May 26th, 1984 I was ordained a priest in Lewiston, Maine by Bishop Amedee Proulx. It's been 25 years and what a time it has been. My first assignment was at CREC-AVEX in Lyons, FRANCE where I learned a lot about media and even more about fine dining. Had the opportunity there to polish up my French. I returned to the states and worked at Ste Jeanne d'Arc Parish in Lowell, MA. Was asked to be pastor of two small parishes in Maine: Castine and Stonington. I was there only 18 months but the experience left me humbled and proud. I received permission to become a Navy chaplain and went to Newport, RI for Officers' Training in the fall of '89.
I spent seven years in the military: Okinawa, Japan with Marines-- Mayport, FL with the Navy-- Kodiak, AK with the Coast Guard -- and, finally, El Toro MCAS (California) with Marines. It was while I was stationed in Mayport as a DESRON Chaplain that I was sent TAD to Guantanimo Bay, CUBA to work with the Haitian boat people being held there. That experience helped me focus on what I needed to do in my priesthood. After several years of reflection and prayer I resigned my commission in the Navy and came here.
These last eleven years have been the most difficult of my life and, simultaneously, the most rewarding. We have created a unique ministry that has reached out and is reaching out to thousands of God's poorest children. Our ability to respond to the children's needs is nothing short of a miracle.
I am most grateful for your support that allows us to do so much here. I treasure my staff that is totally committed to the children's care. And my heart belongs to the children. May God, our Father, bless us all as we discern His will for us.