Dear Parishioners of Christ the King,
I write to you as your new pastor, something that will take a while for me, and you, to get used to. Filling the shoes of a pastor like Fr. Brian will be a great challenge for me, but please know that I will do my very best to keep this wonderful parish growing and thriving.
For understandable reasons, most people don't know what it is like for a pastor to move from one parish to another. It is not like leaving a job, but rather like moving from one family to another. My excitement about coming to Christ the King is great, but my sadness about leaving St. Mary's is also very real. I was in the midst of trying to wrap up a large parish renovation and rebuilding project at St. Mary's, and the thought of leaving there before it is complete is a difficult one for me.
At the same time, I am eager to get to know my new family, and to give myself completely to you at Christ the King. Please keep me in your prayers during this time, that I may give any anxiety I have to God and trust in Him completely.
Your transition is also a difficult one. Saying goodbye to a pastor of many years, especially one like Fr. Brian, is difficult for a community. And for Fr. Brian, retirement is a great challenge too. Though he deserves the opportunity to rest and pursue new ministries, letting go of a parish like Christ the King can be painful. Please keep him in your prayers. I know you will. I have personally assured Fr. Brian that he is welcome at any time to Christ the King, and if he chooses to come back to live in our parish, he is most welcome too.
I want to thank so many of you who have already welcomed me and introduced yourselves to me. Keep doing so, and please be patient as I learn so many new names. This is a challenge for me, and I encourage you to keep reminding me whenever you say hello.
These times of transition are always challenging, but they are also full of great blessings. Many innovations and opportunities for growth occur in the midst of change, when we are "in between" the past and the future. Let us all pray that we will hear God's call during this time and find ways to better serve Him and our parish.
Yours, in Christ.
Mark your calendars! The Installation of Fr. Paulson will be Oct. 25 at the 5:00 mass, celebrated with Bishop Cummins.