Fr. Pat McLaughlin to Transfer to Norfolk July 1
The following letter was distributed to parishioners at Masses on the weekend of March 9-10.
Dear Friends in Christ,
On Friday, March 1, the Archbishop’s office called and asked me to meet with him on Monday, March 4. At that meeting, Archbishop Lucas asked me to become pastor of Sacred Heart Parish (effective July 1) in the Norfolk cluster, with plans to become pastor of the Norfolk cluster parishes as the strategic plan involved. I accepted this position.
Although I had known this was a possibility for some time, I did not know where the next step in my priestly ministry would be with certainty. I am at peace with this decision, although it is bittersweet.
Whereas I look forward to the new opportunities and challenges in the Norfolk area, and I very much look forward to meeting the faithful in that area, my time at St. Francis has been a true blessing in my priesthood. I am sad to lose the regular contact with so many incredible people, but I am happy that I will be just up the road.
When a priest is scheduled to move, people always want to know who will be their new pastor. A parish cannot be listed as open for a pastor until the current pastor leaves or is scheduled to leave. The process typically takes about a month, although it can be shorter or longer depending on the parish. The current practice utilized in our archdiocese is that, when a decision has been reached, the priest announces he is leaving to his congregation the same weekend that the new pastor is announced at the parish to where the priest is going. This permits everyone to know at the same time.
We have many months together between now and July, and I look forward to our continued fellowship in Christ. Please know that so many of you have impacted my life in Christ in powerful ways by your words and example. I give thanks to God for the privilege of being at St. Francis, and I eagerly anticipate the great things that will happen with the Humphrey-Leigh-Lindsay-Tarnov cluster.
In Christ Jesus,
Rev. Patrick A. McLaughlin