Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord in Roanoke:

Bishop DiLorenzo has decided to re-assign me, away from our beloved city. I begged him to reconsider, and I believe some other people did, too. But he has not changed his mind. My new assignment begins July 1.

Over the course of these past two years with you, I have never before felt so much love for my bride, the Church. I’ve had the privilege of trying to help two newly ordained priests come into their own. And I have loved being with you–truly loved being with you.

I will miss you very much. Please pray for me.


I want and choose to be rated as worthless and a fool for Christ, Who first was held as such, rather than wise or prudent in this world.

(St. Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises, third note on Week II: prayer to attain humility)

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Rocky Mount and Martinsville:

Words cannot begin to describe how much I long to gaze out from the altar and behold your beloved faces again.

It doesn’t even bother me that I will never measure up to Fr. Nick. I’m sorry that you will now have a pastor far inferior to the shepherd you have had these past two years. But at least it’s a devil that you know.


Love, Father Mark


PS. Please don’t ask me what I did to piss-off the bishop so much that he has moved me, with no evident rationale, away from my aged mother in a nursing home, so that I won’t be able to visit her daily anymore.

Please don’t ask. If there is an answer, I’m pretty sure that it’s not available in English.


Praised be the Lord Jesus Christ. Now and forever.


15 thoughts on “Re-Assigned

  1. Dear Fr. Mark, I read your posting! Even in the midst of my sorrow and concern for you, your way with words brings a smile to a sad face. I believe with all my heart that God has a purpose for this in your life….thank you for your strength and courage in telling the people how much you love them and didn’t want to go, rather than putting on a “pretend face” – that is courage. I keep your mother in prayer as well as you. Please tell her that I am sure many others are praying for her also. May God’s peace be with you.

  2. Oh Fr White I am so sorry you are being transferred. Of course I’ve always wanted you back at St Mary’s in Upper Marlboro. But to quote you this sure is crappy. I can’t believe you are being transferred away from your mom. I’m so upset for you and her but I will trust in Our Lord that everything will work out. I know how much you will be missed. I will continue to pray for you and your mom.

  3. Father Mark, I was so saddened to hear of your leaving St Andrew’s. I have been attending mass at St. Andrew’s for the past year. Your enthusiasm for God and his will is truly evident and shines through each and every week. I really wish you could stay, I thought I had finally found my church “home” and was hoping to spend many more years at St. Andrews with you as our priest. I will pray for you and also for your mother. Your spirit is pure and your will is strong and it will go with you wherever you travel in life, and it will see you through.

  4. Dear Mark, I am so sorry that you are going to be reassigned and leave our beloved Roanoke Valley. I am sure that our blessed Lord, has other purposes waiting for you. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Love you my brother, Jim.

  5. Dear Fr. Mark,
    I learned to read at an early age, but today I am not certain I am rejoicing in that accomplishment. Having been a member of the Catholic Church for 75 years ,,I believe that alone should earn me a place to respond to current events, if being born in a Protestant County (Patrick) traveling the vey winding rural roads to St. Joseph in Martinsville for years, to having experienced considerable negative comments about my religion, to having to try to maintain a Catholic home for my child and my late , does not additionally grant me the access to a public forum.
    I was/am devoted to your efforts at St. Joseph previously, and have appreciated the ministering of Fr. Nicholas Mammi, during the last several years.
    This is not acceptable, and while I do not know details, nor will I ever, my favorite motto shines forth..”be Careful what you pray for, you may get it!” The Bishop prayed for an aggressive, dedicated , devoted Priest for St. Andrew’s and St. Gerard, and got him! What a pity he was not able to see these talents.
    Prayers for Peace and Love to all.

  6. Father Mark, I was shocked at your announcement at mass this morning that you were being reassigned. You have been here only two years and that is too short a time to be judged and found lacking (for whatever reason I cannot fathom). We parishioners are still getting to know you. I hope the bishop will reconsider, but I want you to know that I have enjoyed your sermons, your humility, passion for the mass , and sense of humor. I will miss you.

  7. Dear Fr. Mark, welcome back. You were a special shepherd to Sandy and I during your time at. St. Joseph. Fr. Nicholas has stepped in and admirably filled the role of our shepherd. We have grown to love him deeply and we wish him much love and success in his new assignment. But, with the changes announced today, Sandy and I want you to know we welcome you back with open arms and remain ready to serve you in any way you want.
    God Bless and Welcome Home,
    Bob & Sandy

  8. Dear Father Mark: As elated as we are to get you back to St. Joseph’s in Martinsville, we do not understand how the Bishop could take you away from St. Andrew’s. You certainly qualify to run a bigger church. He definitely has not given you a chance. Two years is not enough to judge your ongoing work there. We want you to be happy and able to use your many talents as Pastor. Having said that, we can’t wait to get you back. Lori and Troy.

  9. Father Mark, it saddens me to learn that you have been reassigned and to hear your frustrations. Wherever the spirit calls you in the church, may you always strive to do the will of the Father and bring more souls to Christ. I offer the following and will pray for you.
    James, Chapter 1: 2-6 Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and he will be given it. But he should ask in faith, not doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed about by the wind.
    God bless you and thank you Father Mark for being our priest.

  10. I hope you know how much you mean to us at St Andrew’s. Because of you, I have gone back to confession more regularly, because of you, I bring a journal to mass and take notes during your homilies, because of you, I absorb the daily readings because I know there may be a “quiz”😊 We desperately need your leadership, enthusiasm, intelligence, and your ease in showing your profound love of Jesus and His Church. I hope the silent majority will make our voices heard and prompt The Bishop to reconsider!

  11. I am continuing to fervently pray for you, Father. I will be making visits to St. Francis of Assisi in the near future (from Bedford). I will offer my 70 minute drive(s) up for you and your precious mother. BTW, I do know of several people who have written to the Bishop…the responses have all been the same (generic). Whether it has done any good or not, I am praying for our next Bishop to be devout, strong, Holy, and Faithful to the Church’s teachings. Love in Christ!

  12. The faithful must not loose sight that Bishops are successors of the Apostles and share in the Apostolic responsibility and mission of the whole Church under the authority of the Pope, successor of Saint Peter. Priests are united with the Bishops in sacerdotal dignity to be prudent co-workers and it is sad that this issue has been made public for it’s members to comment.

  13. A typical “homily” of what seems to be a spoiled brat rich kid that always got what he wants and still did until this. After causing such divisions at St. Andrews, I hope and pray you will learn humility, and to bring unity and peace rather than contempt, discord, and hatred. I feel pity for those you come in contact with until you do. Especially for the poor people of St. Francis and St. Joseph who have to endure your tenure again. It is sad you presented this as you have in this forum and in the church. It just proves further your lack of true understanding of the Catholic beliefs and ways.

  14. Guilty as charged, to be sure. But just for the sake of historical accuracy allow me to point out: I didn’t preach the words above as a liturgical homily. I merely meant this post to inform the readership here about an announcement that had been made at the end of Mass by the priests involved (Father Mammi and myself) at the parishes involved (St. Gerard, St. Andrew, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Joseph), while adding some little reflections of my own for readers here.

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