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.