From: Patricia Gurley
Subject: Father Mark White
Date: June 29, 2020 at 8:11:12 PM EDT
Good Evening Archbishop Lori,
My name is Patricia Gurley and I am a member of St. Joseph Parish in Martinsville, VA. I am writing to ask you to please open your heart and help Father Mark White remain as our pastor. I have been a Catholic all my life and have seen many priests come and go. Some were wonderful, but of all Father Mark has had the greatest impact on my spiritual life.
Being at Mass and seeing the look of love and joy on Father’s face as he celebrates Mass is so inspiring. I find myself opening my heart to welcome God more fully into my life. My husband, who is not Catholic, comes to church with me and finds Father’s homilies so inspiring and intelligent. We discuss them on the way home and while we have lunch I bring the homily up on the computer so we could read it again. That is the impact he has on us. During this difficult time in our lives while we are not able to attend church because of covid 19 we look forward to his writings on his website. They keep me connected to the church and increase my love of God.
I don’t understand why the Bishop has decided to treat Father Mark so terribly. Why he is silencing Father Mark is beyond me, unless he is hiding something. Father Mark hasn’t said anything that most everyone else had thought or talked about. The church needs to come clean about the scandal and get their house in order. Only then will those folks who have walked away from the church think about returning. I personally know people who feel that way. This Bishop in my opinion is a vindictive person and doesn’t want to work things out with Father Mark. If Father isn’t reinstated as our pastor it will devastate two parishes who love and support him. It will also create a split with the Bishop that will never be repaired.
Thank you for your time.