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Blog: June 16, 2024

Fr. Jeff and others share reflections on the Sunday readings.

June 16, 2024

A Message from Fr. Jeff

“He said,
‘To what shall we compare the kingdom of God,
or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground,
is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants
and puts forth large branches,
so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.’”

This weekend marks my last weekend as pastor of the community at St. Boniface Catholic Church. My relationship with this community goes back to 2010 when I became the sacramental moderator for two years. I worked with two administrators during that time, Deacon Pat Wright and Deacon Brian Karley. I was able to build relationships and make connections that have remained important in my life and ministry. As pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church and the Vicar for Priests, in 2017 I also became the pastor of St. Boniface. It was a joy to reconnect so deeply with the community that has held a special place in my heart. This is a difficult goodbye and I grieve our departure from one another. I have sought to serve you to the best of my ability, along with Fr. Adam Carrico, Fr. Steven Reeves, and Fr. Quan Nyguen, and care for you from my heart. Although I am writing this to both the St. Boniface and St. Patrick communities, I would like to take a moment to speak directly to the good people of St. Boniface. 

I love you! I trust that it was God’s providence that brought us together twice. It has been, at least for me, a mutually enriching relationship. I have been blessed by you, your unique gifts and qualities as a community, the friendships I have formed, and the challenges of living out the mission of the Church in an urban and diverse environment. I have grown in my relationship with Jesus because of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you! God is with you and active in the community of St. Boniface. I sincerely grieve this transition, but also trust God’s providence in the appointment of Fr. David Carr as your new administrator. It is my great hope that his proximity (living just seven blocks away), his availability, and his energy will be a blessing for the community. Please know you will continue to be close to my heart and in my prayers. I trust that it was Christ who brought us together and it is in Christ that we remain connected. It is Jesus Christ who leads us always. 

To the community of St. Patrick: please know that I love you, as well. I appreciate your patience as I grieve the loss of being the pastor of St. Boniface, as well as, the loss of Fr. Quan as our associate and my partner in ministry and life. This week, we welcome Fr. Loi Pham as our new associate and I look forward to ministering with him to our community. Transition is a liminal space, a time of death and new life, an ending as a new thing begins. It is in this space that the kingdom of God comes as a mustard seed. It may be the tiniest of seeds, yet, with patience, time, attentiveness, and love, it grows. For both of our communities, this time is unsettling, uncomfortable, and, even, painful. Transition is never easy, it is always difficult to enter into the Paschal Mystery, to go from death to new life. It is only by entering freely the tomb with Jesus that we likewise rise with Jesus. Once again, my heartfelt gratitude to the community of St. Boniface and to the community of St. Patrick. I trust that God, who has begun a good work in us, will bring it to completion. May the mustard seed of faith spring forth in newness of life! I say goodbye to my brothers and sisters in the hope of new life, in gratitude, and trusting in God. Peace be with you!