1992

1992 May 17 – 5th Sun Easter (Bulletin Letters)

1992 May 17 – 5th Sun Easter (Bulletin Letters)

(Wednesday, May 13th – Pretrial and Pre-Mass and Farewell Reception)

 

Dear Friends,

What a difference a week makes! Thursday of last week, Terry Salerno called to tell me that my trial has been moved from Monday, May 11th, to Friday, May 15th. Then the next day, Bishop Bullock called to inform me that he decided to accept my resignation from St. Anne’s and Holy Family parishes after all. He asked me to accept an assignment as associate pastor of St. Patrick’s Parish in Council Bluffs, working with Msgr. Ed Pfeffer. My new assignment will begin in July (or when I get out of jail, whichever comes first). I accepted the Bishop’s offer.

The Bishop also told me that Fr. John Maier, the associate pastor at St. Joseph’s of Des Moines has been named to replace me as pastor of St. Anne’s and Holy Family parishes starting in July.  This is very good news for you!   Fr. John will be an excellent follow- up to me here in Harrison County.  He’s a very pastoral guy, and loves to be with people. I’m sure he has his own ways, and has his own story to tell.  As I told you last week when I made the announcements of my going and his coming, he hasn’t always been a priest. Suffice to say, I’m confident you and he will be a great match for each other.

My problem is, I have been given only five days to do closure with you, and to say my ‘goodbyes’. (As you read this week’s bulletin letter, I am assuming the Judge has already sent me off to jail… I hope I’m wrong.) How can I do justice to closure on seven of the best years in my life in five days? How can I say ‘goodbye’ to families and friends who have helped shape and mold me as a priest in only five days!!! How can I say ‘thank you’ to all the people who let me administer the sacraments to them, celebrate the Eucharist for them and share the Word with them for seven years  –  in only five days?  Well, there just isn’t an adequate way to do it. I don’t even know where to begin. Our planned Thursday night Farewell Mass and Reception at St. Anne’s will have to do.

I will be writing a letter to you from jail every two weeks until July.  Along with journaling my prison experience, I will use these letters to say my “goodbyes” to you. It’s not enough, but it’s the best I can do. I beg you to please keep me in your prayers and continue to support me while I’m locked up. What a difference a week makes!

The Dingman Memorial “Line-Crossing”:  A Promise Fulfilled Thirty-six people crossed the line, thirty-four were Iowans.  Also crossing the line  was retired Bishop Charles Buswell. The surprise for me on Sunday was Bishop Bullock showing up for the Mass at Glenwood. It was clearly not an easy thing for him to do.  With this gesture, he made a great effort to show his solidarity with the spirit of Bishop Dingman.  Hats off to Bishop Bullock!

I was grateful and honored to have finally meant Bishop Buswell.  What a privilege it was to have him with us for the weekend Masses, and for me to have him as my guest at the rectory.  Now I know why he and Bishop Dingman got along so well. They are “cut from the same cloth”. Having Bishop Buswell with us last weekend was like having the spirit of Bishop Dingman with us again.  No better person than Bishop Buswell could have represented Bishop Dingman at the SAC line, and brought his spirit across it.

With this effort I have officially fulfilled the personal promise I made to Bishop Dingman after he had to his stroke. I promised him that I would get him across the line at SAC “one way or the other”.

With this effort I have officially fulfilled the personal promise I made to Bishop Dingman after he had to his stroke. I promised him that I would get him across the line at SAC “one way or the other”.

 

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