Farewell from Father Mark
Dear Our Lady of the Wayside parishioners,
It has been a great joy serving and ministering here over the last year. While I have been unable to meet many of you personally, due to the Covid restrictions, I have been warmly received and welcomed into this faith community. During the month of July, I will be taking some vacation and serving as a chaplain at a high adventure base for Boy Scouts in New Mexico. Then, in August my canon law studies should commence in person. This means I will be moving to Ottawa to complete my degree and will no longer be able to assist here on weekends. There is a slight possibility my degree will continue to be virtual in the Fall, and I am awaiting final word, but my university has indicated the high likelihood of being able to attend classes in-person, which I am greatly looking forward to.
Our Lady of the Wayside will continue to be my residence when I am home during breaks, such as at Christmas, so you will still be able to see me from time to time. I am hopeful that I will still be able to occasionally celebrate Masses or some of the other sacraments when I am home. Currently I am not quite sure what my future holds once I complete my degree next June. From there I will begin working downtown at the Marriage Tribunal, located at Quigley Pastoral Center, the offices of the Archdiocese. That is the current path that lays before me.
I wish to especially thank Fr. Artur for his invitation to minister here as well as his wonderful hospitality (and many servings of coffee) throughout this past year. Having our pastor as a friend and mentor, specifically as I work through my studies which he has years of experience in, has been a real blessing for me. Additionally, it has truly been a joy to celebrate Masses, confessions, and baptisms here over the past year. As a diocesan priest, I greatly look forward to being with the faithful – in proclaiming God’s word, counseling, serving, and above all, making known the presence of God’s magnanimous love. While I am no longer in full-time parish ministry, celebrating the sacraments with the community is what gives me joy and strength. So once again, thank you for receiving and welcoming me here over this past year
As I prepare for this time of transition, please know of my many prayers for this parish. I appreciate the ways in which I have been able to make known God’s presence. May the Church continue to nourish, heal, and provide all that we need in order to love and serve God more faithfully and fruitfully. May God bless all of you and unite each of us more closely in the Eucharist.
Our Lady of the Wayside, pray for us.
With my blessings,
Fr. Mark Augustine