Father Mark’s Farewell
Dear Our Lady of the Wayside parish,
During the height of the shutdown in Spring of 2020, as plans continued to be canceled and uncertainty reigned, our heads were swirling with the reality that was setting in around us. It was during this time that I was informed my canon law program at St. Paul University in Ottawa would be entirely virtual. I would not be going to Canada but would engage in my program while living at Mundelein seminary. It was at this time that I also had to figure out where I would be helping out sacramentally. I put a call into Fr. Vince Costello and immediately he recommended serving at Our Lady of the Wayside, especially as Fr. Artur was here alone and needed help. After an initial meeting (and lots of coffee as Fr. Artur likes to do), we agreed I would help at Wayside starting that August.
As it turned out, 90% of my canon law studies would be virtual and I have been able to serve and reside at Wayside consistently for these last 2 years. It has been wonderful being present, celebrating the sacraments, sharing in priestly fraternity, and getting to know the people here. This has been a truly beautiful parish community to be a part of. I have been well received and many have expressed their appreciation for me in so many ways. I also wish to thank everybody for the support they have given as I went through my program, dealt with the challenges of e-learning (or going to “Zoom University” as I like to say), the new materials I was learning, and preparing for and passing my comprehensive exams in early June.
Starting in August I then began my ministry in canon law working at the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Chicago. I have been appointed to serve as a Defender of the Bond (of marriage) as well as a judge. This ministry has me working several days a week downtown at the Quigley Pastoral Center, the offices of the Archdiocese. This will be my full-time ministry with the diocese for the next number of years. With these new responsibilities, and at the encouragement of the diocese, it was recommended that I move to a parish closer to the offices, especially as I would still have additional ministerial responsibilities. There was quite the search to find a new residence, and I visited numerous parishes, and finally decided on moving to Our Lady of Ransom parish in Niles.
Ransom was my first parish as a priest, and I served there from 2013-2016. I am happy to be moving back there and being able to re-establish connections with some of my former parishioners. I have come to love Wayside and wish to express, again, my profound gratitude for my time here. I may still be back on occasions to help with Masses or other needs as they arise. As I depart from here, I am reminded of the words that St. Paul told the Corinthians at the conclusion of his first letter:
“be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong.
Let all that you do be done in love”
(1 Cor 16:13-14).
May God bless you all and may your love for Him only increase!
Please plan on attending a Father Mark’s Farewell Mass (see below) and wishing him well at a Reception in the Gathering Place afterwards. Light refreshments will be served.
- 5:00 pm Saturday, October 15
- 9:30 am Sunday, October 16
- 11:30 am Sunday, October 16
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