Pope Francis said, “The prayer of a pastor is nourished and made incarnate in the heart of God’s People. It bears the marks of the sufferings and joys of his people, whom he silently presents to the Lord to be anointed by the gift of the Holy Spirit.” And, “it is in the prayer of God’s people that the heart of a pastor takes flesh and finds its proper place.”
Father Joe, you have taken up the joys and sufferings of the people of Our Lady of the River for 12 years, and the people of the Church of the Visitation for the past six years. Our prayers go with you as you continue on your journey of ministry to God’s people in your new assignment.
You have told us that the People of God, Christ’s faithful, is what you have appreciated most about your ministry to our parishes in LeClaire and Camanche. Celebrating the sacraments brings you the most joy as a priest, and we have been the beneficiaries of that joy.
Father Joe, we feel blessed to have been your parishioners for a time. You managed two parishes while also serving in the diocesan Tribunal and fulfilling other diocesan responsibilities. One of our parishioners describes you as a quiet man with a caring heart. At parish social events, you subtly ensured that no one dined alone. New babies brought you such joy.
Thank you, Father Joe, for leading us on our spiritual journey. As we complete this chapter of life and begin a new one, we remain grateful to you for the time you have spent with us. You have talked with us about hope in times of despair, shared in our sorrow during times of loss, joined in our happy times of celebrations, and prayed for us and with us. Thank you for all you have done for us; best wishes with your new assignment.