Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
Please be sure to read this note from Fr. Lawrence. Also, please take home the accompanying letter from me regarding various upcoming changes in the parish and to the parish schedule. God Bless!
My Dear Parishioners, Since 2002, I have labored to fulfill my promise to Fr. Albert Lauer, who received me with great generosity. At his death bed, I promised not to leave Old St. Mary Church until the Archdiocese of Cincinnati had assigned a pastor to the parish. As it turned out, the Very Reverend Bishop Carl K. Moeddel assigned me to be parochial vicar. My time here has been a great blessing to me.
Old St. Mary now has not only a pastor, but also a community of priests and brothers who form the Cincinnati Oratory. The Oratory will always be here to sanctify, to teach, and to guide the people of Old St. Mary in the path of holiness. Since my promise has been kept and the parish is now so well cared for by the Oratory, I have asked for a transfer to work in other settings. My reasons are these. First, to fulfill another promise I have made to a seminarian who is now a priest and pastor of several parishes. Second, I want to have a broader, wider, more varied pastoral experience and a greater understanding of the U.S. Church. Such experience will allow me in these later years of my priesthood to gain deeper wisdom that I will be able to share. I will also have the opportunity and privilege of praying and working with more of the faithful. Third, I hope to continue growing, learn new lessons, and try new things. Now is the time, before I get any older.
I am grateful to God and the Cincinnati Oratory for allowing me to keep my promise and for giving me this opportunity to reach out beyond Old St. Mary. Now I will be looking for a benevolent bishop to grant me the faculties to function as a priest in his diocese. Please pray that this goes well.
My gratitude goes most of all to you, dear people of Old St. Mary and The Society of Our Lady of the Assumption, Inc., you who have accepted and loved me. You and I have lived, worked, and prayed together for eighteen years. You have given me great happiness and wonderful memories. The Spirit of God and Jesus Christ fill me with joy for knowing, loving, and serving you personally, doctrinally, morally, liturgically, and, most especially, spiritually. Remembering the joys and celebrations, the trials and tribulations, I can honestly say that I tried to be a good priest and spiritual father. I pray for you and I will continue to walk in the path of holiness for the salvation of our souls. May we be, as Fr. Al used to say, “a sign of contradiction” in our day and time and culture.
Whatever I do and wherever I go in the future, I will always thank God for you and for my time here with you, and I will pray that He will continue to bless you, Old St. Mary, and the Cincinnati Oratory. Until we meet again, God bless all of you and thank you.
Sincerely in Christ,
Father Lawrence G. Juarez
A letter from Fr. Jon-Paul: