Change at St. Elizabeth Seton
Annually there are changes in priest assignments through-out the Diocese. As priests are ordained and others retire, moves become necessary. All priests take a vow of obedience to our bishop and this is the opportunity for each of us to die to our own desires and submit ourselves to the needs of the Church.
Bishop Dewane has named me Pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton effective Monday, May 17. I have been the Parochial Administrator of this parish for almost three years, and in short, that title means ‘the person responsible….for now’. While there is no real change in duties, a pastorship means more permanence and stability. My letter from Bishop Dewane stated I would be pastor for six years. I am humbled at this vote of confidence and full of joy in what this means to the people of a parish that has not had a pastor for seven years. I pray that I serve all of you at St. Elizabeth Seton with the Heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who lays down His life for His sheep!
With mixed feelings, congratulations are in order to our beloved Fr. Luis. He has been named the Parochial Administrator to St. Paul Parish in Arcadia. Sadly, he is leaving us and St. Agnes. Arcadia is about 90 minutes north of here, so he is not too far away. St. Paul has the newest church building in the Diocese, having just had the dedication ceremony there in March, which Fr. Luis attended. Arcadia is a small town and the parish has a large Spanish-speaking population. Fr. Luis has been a source of stability for our community here for a long time. He is dedicated and hard-working and never turns down the opportunity to serve. I will miss him dearly as a friend, a brother priest and a partner in ministry. He will be missed by all. We will have a reception for Fr. Luis on May 30 following the 10AM Mass.
Fr. Carlos Encinas is coming to St. Elizabeth Seton and St. Agnes as our new Parochial Vicar. He will live in the rectory here, and like Fr. Luis did, he will split his time serving both parishes. Fr. Carlos has been at St. Peter the Apostle parish off of Rattlesnake Hammock Rd. for about two years. He was ordained a priest in October of 2019. This change is effective June 1. I look forward to getting to know Fr. Carlos and welcoming him to our parish family.
Please pray for all of us during this transition: God our Father, we ask for your blessing on all of the priests of the Diocese during this time of change and adaptation. May we always seek your will and Glory in the Cross of Jesus. Amen.
~From the Desk of Fr. Casey