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I wasn’t sure I liked him at first

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

May 12, 2021

I had been attending my parish, St. Mary’s in Brushton, for only a few months when our pastor, Father Christopher J. Looby, was re-assigned to a different parish.

It’s not an understatement to say I was sad and a bit upset when I heard he was being re-assigned. It’s hard not to like Father Chris, and I was just getting to know him when the move was announced.

A few weeks after the announcement was made, our new pastor, Father Raymond J. Moreau, arrived at our parish.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked Father Ray. He’s older than Father Chris. His homilies are MUCH longer than Father Chris’.

Looking back on it, though, the Holy Spirit was definitely at work with this move.

Father Ray doesn’t gravitate toward technology in the same way as Father Chris, who is known for his use of social media, websites, podcasts and other digital media and technology.

Because digital media and technology isn’t Father Ray’s forte, I became involved in designing and administering the parish website as well as the parish social media (along with another volunteer). Being involved in those volunteer opportunities – I refer to them as “digital ministry” – helped me become engaged in the parish in a way I hadn’t been before. It made me more aware of parish ministries and offerings. It put me in a position in which I needed to work with Father Ray fairly regularly.

While I’m confident Father Chris would’ve had ideas for ways to involve me, then new to the parish, in parish life, Father Ray needed my particular skillset. He needed someone with experience with web design and social media administration. He needed someone who enjoys playing with text and graphics. Because Father Ray needed my skills, I became more engaged in the parish and more ownership of it. I also learned to adore Father Ray.

Now, I’m blessed to have both Father Ray and Father Chris in my life.

It can be sad when a beloved pastor or parochial vicar is moved to another parish. Sometimes, it’s hard to see God’s plan in such a loss.

But God has a plan. While it may be hard, if not impossible, for us to understand that plan, there’s purpose in that plan.

Please join me in praying for our priests, especially those who are about to transition to new assignments or their new lives in retirement. Also, please pray that their parishioners see the Holy Spirit at work in these moves.

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