Dear Parishioners and Visitors:
The desire to touch the holy is a strong human impulse. In our incompleteness, we yearn for union with the divine. This desire leads us to seek out people, places and objects that give us a spiritual “connection.” Just as Michelangelo’s Adam stretches out his hand toward the Creator, so we stretch out our hands towards God’s presence. Like the women in today’s gospel who dared to reach out and touch the garment of Jesus, we too reach out with hope and longing.
I come here to St. Rita’s reaching out to you with hope and longing. I am excited for this assignment as your pastor and for this next chapter of my priestly life and Christian walk. I have been touched by holiness at every parish where I have been called to serve. Although born in St. Charles, Missouri, I grew up in Lakewood, California attending St. Pancratius Grade School (Lakewood) and Pius X High School (Downey). After ordination to the priesthood in 1989 for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I was assigned to St. Joseph the Worker Church in Canoga Park where I served for 5 years as Associate Pastor. I was then assigned as Associate Pastor to Our Lady of Guadalupe (Hammel Street) in East Los Angeles where I served for 2 1/2 years before being asked to be Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Los Angeles (in the Rosehill district near El Sereno). From there I went to Sacred Heart in Lancaster where I served as Pastor for 11 years. I then went to St. Kateri Tekakwitha in Santa Clarita as Pastor, only remaining for 1 year due to a serious bicycle accident which led me to St. Anselm as Administrator for this past year.
God has greatly blessed my faith walk and my priestly ministry. I have been touched by holiness through the many people I have worked with, ministered to and walked alongside. I look forward to discovering the presence of God and His holiness in this parish community. Please pray that I may always strive to touch His holiness and deepen my walk with Him while also recognizing His holiness and presence in the faithful here at St. Rita’s.
In our gathering together for the Eucharist we have the opportunity to reach out and touch God – and God has the opportunity to reach out and touch us. Although this is done in the form of bread and wine, our faith reminds us that this is God. May we enjoy the intimacy of this touch as the Almighty One bends down from on high to be consumed by us. May we likewise, be consumed with God’s
presence and touch others with His love. Peace.