Dear Parish Family,
You may not know this, but my religious order - the Eudist Fathers - is an international community of Roman Catholic priests who work in France (since 1643), Columbia (since 1883), Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Brazil, Canada (since 1890), the United States (since 1957), the Ivory Coast and Benin (since 1959) and now the Philippines (2006).
After prayerful and thoughful consideraAon, I have accepted an invitation from my superiors to serve in the Philippines for a year or more. My last weekend at Ascension will be June 21/22, 2014.
During my tenure in the Philippines, I will be teaching pastoral counseling and homiletics to Eudist seminarians from around the world (1 from Viet Nam, 1 from France, 2 from Mexico and 6 from the Philippines) as well as training and consulting in the Diocese of Manila.
As I prepare to leave Ascension, I can’t help think about all the new things we have accomplished in just two short years. Among our proudest recent achievements are:
- the success of “Family Matters,” our family enrichment program that attracted over 350 individuals to one or more of the four sessions we oﬀered during Lent of 2013;
- the 11.5% increase in Mass attendance, the 160 new families who registered at our parish in the last two years and the soon-to-be published Parish Directory;
- our ability to pay, in advance, the next 25 months of our mortgage on the Center & Pavilion; the newly established: Grief Support Group, Single Seniors social club, the Alzheimer’s Support Group, the DVD Lending Library, Breakfast with St. Nicholas, The Garden Circle and the Taize Prayer Group;
- the overwhelming attendance at events like the Vatican II DVD series, the viewing of The Good Pope: John XXIII and, most recently, the Introduction to Bible Study;
- expanding our staﬀ to include our new Pastoral Associate, Janelle Peregoy and welcoming our new Business Manager, Armelle Miller;
- and your overwhelming generosity to our Ministries of Charity projects like the Christmas Angel Tree, the Diaper Bags for military moms and back pack collecAons to name a few.
In the opening line of his ﬁrst Apostolic Exhortation entitle Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), Pope Francis writes these words to us:
The joy of the gospel ﬁlls the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept his oﬀer of salva tion are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emp ness and loneliness. With Christ, joy is constantly born anew.
In the few months that we have left together, let us continue to spread the Good News in Tierrasanta so that more people will experience the joy of believing in Jesus. Thank you for everything!
Your parish priest and neighbor,
Rev. Dr. Robert J. Perelli, CJM, Pastor