Change is so hard. Our family has experienced many changes over the past couple months, especially with moving to a new house and some family issues. Now we are facing another change – this time in our spiritual life.
Our beloved parish priest is leaving our church next week. He has been assigned to a post in the Vatican (yes, in Rome!). Monsignor Anthony has been a tremendous source of support for our family over these past months. He was one of our first visitors in the hospital after Clare was born. When Clare’s heart defects were diagnosed, he willingly moved her Baptism closer, so we did not have to wait so long to have her baptized. He has come to our house and blessed Clare and given her the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick before every hospitalization. He visited us in the hospital in Boston. While Clare was having her open heart surgery, Monsignor Anthony was leading a pilgrimage of fellow parishioners in Italy. As Clare was in surgery, they were praying for her in Assisi (Clare is named after St. Clare of Assisi). He has always had a smile, hug, and kind word for Jamie. We attended a farewell barbecue for Monsignor Anthony a couple weeks ago, and before we left, Jamie sat on his lap so they could talk. We have been so blessed to have Monsignor Anthony in our lives.
I know Monsignor Anthony is destined for great things, but I am saddened that his journey in life will no longer be part of our journey here in Manchester. Under his wing, our church has grown and flourished, as has our faith. I know both our children hold a special place in his heart, and that he will always be with us spiritually. And if we ever make it to Rome someday, we will have our own tour guide at the Vatican! Thank you, Monsignor Anthony, for being a true friend to our family. Thank you for loving Jamie and Clare – for showing a little boy firsthand how Jesus loved all the little children. Thank you for holding our little girl in your prayers time and time again. May God watch over you as you begin your new journey. We will miss you.