What a Difference 20 Years Makes

| | Comments (3)

I am really looking forward to being in parish life again. I will still be involved with Retrouvaille and with some retreat and mission work, but to a lesser degree. My provincial has assured me that he wants me to remain with Retrouvaille. I will continue serving as International Chaplain until January 1, 2006.

During the past three years I have done no baptisms, weddings or funerals. I have not been involved with RCIA or Adult Faith Formation, a ministry that I found very enriching. I have not been part of the activities of a Catholic School, been able to participate in children's faith formation or celebrate school masses. Parish missions gave me limited opportunities to be involved with parishioners on a regular basis.

I have enjoyed the travel, but I will still be a missionary in Parish life.

One of the great joys of being a priest is being involved with people at very important moments of their life. I look forward to being connected to them again. There are some challenges. It is a large parish, 5600 families. I will be presiding in Spanish, one mass every week.

I hope to enter the parish slowly, listening to people's stories and experiences before making any drastic changes. Fr. Jeff Finley, CPPS has been a wonderful pastor and many will surely miss him. Transitions are often difficult for parishioners. It is the Lord?s flock, and I hope to be a good servant.

I am familiar with the parish and have been there many times, and many people remember me.

In 1978, when I was a seminarian for the Diocese of Oakland, I was assigned to St. Edward in Newark for my pastoral year. I led a bible study, did hospital ministry, and this is where I preached on a Sunday morning for the first time. It was a Diocesan parish and Fr. Ricardo Chavez was the pastor.

In 1984, I was hired as Director of Music at St. Edward. I served until 1988. Fr. Marvin Steffes, C.PP.S. was the pastor. The choir is still an excellent choir under the direction of Mark Purcell. Many of the same people from the 80's are still singing in the choir.

In 2000, the pastor Fr. Jeffrey Finley, C.PP.S., invited me to preach the parish Lenten Mission.

In 2004, I return to St. Edward as Pastor.



Bookmark and Share


As your sister, believe it or not, I had almost forgotten that you looked like this in 1984! Thanks for sharing! You were a great shepherd before and will be so again!

Well congratulations to you and the parishoners of St. Edwards. I wish you could have been there in February when we visted St. Edwards. It would have been great to have you say mass. The pictures are great. I still picture you the way you looked in 1984. I guess that means you are very busy and we don't see you often enough!

May the transition go well and God bless you and those in your new parish.

Dear Father Jeff,

Something to consider:

Like many parishes in the Diocese of Oakland with a significant number of parishioners that pray most comfortably in Spanish, St. Edwards, in my experience, is more like 2 parishes that share the same physical plant.

There are always 2 parish missions, and dual celebrations of most major feasts in English and in Spanish. I'm not sure who gets the church, or if everyone gets the church with carefully staggered times. (I always wonder if they have 2 paschal candles)

The English speakers haven't, in my experience, been invited to learn some common responses in Spanish or to sing in Spanish, to welcome and support their Spanish-speaking brothes and sisters by praying with them in their milk language. When we've had Precious Blood family liturgies there in the past that have attempted to bring English and Spanish together, we've had some very awkward moments.

For the children of those who pray in Spanish, I don't know what assistance the parish provides them in being at home in two cultures.

So, for your consideration and vision, slowly working towards one parish might be something to consider. My impression is that most people are comfortable with the dual parishes, so I offer this reflection with trepidation.

A parish community that has worked to avoid dual parishes while supporting the heritages of all is St. Mary/St. Francis de Sales. Everyone there is making the effort to sing and respond in Vietnamese, which is much more of a challenge than Spanish. But this isn't really a territorial parish, so there is more natural hosplitality and motivation to learn.

  one of Fr. Keyes' photos

August 2012

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31  

Contact us

St. Gaspar's Letters

Who is St. Maria de Mattias?

Why Precious Blood?

What is a Precious Blood Missionary?

Our International Website

What the Pope said to us


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. published on March 15, 2004 9:22 PM.

Back in Chicago was the previous entry in this blog.

The New Look is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.