+ Thanks from Fr Paul

Dear friends – see the letter here which is a thanks written by Fr Paul following his recent move from the parish. He says in the letter how moved he was by the gesture from the parish to put on a farewell morning tea. He was especially humbled that this event was the first social gathering we’d had for so long and was only possible because COVID regulations had only just been relaxed.

Dear friends of OLOW,

My deepest thanks for the warmth of farewell as I so prematurely moved from the parish. The fact that the changing COVID regulations meant that the Sunday morning tea put on to say goodbye was the first social thing we’d been able to gather for, was indeed humbling. I said to Julie Irvine and some of the parish hospitality team that someone should surely spend a couple more years at least in the parish in order to be given such a special acknowledgment as that function was! Thank you too for the enormously kind written messages and cards I received, as well as heartfelt comments – along with the moving parish blessing led by my wonderful parish ministry partner Chrissy Rannaste, the public poem composed by backbone parish servant Stevenie Harman and the faith-filled parish message from Pastoral Council leader, John Cowen.

As I said at the farewell, if there was any thought that I planned to leave early, just look at the permanence of the animal cage I built at the back of the presbytery! And after gritting our way together through this remarkable year of 2020, I felt we were on the cusp of some next possibilities for the parish. Instead I’ll now write that I believe you are on the cusp – and I give thanks to you and to God for allowing me to tap into the story of the parish for a short while.     (continued below)

Thanks from Fr Paul to sisters and brothers of Our Lady the Way

If I can put in one special vote … Please do encourage some parishioners to be committed connection points for the key schools; OLOW primary and Penola College. It was a sadness for me to have to leave the project of young leadership that was only just in the beginning stages and not to have been yet able to get a team on board from the parish side of the relationship; but it’s something to strive for I trust. As parishes we have privileged access to families through our schools and in this era, we need to be more creative about building connection and encouragement than just hoping they’ll come to Mass. Please do believe you can get onto those creative possibilities as a priority component of the parish’s development and strong future viability. (continued below)

Our Parish High School: Pictured are some of Penola College Yr 12s at their recent graduation at OLOW 

Anyway friends, for all I’ve learned from you and for all I’ve been moved by – thank you! I was so encouraged by the searching questions Fr Michael was asking from my first catch up with him and by his desire to really know where you’re at as a parish and what are your plans and hopes. I wish you all – and Fr Michael – every blessing of God’s mission exercised through the hearts and hands of OLOW. 

With friendship in God’s mission,

Fr Paul

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Christine Rannaste
Christine Rannaste
2 years ago