I want to thank so many people at Saint Bonaventure who have encouraged me and helped me to get to this point. I have drawn a lot of strength and hope and inspiration from people I have worked alongside over the years in our parish.
One highlight has been working to promote Respect for Life in various ways, especially running the annual Life-a-thon through which our students raise money to benefit the Life Center, and seeing loving volunteers step up and support our local Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
Another has been meeting so many wonderful teachers, leaders and faithful families at our parish school and in our Religious Education and Confirmation programs. Still another has been the wonderful brotherhood I have experienced in the Knights of Columbus, as they work in fellowship to defend the faith, support seminarians and serve the disabled of Orange County.
I realize that a significant part of my formation for the Diaconate has been accomplished by friends in small faith-sharing groups, fellow lectors and Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharistic, and especially those who faithfully take Holy Communion to the sick and homebound.
Of course I will always be thankful for my friends in the Bereavement group and others who ministered to me and my family when our boy Jimmy passed away. I also owe special thanks to the Deacon couples who have encouraged, advised and mentored me for many years at Saint Bonaventure — Lou and Marian Merandi (RIP), Matt and Patti Calabrese, Jim and Sharon Andersen, and Scott and Julie Ford.
I look forward to being fully configured to Christ the Servant, and to bringing back the graces I receive in the Sacrament of Holy Orders to Saint Bonaventure. Please pray for me and my wife, Barbara, as we approach this wonderful day, and we will keep you in our prayers as well!