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Coming home...
Message from Your New Pastor - Fr. Adam Gabriel CSMA
July 2 2016

The Diocese of London is not strange to me as I was ordained to the priesthood at St. Peter’s Cathedral in 1978 and ministered as an associate pastor at St. Pius X (now Holy Family) in London; St. Benedict in Sarnia and then as Pastor at St. Joseph/St. Mary in Listowel & Hesson; then at Our Lady of Czestochowa in London & at Holy Angels in St. Thomas. The last 4 years I have spent at St. Teresa Parish in Toronto (Etobicoke). So I am coming home.

I belong to the Congregation of Saint Michael the Archangel (Michaelite Fathers) where I also serve as Vice-Superior. It is worth mentioning that Bishop Joseph Dabrowski, the Auxiliary Bishop of London was my first associate at Our Lady of Czestochowa. I am coming to London from a bi-lingual parish, where 6 Masses are celebrated every weekend, to St. Patrick’s Parish where there are only 2 weekend Masses - so it looks as though I will be slowing down... I have just received the first pension cheque from the government, so perhaps I have the right to slow down.

I am coming to St. Patrick’s with an open mind and heart. I am coming as a shepherd in order to serve, not to be served. Pope Francis reminded us that the true shepherds must be close enough to “smell the sheep”. I hope and pray that the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, will continue to bless me with good health and will give me strength to minister to you and to bring you closer to Him and to one another. I am not afraid of work and I am not afraid to speak up for Christ. I know I am coming to a parish family with many dedicated people ready to help me accomplish this. St. Augustin used to say: “For You I am a Priest and that terrifies me; but with You I am a Christian and that consoles me”. Let us keep on building up this faith community founded by many priests and dedicated parishioners. Remember that the main language which we will be using will not be Irish, Polish or Hungarian, or even English, but God’s language of love.

My friends, parishioners of St. Patrick, I am asking you to pray for me as I begin the ministry as your parish priest. I would like to conclude these few thoughts with the Pastor’s Prayer: Lord, You are the Shepherd of people everywhere; please help me as I guide the flock you have placed within my care. Keep me close to You, Lord, as I study, preach and pray, so I may reach and teach the lost to follow You today and always.

Fr. Adam Gabriel, CSMA