I will be leaving Luxembourg at the end of September this year, after eight years of beautiful ministry here. Truth to tell, I was already planning my move last year, and met with the Cardinal in January this year to explain to him — he was gracious and understanding. With the onset of the current COVID crisis, I put everything on hold.
My reasons for leaving are personal, and nothing to do with our English-speaking Catholic community: I have only experienced joy, satisfaction and deep connection with my ‘parish’ experience here: your warmth, faith and dedication has been second to none. I am so proud of our community, what it is, what it does, and what it represents. We have so many people actively involved, and so many who are true apostles of the faith, so many who work away, often in the background. Ours is a community of faith, commitment, welcome joy and inclusion — by the grace of God.
I am conscious too of the care and support that so many in our community have given to me personally. We have faced many challenges together, moving church, being temporarily displaced, unable to use our meeting rooms, having to disinfect each other and be masked… that’s just to name a few! But to have faced these challenges together has been so important, and made our community stronger.
I can’t adequately explain why I must move on, other than to say that the same random Spirit who wafted me in to Luxembourg, is wafting me elsewhere. I announced my departure today at Mass today (Sunday)
The date of my departure is linked with my new post, my appointment to which was confirmed this week: Dean of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge.
With Nicola in the office, Fr HP in post, with an engaged, active Pastoral Council (and all the sub-committees) the parish can virtually run itself. I’m looking (at the Cardinal’s request) for a Redemptorist to take my place.
The Cardinal has asked that we have an official celebration Mass to mark my departure: how, where and when yet to be determined, but probably 20th September at the 11:30 Mass; please God it won’t have to be by Zoom!
Every good wish to you, and so many thanks for so much,