Friday, July 3, 2020

Time to Say Goodbye . . . Again.


Dear Parishioners,
Unfortunately, I have come to the end of my time at Holy Angels Parish.

One of the most difficult times for me as a priest is when I have to say goodbye to people that I love. Maybe they move away.  Perhaps I am being transferred to a new rectory or assignment.  Then there are those times when death strikes—undoubtedly the hardest goodbye of them all.   I admit that I am not good with these circumstances.  I would rather avoid the situation and just move on.  Maybe it will cause less pain.
Sadly, I have been at Holy Angels only three years.  This has been a great assignment because of the wonderful people!  I hope that I have been able to contribute just a little to making the parish a bit better.  I especially hope and pray that the presence of Jesus Christ was more apparent by something that I have tried to say or do.
Have I been able to accomplish everything that I wanted to do?  Unfortunately, the answer is no.  Many plans were left undone.  Any unfinished business will have to be left to the next pastor.  Sorry for that.  Priests are all too human.  We struggle.  We fail.  We hurt.  Unfortunately, we sin as well.  I have realized both my fragile humanity and my mortality over the past few years.
Looking back, many things have happened in three years.  First, there was my myocardial infarction (heart attack) after only being here for three months.  About six months of rehabilitation followed.  Meanwhile, Holy Angels School was opened at its new location.  Sadly, the sale of the former Most Holy Redeemer campus occurred subsequently.  Then came the purchase and renovation of our new office building at 81 Cooper Street.  I still chuckle that I was not even able to use my new office even once after not having an office in the rectory for the past three years.  Oh well.  Then the coronavirus and quarantine came . . . .  It has been some roller-coaster ride!
Now I am off to be Pastor of St. Thomas More Parish, Cherry Hill, NJ.  I will begin this new assignment next week.  Fr. Joseph Byerley, a former Parochial Vicar, will return to Holy Angels as the new Pastor, effective July 15, 2020.  I know that you will show him your love, support and encouragement.   

I plan to continue writing.  I have posted my past parish bulletin articles online for almost a decade. The blog is entitled A Pastor's Thoughts (www.fr-ed-namiotka.com).  If my thoughts and writings were interesting, helpful or amusing to you, I invite you to check out my blog.
Otherwise, this is goodbye to all of you.  I thank God if I have helped you in any way.  I ask His and your forgiveness if I have hurt you or caused pain or sorrow in your life in any way.
I ask you once again for your prayers.  Just a little remembrance, every once in a while?  Please.  I will continue to remember all of you in this parish in my prayers and at the altar during Mass.

I was told many years ago that when a priest leaves a parish, 20% of the people will swear by him, 20% will swear at him, and for 60% it won’t make much of a difference at all.
I hope this isn’t really true.
In Jesus and His Mother Mary,
Fr. Ed Namiotka
(Soon to be former) Pastor


Fr. Joseph Byerley

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