MARY,
GATE OF HEAVEN
CHURCH
Myerstown, PA

February 2019​​

To My Parish Family,

At age 73 and after 47 wonderful years in the Priesthood, the Bishop has
given me permission to retire from the Office of Pastor. Effective June 17, 2019
These 47 years have been filled with so much joy and happiness because of
so many like you, along the way. The support and love that I have experienced from you,

my family and friends and parishioners gave me the energy and the enthusiasm to minister
joyfully at: Saint Catherine Parish in Harrisburg, St. Theresa Parish in New Cumberland.
Bloomsburg University. Saint Peter Parish in Steelton, Sacred Heart Parish in
Harrisburg, The Cathedral Parish in Harrisburg, Penn State University in
Middletown. Sacred Heart Parish in Lewisburg. Saint George Mission in
Mifflinburg and finally, Mary Gate of Heaven Parish in Myerstown.
During these assignments I was also blest to be a part of the Diocesan
Church as: Director of Pastoral Planning, Director of Communications,
Vocation Director, Chancellor and Vicar General.

My retirement from the Office of Pastor means that I will be free from
administrative responsibilities in order to concentrate more on Priestly
Ministry by helping out in parishes and institutions where the needs arise.
I am especially grateful to my Parish Family at Mary Gate of Heaven. You
have been such beautiful reflections of God’s love for me over these past two
years. Thanks and thanks again for making this part of the “ride” so
incredibly wonderful.

They say that you never forget your first Pastorate and your last Pastorate.
I know this is true. The Lord has certainly saved the best until last.
I look forward to your continued encouragement and prayers as I turn the
page of this awesome love story between Jesus and me.

Love and Prayers,

Father Bill

PS: On the practical note: The new Pastor will probably be named in Mid-May.

He will begin his ministry here on Monday, June 17, 2019. I know that you will
welcome him as warmly as you welcomed me. Stay tuned to this web page
for information on the new Pastor.


My Constant Companion
At first I saw God as my observer, my judge, keeping track of the things I did wrong,
so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die. He was out there,
sort of like a president. I recognized his picture when I saw it, but I really didn’t know him.
But later,  when I actually met Christ, it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride,
but it was a tandem bike, I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal.
I don’t know just when it was that he suggested we change places, but life has not been
the same since. When I had control, I knew the way. It was rather boring, but predictable.
It was always the shortest distance between two points. But when he took the lead,
he knew delightful long cuts, up mountains, through rocky places and at breakneck speeds;
it was all I could do to hang on! Even though it looked like madness he would say,
“Pedal!”
I worried and was anxious and asked, “Where are you taking me?”
He laughed and didn’t answer, and I started to learn to trust.
I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure. And when I’d say, “I’m scared”,
He’d lean back and touch my hand.
He took me to people, like you, with gifts that I needed: gifts of healing, acceptance, joy.
You gave me your gifts to take on my journey, our journey, my Lord’s and mine.
And we were off again. He said, “give the gifts away, they’re extra baggage;
too much weight.” So I did, to the people like you, and I found that in giving I received,
and still our burden was light.

I did not trust him, at first, in control of my life. I thought that he’d wreck it;
but he knows bike secrets. He knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,
jumps to clear high rocks, flight to shorten scary passages.
And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places, and I’m beginning to
enjoy the view and the cool breeze on my face with my delightful constant companion, Jesus.
And when I’m sure I just can’t do it anymore, He just smiles and says...
“Pedal.”