My dear friends in Christ. Sadly, this is my last Sunday with you at St. Therese. So instead of regular spiritual message, this time I want to share my experience and express my words of gratitude.
When I arrived to Montauk first time to cover weekend masses, exactly one year ago, I imagined it so far away, as if it were at the end of the world. Certainly, it was a significant distance to drive from the middle of the island, but I quickly learned how a beautiful part of Long Island it was and how welcoming people were there. I was again asked to cover some days in Montauk before Christmas and then over the holidays at the change of the old and a new year. Finally, the bishop asked me to stay as an administrator beginning in February.
I must acknowledge that I was a little bit afraid of loneliness and isolation, especially during the long nights of winter. Then the pandemic started... It made things even more difficult. Nonetheless, despite the strange times of the Covid-19, my experience at St. Therese turned out to be very good one, very enriching; I started to love the place and the people of Montauk. Unfortunately, due to circumstances I had a chance to meet only some of you. Those whom I met showed much care and concern for the Church, the parish, and for other human beings, especially during the time of the pandemic.
You also showed your love for me. For example, quite frequently someone would drop off fresh caught fish or bring a ready meal. It was so nice, I did not feel alone. Those were the moments showing me how caring this community was. So I am very grateful to all of you for your patience, kindness and generosity. On my part, please, forgive me my awkwardness with English language and any of my comments that might have sounded a little bit rough. The only thing I cared for was the salvation of souls. As a legacy I cannot stress enough the message from the second reading of this Sunday:“
Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
Thus, take seriously but joyfully your faith in Jesus. Life with Christ is worth everything. May the words of St. Paul motivate you to follow Jesus in everyday tasks.
As most of you know, bishop John Barres appointed me a pastor at St. Joseph the Worker parish in East Patchogue. Given the circumstances, I think my mission has been accomplished as far my pastoral and administrative goals at St. Therese. Although there is sadness in my heart that I have to leave Montauk, I believe that the Lord calls me to another place and I have to respond with a generous heart. Besides, not long ago someone said to me: “Once in Montauk always in Montauk.” That is what I feel, I belong here and you are part of my extended family. I will stop by every once in a while.
I pray that your new pastor may have good health and strength to guide this wonderful parish, so that through him you may feel the closeness of Jesus the Good Shepherd.
THANK YOU! GOD LOVE YOU!
Fr. Janusz Mocarski