“Anno nuovo, vita nuova.”
We are all familiar with this Italian expression proclaimed at the beginning of a new year. This year, it takes on a deeper meaning as a major change will take place at Holy Rosary. The good news is that starting in the month of February, two priests will be staffing Holy Rosary parish; the other part of this news is that I will not be one of them. By the end of January, I will leave the parish to assume new responsibilities with my religious congregation. I have been appointed as Provincial Bursar, and to properly serve in this capacity, I will be residing at the Provincial House in New York City, in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan, next door to Our Lady of Pompeii Church.
Our “Religious Province” is made up of parishes, seminaries, migrant centers, study centers and many other pastoral initiatives aimed at helping migrants and refugees. These pastoral positions are in Canada, USA, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador. Because of the need to coordinate our missionary work in so many diverse apostolates, the Provincial Bursar ministry is considered a full-time job, and therefore, I cannot continue to serve as pastor or even as an associate in another pastoral position.
I have been at Holy Rosary for seven and half years and it has truly been an incredible experience. I arrived on June 1st, 2013, right in the middle of the final preparations for the centennial celebration of the founding of the parish. Since then, so many events, celebrations, initiatives, feasts, and special liturgies have taken place that, if listed, they could fill up many pages. All these were held while a major construction project was taking place and the Italian American Museum of Washington DC (IAMDC) was being established.
In the past seven years, calendars have always been richly filled with a great variety of events that were truly an expression of the vitality of a parish that embraces its religious, social, and cultural heritage, while being open to new initiatives and ideas. As we turn to a new page in Holy Rosary’s history, I would like to renew my sincere thanks and admiration to so many volunteers that made everything possible. Holy Rosary’s members should feel immensely proud of so many parishioners who have such a great love for their community and their church.
So, as I journey from Holy Rosary in Washington to Our Lady of Pompeii in New York, I would like to express my sincere thanks to all who made my priestly life here so memorable. Please forgive my mistakes, there were many, but none made on purpose; and whatever good that I was able to do, I owe it to the many volunteers and helpers that surrounded me.
At Holy Rosary, like in any other parish, there is always much to do. I am quite confident that the two priests coming here will be able to continue to serve and to minister to the religious and sacramental needs of the parish while continuing the improvement of its facilities. In a subsequent letter, I will introduce the two Scalabrinian priests who will be staffing Holy Rosary. Thank you for everything and “arrivederci.”
Remain well and healthy, and God bless you all! Yours in Christ,
Fr. Ezio Marchetto, c.s