Dear Parishioners, benefactors, and visitors to Holy Family Catholic Parish
Last summer, Archbishop Thompson granted me permission to plan and undertake a 4-month sabbatical to take place between June to September of 2023.
This sabbatical is at my request. This decision was made after much prayer and consultation. To be clear, I am not in crisis. I am not in trouble. I am not questioning my call to priesthood. I am not questioning my pastoral assignments as pastor of Holy Family or dean of the New Albany Deanery, to which I plan to return. But after 13.5 years of ministry and 5 years of seminary, I am feeling tired and worn. I am also aware that I have more than 25 years of ministry in front of me. I am hopeful that some extended time off now resting and re-engaging with God, the outdoors, friends and family, will enable a deep recharge for the mission of Christ and the ministry of the Church before me, before us together. Given the strong position of Holy Family – her staff, her lay leadership, school & other ministries – this seems a good time. My sabbatical will include a 30-day silent Ignatian retreat, one or two backcountry camping trips, a Divine Mercy Pilgrimage to Poland and Austria, interspersed with visits to various friends and family.
My absence will have obvious impacts on our parish life, but I pray not detrimental ones. We have come a long way in the last few years. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together in Christ, while I’m aware God’s not done with us yet. I am hopeful that you, the parishioners, will join with the leadership to carry Holy Family forward during the short months of my absence. Due to the shortage of priest availability, daily Masses may not be offered during June, July, or August, and only on limited days in September. I am still pursuing coverage, but the remaining possibilities are scarce. Holy Family’s Saturday-Sunday Mass schedule of 5p, 8a, 10:30a, and 6p will continue as normal with the generous help of Fr Harry Tully, Fr Ken Bartsch OFM Conv, and a few others.
I realize this announcement will be a surprise to most of you. Once the shock dissipates, I hope you will begin praying for me and this opportunity. God desires to do great things in and through each of our lives. I am hopeful for what He will do in me through this blessed opportunity. I’m thankful to Archbishop Thompson for the gift of time. I’m thankful to you for your continued support of me and Holy Family Catholic parish.
No doubt, I will miss my Holy Family family while I’m away, but I will love you all the more with my return. Know of my continued prayers.
Nothing Less than saints for the Holy Family of God. +
Holy Family, Premier School of Love, Pray for us.
~ Fr Jeremy M. Gries