On June 1, at Monsignor O’Doherty’s farewell Mass, I was formally introduced to the Epiphany Church community as its new pastor. That day I told the congregation that for years I had been advocating for special prayers to be said for whatever poor guy would replace Monsignor as pastor of Epiphany parish. I never thought it would be me. However, here I am – the poor guy. Nonetheless, before you start feeling sorry for me, please note that I am a very happy poor guy! Much of that has to do with the warm welcome, kindness and support that in short time I have received from Monsignor, Fr. Alex, the deacons, staff and you, the members of this community. I thank you for the new life you have started passing on to me!
It’s all about life. That has been very clear to me since I became a priest. When I was ordained sixteen years ago, the words I chose to have printed on my ordination cards were “I have come so that you may have life and have it abundantly!” I opted for those words from John 10:10, my favorite Bible verse, because they always made great sense to me. Although they are words uttered two thousand years ago by Jesus, they are timeless. All of us are in deep search for that abundant life that Jesus promises.
As I begin this privileged assignment as your new pastor, for which I am grateful, these words are very much in the forefront of my mind and heart. I am confident that the Lord will allow me to more fully partake of that life and enjoy it as I come to know and serve you here in this parish community. I pray that through my ministry in the coming years the Lord may also help you to more so partake of his blessings and have a little fun in the process.
It’s very good to be here. Thanks for the wonderful kindness you have already shown me and in advance for your ongoing support. Please pray for me as I vow to do so for you. May we as members Christ’s Body continue to cherish the great life that Jesus bestows upon this community. I look forward to celebrating and discovering it with you!
Father José Alvarez