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'Where the rubber hits the road' is hitting the road in September! New Pastoral Assignments announced for the Pembroke Diocese

Bishop Michael Mulhall, Bishop of Pembroke announced on Monday that I'm being transferred from my current assignment as pastor of St. Anne's Parish in Mattawa, Ontario to take up the same position on the Quebec side of the Diocese... in Chapeau (St. Alphonsus), Sheenboro (St. Paul the Hermit), and St. Joseph's (St. Joseph's) effective September 12th, 2013.

This will be a bit of a home coming for me as I have twice before served in Chapeau (as both assistant and pastor) and already love the people and place. I look forward to renewing many old acquaintances there just as I do with those good folk I know from Sheen and St. Joseph's.

Moving is the reality of life for all parish priests and this is far from
St. Anne's Church - Mattawa
being the first time I've changed parishes over the past 25 years. Still as much as I look forward to returning to the Upper Pontiac, it is always sad to say good-bye to a place such as Mattawa. Typical of communities in Northern Ontario, they displayed a warm and open heart to me over the past 7+ years, welcoming me into their lives both communal and personal in both good and bad times. Through it all I grew deeper in love with such good folks and I will miss living in their presence. I am further pleased that I am passing along the reins there to Fr. Mitchell Beachey, a man of noted pastoral sensitivity and compassion and doctrinally sound priest. Fr. Mitch, aside from his parish responsibilities is the diocesan liturgical director and once or twice a year celebrates mass in its extra-ordinary form, assisted by the Latin choristers from Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College in Barry's Bay, Ontario. Hopefully he will continue the same practice after his move to Mattawa.


So, in four weeks time 'WTRHTR' will hit the road itself as it journey's to 'la belle province' once again. Doubtless there will be enough material there to inspire comment and debate going here for years to come. Aggressive secularism is the challenge of the day there more than anywhere else in the country, championed by a provincial government intent of expanding the 'culture of death' and the denigration of religious rights across the province.

I'm looking forward to the journey! It will be fun!!
Sanctuary of St. Alphonsus Church - Chapeau, QC

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