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Farewell Friends Jan 19, 2024

Third Sunday of Ordinary Time
Fr Will

Farewell My Friends

 

I remember when I first got the call to come down to Maroochydore from Gympie. There were already so many things in motion, of which I was a part, but then I was being called to a different place. I felt like I was abandoning my responsibilities in Gympie for a new adventure, but there was a great lesson in that moment. I learnt not to let my work define me and not to hold onto things with a ’white knuckle’ mentality. I learnt that sometimes it was best to walk humbly and gently with God especially as life unfolded.

 

Perhaps it’s the distinction between work and personal value that is often confused because I certainly felt as though my personal value came from my work. Our personal value really comes from God. Our work can add to the value, but being created in the image and likeness of God gives us a dignity that surpasses our work. It’s a foundation that is unshakeable. I’m sure this will be a constant lesson to reiterate to the self.

 

In my time here in Maroochydore, I felt it important to hold two things in tension, that I was here and that I was not going to be here forever. Being here meant that I was as going to give ministry and mission a ‘good go.’ I was going to use my skills, my passions, my mistakes and my life to be a priest in this area.  Not being here forever meant that I was also going to let things go knowing that some things had a natural life span and that I wouldn’t be blaming myself for a failed initiative. It was all going to be held gently.

 

Now that I prepare to leave, I acknowledge that although I tried to hold this place gently, I will certainly miss it. I’ll miss the four communities that make up our unique Parish. I’ll miss our schools that are filled with amazing staff and students. I’ll miss those relationships that I’ve built with people along the way. I’ll miss our Sacramental times together, even our Saturday morning Confession lines. Basically, I’ll miss it all.

 

Although it’s been a short time together, it’s been a rewarding time. I go to a new Parish with a clearer vision of what Church can be like through participation and passion, both of which, I’ve seen here in this Parish.

 

I want to take the time to thank everyone for their kind words and encouragement of me over the past couple of weeks. I do hope and pray that our paths cross again eventually. I would also like to honour and thank the clergy of this area who have supported me along the way, Fr Peter, Fr Brian, Fr Geoff, Bishop Brian, Fr Isaac and Deacon Michael. The clerical team in this place are men dedicated to God who will continue to offer their lives to those whom they serve. This place is in good hands.

 

Friends, this is goodbye, but may we all be united in the celebration of the Mass where in the Body of Christ, we’re all made one.

 

Fr William Aupito Iuliano

 

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