A Message from the Pastor: Transition and Thanksgiving

Dear Sisters and Brothers –

It seems that our parish is bound for lots of transition these months! I am very sad to share with you that Gary Price, our Director of Parish Operations, is moving on. He will take up the equivalent position at his home parish, St. Dominic. St. Dom’s gain is our very big loss.

Gary came to us four years ago, stepping into a position newly created to address and accommodate the expansion of parish programs. I remember him saying to me two or three times the first semester, “I don’t know how you did it all.” My response was, “I didn’t.” Gary has been the one to keep the trains running, supervising everything from building maintenance to the budget to our lay leadership model to payroll and benefits to the implementation of Salesforce and more. Perhaps most valuable to us is that his “job” these years has been for him – and, thus, for us – a ministry; Gary came to St. Ignatius because he felt called by Jesus to be here and in this position. And he is leaving us because he feels once more called by Jesus, this time to our neighboring parish. Gary has written his own letter to the parish, which you can read here.

I am very grateful to Gary for all he has done for us, all he has given us. His love forSt. Ignatius Parish is deep, and we are a better faith community for his having been among us. I will also miss him personally. Gary’s faithfulness has inspired my own, and he has been a great support to me. I am also grateful fo the times when he nudged me in the direction of my better self.

Gary, on behalf of this wonderful faith community, I thank you. You have worked very hard for us and for God these years. And your friendship and quiet kindness have touched our hearts. We will miss you. Please know that the doors of our church and our hearts are always ajar for the times you return to visit and pray with us.

A brief word about what’s next. Many know longtime parishioner Larry Simi. Larry is deeply experienced in nonprofit management and executive leadership, and during his very active retirement has served Bay Area organizations with their strategic planning, fiscal governance, and leadership transition needs. We are lucky to have Larry with us to help steer the ship, and I look forward to his collaborative partnership.

I have hired Larry for three to six months to do three things. First, to keep the trains running, to make sure the business of the parish continues. Second, I have asked Larry to help me in evaluating the various positions on the parish staff to see if we can be organized in a more efficient way. We have a lot of transition right now – the departure of Gary, the arrival of Joe Naylor, a different configuration of liturgy and music, change in the sacristy and more. We have an opportunity now to make sure that the various responsibilities on the staff are organized in ways that make the most of people’s gifts and serve the parish best. Finally, Larry will help us find our next Director of Parish Operations. I am grateful to Larry for agreeing to help me to all those things. You can reach Larry at ljsimi@usfca.edu.

Finally, our Sacristan of two and a half years, Brian Alves, has moved on. Brian came to us at the retirement of longtime Sacristan Ray Frost. Those were big shoes to fill, and Brian did so quickly and very ably. Brian’s love for the Church and its celebrations was evident, and it showed in his attention to our church and in preparation for our liturgies. He also loves our magnificent building and its many beautiful objects and cared for them well. And those who passed through our sacristy experienced Brian’s pastoral kindness, his patience and his sense of humor. We will miss you, Brian. We are grateful for your time with us, and we wish you all God’s very best.

As you read this,I will be making my annual eight-day retreat, so I ask your prayers. Please be assured of mine for you and your intentions. In other words,

Oremus pro invicem!

Fr. Greg