A Message From Our Pastor
In the several months since I came to Sacred Heart Parish, I’ve been asked by people everywhere if I like the assignment. Not being an extrovert I simply answer “Yes!” However, the people of the parish deserve a more evolved answer. This has been my 5th and easiest transfer yet as a priest. I believe that it has been the easiest transition not just because things get easier with practice and repetition but because this parish is easy to move into and the people are easy to work with.
The past pastor, ‘THE VERY REVEREND’ John Detisch was not afraid to be aggressive and progressive with the parish in terms of maintaining and improving the facility, empowering a proficient pastoral team, and establishing the scholarship grant program that has benefited Catholic Education in Erie in a significant way. Although all of these make for an expensive parish to operate, it is more costly to ignore such needs. Fr. John’s encouragement of an ‘autonomous parish machine’ has left Sacred Heart as a ‘high functioning’ parish that allows the pastor to be a pastor as opposed to being caught up as the maintenance man, chief cook and bottle washer. All of this goes into making this a different and enjoyable experience for me.
I have enjoyed all of my assignments because of the good people that are in every parish. Sacred Heart is no exception, and I think that there is perhaps a greater consciousness and mutual appreciation of the members here which makes Sacred Heart an outwardly happy parish. If people feel that they are slogging through life in isolation their experience of the Eucharist becomes more like vitamin pill that is taken out of necessity rather than a banquet that is shared and enjoyed. I believe that people come to Sacred Heart because there is life in the air and they feel the warmth of the parish family here.
With Bishop-Elect Persico taking over the helm of our Diocese, the Diocese of Erie will be starting a new chapter full of potential and promise in the ever unfolding kingdom of God. Hopefully retired Bishop Trautman will have a long, happy and fulfilling retirement in our midst as he continues to preach the gospel and witnesses how the work he has done in our diocese for over two decades continues to bear fruit.
I look forward to our time together as a parish family; and I suspect it will be full of challenges and blessings. Challenges are opportunities for growth, and blessings are gifts from God that come to us in amazing and mysterious ways. With the realization that the Kingdom of God is already here and not yet complete, may we embrace the past, present and future with equal enthusiasm and reverence.
With your Spirit,
Rev. Mark O’Hern