Pastor’s Column


Just as I was beginning to think that we were going to make it through another year without a transfer (which probably would have been some kind of record for us), our provincial superior reached out to Fr. Braun and myself to see if it might be possible to send him to another apostolate that could benefit from the addition of an experienced priest. Fr. Braun consented to the transfer and will be departing from the parish towards the end of June (likely on June 26, but we are still working out the details).

As we have many newer parishioners in our community, I should caution that every year it is more likely than not that we will experience a transfer of one of our priests. The Fraternity likes to place young priests in two different parishes in their first five years of priesthood, to give them a broader experience of parish life than might be achieved by staying in a single location. In addition to this, Sacramento tends to be one of the parishes that receives newly ordained priests, on account of the size of the parish and our relatively large number of groups and activities, as well as the presence of five major hospitals within a ten-minute drive. These considerations being kept in mind, we usually anticipate keeping a parochial vicar for a period of two or three years.

Transfers of priests are generally not a good thing for a community and, all things being equal, it would be far better to have stability. It is not an easy thing to lose a priestly father, nor is it at all easy on the priest himself, who loses all at once all of the relationships he has developed over the period of years. I commend Fr. Braun, therefore, for his generosity and courage in once more striking out to a new home, for the sake of the greater good of the Fraternity and the Church at large. I ask that you please keep him in your prayers during and after his move.

On a more personal note, I would like to express my gratitude to Fr. Braun for his dedication and diligence over the past two years. Our parish demands a lot of its priests, and Fr. Braun rose to that challenge without fail. Parishioners will be familiar with many of his contributions to the parish in terms of the administration of the Sacraments, preaching, teaching, and a constant presence at parish events. There are things that can only be visible to his fellow priests, however, such as the many hours spent preparing sermons or lessons, the prompt and generous response to emergency calls for the Sacraments, or the shouldering of responsibilities of the other priests at need. One of the most intelligent priests I have ever met, during his time here I have sent innumerable moral, canonical, or theological inquiries his way, always confident that I would receive a well reasoned, well researched, and precise response. Probably he is looking forward to escaping my incessant questions; sadly for him, I will still have his cell phone number.

In short, I congratulate Fr. Braun on a job well done, and on behalf of the entire parish community, I extend to him our heartfelt gratitude and good will. Our prayers will accompany him, and we will look forward with hope to his company in that eternal home, prepared for us by Our Lord.

Note: It is not possible yet to announce where Fr. Braun is going, nor will I yet announce his replacement. Those announcements will be forthcoming once the canonical appointments have been made. In the meantime, I would like to invite everyone to a Solemn Mass on Saturday, June 24 at 12 pm noon, and to a potluck picnic to follow.

Also, Fr. Braun will be saying a Mass today at one of the California missions for the pilgrimage enjoyed by some parishioners. As it is a three-hour drive away, he will be gone for much of this Sunday. For those wanting to express their gratitude to Father in person, he will be available the following three Sundays, as well as at picnic mentioned above.

Categories Uncategorized | Tags: | Posted on June 4, 2023

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