Pastor’s Postcard – Farewell Father Mike and Father Bala

Sunday June 23, 2024

Saint Joachim staff gathered for a retreat a few weeks ago.  We did a team review of the year gone by.  Everyone is thankful, even relieved, to have the new restrooms. We also enjoyed an amazing Holy Week, selected a Parish Pastoral Council and celebrated the ordination of Deacon Martin.  One of the things the staff identified as a priority for the upcoming year is intentionality around stewardship. 

Under Father Kerry Beulieu’s facilitation, we also expressed our gratitude for Father Mike, some through tearful eyes, and prayed for him as he prepares for his new assignment at Holy Family in Orange.  Andrew Everson appreciates how Father Mike models full, active and conscious participation in the liturgy by singing the opening song at Mass.  Father Mike gave me a book on Stewardship as he was packing.  He did not need the book anymore as he already embodies a knack for recognizing the charisms or spiritual gifts of members of the parish and calling them forth, matching them with the needs of the community.  People often felt some initial resistance, but then found themselves doing “one of the best things they ever did,” finding fulfillment through service.  Father Mike ministered with humility and kindness, inspiring us with his perseverance and strength through many trials.  Personally, I know him as a true brother priest, especially through our shared Wednesday evening prayer and dinners.

Another face I will miss at the table is Father Bala.  He enjoyed cooking spicy meals from India and always shared generously.  He, like Father Mike, is truly an accomplished person, founding a radio station, producing movies, serving as a pastor and principal in India.  Now he has an assignment within the Diocese of Orange where many of his cousins reside.  He will be serving at Holy Trinity starting July.  Father Bala is in India now but will return the last week of the month; we’ll give him a farewell on Sunday, June 30th, after the 5:00 p.m. Mass.  On Sunday, June 23rd, join us from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in celebrating Father Mike, who will receive a parish portrait to remember us by.

In Christ,

Rev. Robert P. Capone