Corpus Christi Chapel

Farewell to Fr. Romanoski; dates of farewell parties

Dear Corpus Christi Chapel parishioners,

It is with surprise and sadness that I write you this message. I just received news that I will be transferred to another Fraternity apostolate. This was not planned or desired by our superiors or me. There was a sudden removal of one of our pastors at another apostolate which leaves the community quite heart broken and in a difficult situation. The diocese is requiring that we send an older priest with more experience to handle their parish moving forward. Our superiors are aware of the complexities of our apostolate here in our pilgrim state and did not make this decision lightly. We are very limited in terms of personnel of older priests at present. These are the difficult decisions our superiors need to make considering the common good of our Fraternity at the service of different apostolates.

I obey without objection as I feel confident that all will continue well here as they are sending a very good priest, a little younger, to replace me- Fr. Timonthy Van Zee FSSP, who joined us a few years ago after working in the Diocese of Venice, in Wauchula on behalf of his then religious community. He served well as administrator proving his talent as a newly ordained priest, and then desirous of an exclusively traditional ministry and common life, joined our Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter. He spent the last few years at our apostolate in Nashua, New Hampshire, where his FSSP superior esteemed him greatly, for his traditional formation, convictions, work ethic and organizational skills. He thus comes with very good previous experiences which make him well suited for taking over our apostolate here. I am confident that he and Fr. Adams will be a dynamic duo and raise the apostolate to new heights. There will obviously be a learning curve as he learns the details of our apostolate. Fr. Adams has learned very quickly, and Fr. Van Zee will be here for a whole week before I depart to learn the ropes. Your support in being of service and helping him learn the intricacies of our apostolate as well as your patience, is needed now more than ever. And I am fully confident that you will do so. You are a wonderful community! Such a transfer is an act of confidence in you that our superiors have as you are a very delightful community and easy to shepherd. The epistle we read last Sunday (1 Thes. 1:2), in which St. Paul starts by “giving thanks to God for all of you,” for your great faith and dedication, echoes in the heart of all of us who have served you.

Nothing changes in terms of our building plan as the Bishop has reiterated. Fr. Van Zee is aware of our plans and excited for the challenge of the project. I will pass on all the information and knowledge that we have acquired so far. We are still vetting one piece of property under a temporary contract, which if it does not prove suitable, and it does have significant complexities, we can pull out of without any charge, and regarding which we will make a definitive decision by Christmas. We continue to look at other possibilities too and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Not so much depends on my expertise, or any pastor’s expertise for such a project. Rather, we have professional realtors who assist the diocese, who are assisting us showing us options as they become available. We also have a Bishop and diocesan building office which are very skilled at vetting land and construction projects, as the diocese continues to grow, who likewise assist us in the project. Our chaplain’s role is to simply help discern what would be best for our community in terms of location, size, number of buildings, and then choose the design among traditional architects, which diocesan contractors will then execute. All thus continues according to plan. Fr. Van Zee and I will meet with the Bishop to go over all of this before I leave and I will continue to be in touch with him as he settles in here.

I ask that you continue to be generous in your giving to this cause. Priests come and go but it is your future parish home, and charity begins at home making sure your children and children’s children have a spiritual bastion to grow in the knowledge, love and service of God. I recommend that all households direct at least 80% of their tithing to the Building Fund, as 100% of that goes for that said purpose. In the meantime we are in the most favorable circumstances to save up money for this cause, while we pay very little rent only at one of the churches we offer mass at, and with new parishioners joining every week, the future is very bright.

Again, I did not think I would be writing this letter at this time. God’s ways are not our ways. But we can be absolutely assured that they are much better. And so we walk by faith and not by sight. The transfer of a priest is as hard for us as it is for you. You call us father, with reason, and we love you in Christ as our spiritual sons and daughters. Yet, Our Lord reminds us that one is our Father, who never abandons us, who may send us many different priests in our life. If we stay focused on Him, we will realize what he is trying to teach us through different instrumental fathers, and all the circumstances of our life. The greatest honor or affection you can show to a priest is to put into practice what he has taught you. That is the greatest joy of a father’s heart. “And we know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good, to such as, according to his purpose, are called to be saints.”

I receive much consolation reading the letters of St. Paul, who likewise had to leave every church he had founded and built up.

He expresses exactly my sentiments in his letter to the Philippians.

1:3I give thanks to my God in every remembrance of you, Always in all my prayers making supplication for you all, with joy; For your communication in the gospel of Christ from the first day until now.

Being confident of this very thing, that he, who hath begun a good work in you, will perfect it unto the day of Christ JesusAs it is meet for me to think this for you all, for that I have you in my heart; and that in my bands, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of my joy. For God is my witness, how I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your charity may more and more abound in knowledge, and in all understanding: 10 That you may approve the better things, that you may be sincere and without offence unto the day of Christ, 11 Filled with the fruit of justice, through Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”

Amen Amen, fiat, fiat!

P.S. I must arrive at my new assignment by the First Sunday of Advent, so this Sunday will be my last here with you. I will probably depart later next week around Thanksgiving.

This Sunday, Nov 21, I will say the mass in Ave Maria at 12:30pm with a farewell party potluck for those in the Ave area or who may be there at 5194 Milano St. Ave Maria, starting at 2pm 

There will be a farewell party for everyone else in the Naples-Fort Myers area on Tuesday, Nov 23, at Royal Palm Academy from 6:00pm-9:00pm. It is proposed as a potluck so please bring something to eat, drink and share. 

Please note I am giving the talks this week (Nov 14-21) to the Women’s Group (Nov 16), Men’s Group (Nov 17) and Young Adults (Nov 20) and hope to see many of you there for one last long sermon from yours truly

In The Hearts of Jesus and Mary,

Fr. Romanoski FSSP

Published on November 16th, 2021. Exipred 6 days ago.