Dancing in Grace: Stories of Hope to Strengthen the Soul
I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Jesus, our Redeemer, Good Shepherd of the sheep, you carry the lambs in your arms.
I place myself in your loving care. Stop my pain, give me help and strength, and raise me up to a life of joy. Gentle Jesus, stay beside me through this day [night]. Take away my pain. Keep me safe. Help me in my fear. Make my body strong again and my heart glad.
Thank you for your love which surrounds me always. God of all comfort, our very present help in trouble, be near to me. Look on me with the eyes of your mercy; comfort me with a sense of your presence; preserve me from the enemy; and give me patience in my affliction. Restore me to health, and lead me to your eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Christ, light of light, brightness indescribable, the Wisdom, power and glory of God, the Word made flesh: you overcame the forces of Satan, redeemed the world, then ascended again to the Father.
Grant me, I pray, in this tarnished world, the shining of your splendor. Send your Archangel Michael to defend me, to guard my going out and coming in, and to bring me safely to your presence, where you reign in the one holy and undivided Trinity, to ages of ages. Blessed Jesus, in the comfort of your love, I lay before you the memories that haunt me, the anxieties that perplex me, the despair that frightens me, and my frustration at my inability to think clearly.
Help me to discover your forgiveness in my memories and know your peace in my distress. Touch me, O Lord, and fill me with your light and your hope. Spirit of all healing, visit me, your child; in your power, renew health within me and raise me up in joy, according to your loving-kindness, for which I give thanks and praise; through Jesus Christ our Savior.
Gracious God, only source of life and health: Help, comfort, and relieve me, and give your power of healing to those who minister to my needs; that my weakness may be turned to strength and confidence in your loving care; for the sake of Jesus Christ. Holy and Blessed One: shine on me as I lie sleepless. Illumine my spirit and give me rest in you, so that I may recognize you as the true God who brings us out of darkness into our eternal light.
O God my refuge and strength: in this place of unrelenting light and noise, enfold me in your holy darkness and silence, that I may rest secure under the shadow of your wings. Sanctify, O Holy One, my sickness, that awareness of weakness may add strength to my faith and determination to my repentance; and grant that I may be made whole, according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Loving God, I pray that you will comfort me in my suffering, lend skill to the hands of my healers, and bless the means used for my cure. Give me such confidence in the power of your grace, that even when I am afraid, I may put my whole trust in you; through our Savior Jesus Christ.
Keep me, Holy One, as the apple of your eye. Though I fear anesthesia, help me rest myself in your watchful care, and awake in the firm hope of your healing. Strengthen me, O God, to go where I have to go and bear what I have to bear; that, accepting your healing gifts at the hands of surgeons, nurses, and technicians, I may be restored to wholeness with a thankful heart; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Hallow my flesh and all creation; with your cleansing love bring me healing and strength; and by your justice, lift me up, that in the body you have given me, I may again rejoice.
Lord Christ, you came into the world as one of us, and suffered as we do. As I go through the trials of life, help me to realize that you are with me at all times and in all things; that I have no secrets from you; and that your loving grace enfolds me for eternity. In the security of your embrace I pray. God, your loving-kindness never fails and your mercies are new every morning. I thank you for giving me relief from pain and hope of health renewed. Continue the good work begun in me; that increasing daily in wholeness and strength, I may rejoice in your goodness and so order my life always to think and do that which pleases you; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer.
Loving God, by your Holy Spirit inspire me, as I fear losing hope. Give me a fresh vision of your love, that I may find again what I fear I have lost. Grant me your powerful deliverance; through the One who makes all things new, Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Giver of all grace, we pray your peace, which passes all understanding, for us who are developmentally disabled. Grant that we may always be sustained in love, our gifts honored, and our difficulties understood, that none may add to our troubles. We ask this in the name of the one who comforted those who were troubled in mind, Jesus our Savior.
Thank you, Holy and Mighty One, for the many gifts of your love, even for the painful gift of fear which reminds me that only you are God. Into the mystery of your love I entrust myself. Dress me in the armor of your light and keep me safe; through Jesus Christ. In the midst of illness, God, I pause to give you thanks: for the glory of creation, which reveals in many forms your matchless beauty; for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus our Savior; for your gift of my life and the presence of the Holy Spirit; for loved ones who care for me; and for the companionship of the Church.
I thank you, blessed Trinity, holy God, for the gifts which sustain me in my time of need. Before being received into the Catholic Church in , he served in pastoral ministry in rural Alaska, and in campus ministry at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. He is a frequent contributor to Crisis Magazine and the author of Letters from Fawn Creek, a volume of spiritual direction. He lives in the Pacific Northwest. What Does it Mean to Follow Jesus? Catholic Exchange is a project of Sophia Institute Press. Email Login.
Catholic Exchange. By Jonathan B. Coe Jonathan B. Subscribe to CE It's free. Derek Rotty 2 months ago Ven. Fulton J. Sheen as a Lenten Guide feat. Allan Smith 4 months ago Servant of God Fr. Most Shared. All rights reserved. Design by Perceptions Studio. You have given me all that I am and all that I possess. I return it all to You and surrender it to the guidance of Your will.
Give me only Your love and grace. With these I am rich enough and ask nothing more. We at St. Benedict Parish in Waterford are truly blessed to have Fr. Jim Mayworm as our pastor. Jim graciously agreed to come out of retirement nearly two years ago from Florida to be our pastor. We had been without a full-time pastor since his predecessor, Fr. Larry Siroskey, was forced to take a medical leave. At first, Fr. Jim agreed to stay on only temporarily until a new full-time pastor was installed, but after six months agreed to stay on as long as his health remains good, and we pray it does for a long time!
Jim has been like an answer to our prayers, and has done much to increase attendance and membership at our church as well as instituted some new ideas which have been most warmly received by our parish. We only hope that he agrees to stay on with us for the foreseeable future! Tom and Lisa Lewis Waterford. Stephen Rooney has brought laughter and humor back into our lives here at St. He is inspiring and gets our attention during the homilies. His outlook on life brings joy to ours. I am a member of St. Augustine and St.
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Monica Parish in Detroit, and I am so grateful to have Msgr. Dan Trapp as my pastor. Trapp celebrates the Eucharist with such meaning and makes me feel like I am sitting at the table with Jesus as He recites the prayers. His homilies are spoken from his heart, not from notes. His participation in the Mass is one that is dedicated to that moment. Announcements are saved until the end of Mass, again, not mixed in. Dan also welcomes all visitors each week and makes them a part of the community by asking them to stand as we give them a round of applause. If you leave St. May God continue to bless the people of our parish with the support and love of a priest that truly loves what he is and lives for the Lord!
I relay this with some trepidation because this young priest, less than two years out of the seminary, is seriously trying to practice humility. Ryan Adams always manages to take things to another level, a little deeper and a little more thoughtful, a joy to hear and ponder. The priest who inspired my husband and I is Fr. Henry Sands. He was pastor of our church, St. Alfred in Taylor, for just four years. He changed our life and many others in that short time to be better people and to love one another and most of all trust Him and make Him your personnel friend and your life will be fuller.
He did this in his homilies, but most of all he inspired us by his actions and his love of the Lord that was always noticeable as he celebrated Mass and was really a shepherd to his congregation. He loved people, even those who did not see the goodness in him. We have been at St. Alfred for 50 years, and when Fr. Henry came there, it was like a light in the dark and suddenly we all were grateful to be Catholic.
He brings people together, inspires you to be a better person, to love and trust the Lord, to pray all the time, to talk to Him as a friend who loves you no matter what. We have never met another priest quite like him. He is always striving to serve the Lord the best way he knows and he has many talents the Lord gave him to do just that! We know there are a lot of good, hardworking priests out there, but Fr. Henry is the one who came into our lives and changed everything for the good.
My husband and I are so happy that the U. Conference of Catholic Bishops saw the talents he has and how much he loves the Lord and appointed him executive director of the African American and Native American missions! Now he will encounter many more people and their lives will never be the same again. We hated to see him leave our church, but the fact that many more will be helped and inspired by him is a good thing. God knows what he is doing and we thank Him every day for Fr. Maurice Henry Sands. What makes Fr. Kiss and Fr. Anthony of Padua Hungarian Parish in Windsor, and in addition, they cover a lot of other ground.
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They run the St. There are only three Hungarian-speaking priests in the U. They have more projects not mentioned here, and they are young senior citizens. When they retire they are not likely to be replaced — so the entire Hungarian community joins me in expressing grateful thanks to God and to them for their uplifting presence and endless services! We are so blessed to have a very special priest here at St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Birmingham, Ala. Joseph Culotta has been here for seven years now, and if Bishop Baker moves him, Fr.
Joe will become a lot taller. He is, as Bishop Robert Baker said at our last confirmation, a gentle, holy man. Everyone who has ever been sick or shut-in sings his praises as a compassionate and comforting presence. Our children respond to his gentle love with their own love and respect. One thing he introduced was to have benches placed around the outside of the church building to encourage people to linger before and after Mass and get to know each other better.
He always stresses that we are a family of God. Whenever one of us gives him a gift or answers a request for help, there is a prompt, hand-written thank you note from him.
Thank you for the opportunity to sing his praises, because you would never learn any of this from him. It took just a short period of time for us to realize what a treasure we have in this priest! Noel is compassionate, gentle and generous. He has a wonderful sense of humor. He remembers names and easily speaks with any and all — patients and families, visitors in the hallway, volunteers, physicians, staff from all areas of the hospital, and our special needs students from Jo Brighton. In fact, he seems to take great delight in eating lunch with the students.
Noel is so easy to speak with and makes one feel like he has all the time in the world for the person with whom he is speaking. Noel has changed the lives of many here at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. He has a warm heart and smile that he shares every day with all of us. To summarize, what draws people to Fr. He exemplifies the love and mercy of Jesus. We are truly blessed to have him at Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital. Tony Sulkowski of St. Basil the Great Parish in Eastpointe has the peace, sense of humor, wisdom and positive attitude of someone far beyond his years.
I believe that this is in part due to his life experiences. He understands, firsthand, the frustrations and blessings of health challenges from the perspective of care receiver as well as caregiver. He knows that life is short, and each day, each hour, each minute brings us opportunities, gifts and blessings if we are open and willing to recognize and receive them. He lives simply. No parish cook or housekeeper. He accepts people, and life, as they are — not as who or what he wishes they could be. Whatever needs to be done for the greater good, he does — with humility, dedication and love.
Archbishop Allen Vigneron is a great archbishop because he loves God. He shows his love for God and other virtues by leading our churches and schools. We are grateful for the time and patience he devotes to our Catholic Church. Through his whole life he has remained faithful to God and waited patiently to become a bishop. He is patient with people, watches out for us, and teaches us to pray for protection from evil.
Our archbishop shows justice, peace and joy while leading our Catholic schools and parishes. He shares what he knows with parishioners and priests by teaching all of us about God. He listens to the other bishops, comforts them when needed, and shows joy instead of complaining. He remains faithful to God by praying. He practices the spiritual works of mercy by making sure everyone in the clergy does their job, by giving advice to those who need it, and being merciful to others.
We appreciate the many ways Archbishop Vigneron helps us to be better Catholics and grow closer to God. I would like to take this opportunity to honor Fr. Greg Rozborski of St. Pio of Pietrelcina Parish in Roseville. We are so happy Fr. Greg has been appointed as pastor of our parish! Besides encouraging us to smile every week, Fr. Greg has gotten to know his flock pretty well in the year we have known him.
On several occasions, fellow parishioners have expressed how Fr. Greg has read the pain or suffering on their faces, and has expressed to them when they ask to talk with him that he has been waiting for them to come to him with their problem! Greg has told me how much he appreciates and loves the love that we share as a married couple in the church.
Greg has been faced with many challenges from angry parishioners after the blending of three parishes into one. Father has be criticized and disrespected in letters and phone calls, but all in all expresses his love for his people! I know many fellow parishioners agree with me, we love Fr. Greg Rozborski! Margie Lyle St. Pio of Pietrelcina, Roseville. I am here to tell that Fr. Edward J. He taught us the meaning of love and brotherhood, and also I thank him because now I can write in English.
With love he gave me this gift to learn his idiom. James Moloney is an extraordinary parish priest. He has served as pastor of St. Anselm Parish in Dearborn Heights since ; four generations of our family have been blessed by this good and holy man. He could have retired 15 years ago, but has stayed on at St. Anselm, where he is cherished by his parishioners. Moloney also oversees the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, yet he always has time to care for his flock.
He even blessed our RV a few years back before we took it on the road. James A. Joe Mallia is not only the pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Allen Park, but he is also its visionary, spiritual compass, servant and teacher. As Jesus taught us, the best leaders are those who serve and lead by example. Joe does just that. He is the only priest at Cabrini and his weekly duties include daily Masses Monday through Saturday, four weekend Masses and distribution of the sacraments.
In addition to his formal commitments, Fr. Joe makes time to have a presence around the parish and community. He visits each classroom at least weekly and regularly attends sporting events and extracurricular activities.
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He is constantly looking for ways to improve and grow the school, not only in number of students, but to grow the faith of kids and parents alike. Besides his physical energy, Fr. Joe brings his spiritual energy to enliven the community and remind us that we must all go forth as disciples of Christ. Ever welcoming, Fr. Joe also challenges us to follow Church teaching including weekly attendance at Sunday Mass, respecting life, and supporting social justice.
He demonstrates these characteristics himself, but admits to not being perfect. Authentic, genuine, caring, conscientious, smart and loving, Fr. We just want to let you know what a blessing Fr. Zbigniew Grankowski St. Barbara Church, Dearborn has been in our lives, especially for my younger son and his family. On May 17, we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary at St.
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Barbara with Fr. Grankowski officiating. Father gave a warm, loving homily and invited our whole family four married children and 10 grandchildren onto the altar for a special blessing. Father made the Mass so memorable for all of us. Grankowski is a one-of-a-kind priest and words cannot describe how he has impacted our lives. We pray that God continues to bless him and want him to know what a blessing he is in our lives. Thank you Fr. He always takes notice of who is at Mass, and he has always managed to give me the exactly right word of encouragement at the right time.
On Oct. Patrick F. Halfpenny celebrates the 40th anniversary of his ordination. To honor this occasion, I embrace the opportunity to explain why I love my priest. Studying to become a priest did not isolate my brother from the dramas of family life. Reconciling earthly family matters with the teachings of Christ can be challenging. Pat practiced setting an example for us. His life choices exemplified tolerance, patience, forgiveness and acceptance.
Our parents were and continue to be so proud. With three sons to raise in this world filled with distractions and moral challenges, my husband and I are grateful that Uncle Pat is an active presence in our family; a sign not only of love of family, but love of God. For our sons to have this presence of Christ an integral part of their lives has been profound. We have shared vacations, holidays, birthdays and weddings; lively debates about politics and religion; joys, fears and sorrows. We have shared faith. In serving God, the parish family comes first. Nevertheless, our family is blessed to experience the gifts of his priesthood and faith shared so lovingly.
Thank you, Pat. Paul Snyder came to St. Mary Parish in Royal Oak this past year. As a parishioner and volunteer at the church, I can see how dedicated he is to the church and the people who are a part of it. He is not above cleaning out closets — discarding or recycling unused items — weeding flower beds, and just working hard to get the church organized and restored. He is the most approachable priest I have met in my 50 years of being Catholic, from explaining Scripture or practices of the Catholic Church that are not understood to taking time to talk one-to-one with parishioners who have suggestions or concerns about our church.
His compassion and genuineness will take him far, but I hope we can keep him for a while! David Lesniak is a truly wonderful man in every way. He is very welcoming and friendly to all and has gone above and beyond not only for my family but for many others. We are very saddened to see him transferred to St. Timothy next week. Robert Slaton, associate pastor, are two amazing priests, each special in their own way. Rooney is a caring priest and it is apparent to me that he cares so much about people. He also has the unique gift of being able to bring out the gifts of other people to serve those in need.
I now take Communion to two homebound people. He helps us realize our own gifts. This is what I receive from him. Slaton, associate pastor of Our Lady on the River Parish, is such a knowledgeable priest. When I hear the Sunday Gospel and then his homily, I always take something from it. He has a gift of conveying what the Gospel is saying and explaining it and connecting it to us.
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It is also apparent in his actions his love of God and the Church. That is what I receive from him. There are many things about this very humble man that I am appreciative of. I always look forward to his homilies, which begin with a story, and always include a teaching that is worth reflecting upon throughout the week. It is brilliantly done in a way that allows children to interact with him through skits, providing lessons for all, while at the same time helping the children to grow in their faith. I appreciate the fact that Fr.
The love and devotion that he shows to the children who attend our parish school and faith formation classes is most appreciated. Excitement and smiles from our students always greet Fr. Joe when he enters any of their classrooms. His passion for learning and gift for teaching are well received by our youth, with teenaged graduates of I. Most of all, I am deeply appreciative of the fact that Fr.
Stanley Pachla pastor of St. Veronica Parish in Eastpointe, is a special blessing in our lives. When Fr. This new ministry, Gianna House, would initially open as an outreach, then become a residence for pregnant teens in need of housing, sustenance, education and support. Stan not only welcomed the idea but has offered assistance in so many ways as Sr. Diane, and often spoke to parishioners of this developing ministry and placed articles in the bulletin, which in effect recruited parish support for the developing project.
One teen parishioner has sponsored an ongoing diaper collection. Several parishioners responded to Fr. All reached out to help because of Fr. What a blessing this shepherd at St. Veronica Parish has been! Gianna House Board of Directors St. Veronica Parish, Eastpointe. I am a parishioner of St. Mark Parish in Warren. Stanley Obloj, pastor of St. Mark, has enriched my life and has made me a better Christian. Father always makes everyone feel special; he is a caring, loving, and compassionate person.
Father always makes our Mass so meaningful and we are blessed to have him in our lives and our parish. My love and respect for Father continues to grow and I honor him and pray that he will continue his work as our parish pastor. It is truly humbling to say that Fr. Stanley Obloj is my priest and pastor.
He leads by example — just as Jesus did. Stanley cares about all of his parishioners — his flock — at St. He is kind and compassionate and funny and loving. Regardless of how I may feel coming into Mass, I always leave uplifted and refreshed. The past year was a difficult one for our family. Stanley helped me through some major health issues, as well as the sudden deaths of our brother Michael Ayoub and six months later, of our mother, Georgine Ayoub. Father prayed with us, encouraged us, and loved us.
Thank you, Fr. Stanley, for everything you are and do. You truly are a blessing to me! Janis Ayoub St. Mark, Warren. Ryan Adams. Ryan was ordained in and was a little nervous at first preaching to the congregation in our octagonal church. But he has become so confident in his preaching, and his homilies are always well prepared. Ryan is in Mexico now for a six-week period of studying Spanish, one of my favorite memories of him was a funeral he celebrated here.
I am sure that he will truly be bilingual upon his return to Michigan. Why do we love our priest? Who could not love Fr. Zbigniew Grankowski? He is the pastor of St. From his no-fear confessions, healing Masses, to calling his parishioners by their first names, he deserves more than a mere letter of praise and recognition. Zbigniew also has brought two parishes together, not closed them. He leads by example and never admonishes; he is a blessing from God to the parishioners at St.
Barbara and St. Zbigniew is more than just a priest: he is pastor, family and friend. John Hedges has been a priest for 25 years. He has been at several parishes. At each parish he is very effective at preaching, visiting the sick, celebrating the Eucharist, encouraging the youth, evangelizing, working with the poor and more. He has proven to be a good friend for the parishioners as demonstrated by the many Catholics who come to him for assistance in their time of need.
He has a very personal and public relationship with Jesus Christ that comprehends the struggles in our personal and private lives between faith and doubt. Our lives are enriched and deepened through Fr. He is our example. He takes to heart our joys, sorrows, hopes, fears, triumphs and defeats through prayer and blessings. Father knows his people and exhibits pastoral charity that is essential to priestly credibility. John exhibits leadership skills that allow him to collaborate with parishioners along an unbelievable range of competencies. He works lovingly with the highly educated to poorly educated and unskilled volunteers.
He empowers them to see beyond their parish boundaries to the betterment of the community and our faith. He does this through his interpersonal skills that convey his vision that allow him to remain grounded in the lives of people and his own humanity. He comprehends, penetrates, and transforms our culture through his homilies.
He honors Catholic tradition and saints and makes this a part of his example and preaching to us. To Father, excellence is not enough. We must attain holiness for ourselves and for our priestly leader to be successful. John is mindful of our needs and our capacity to carry on the Catholic tradition. He knows how to cultivate those traditions that are most meaningful to his people. My priest at St. Barbara in Dearborn, Fr. Zbigniew Grankowski, has been a blessing to me when I needed an annulment, and he did everything to see to this.
He welcomed my mother when I brought her to visit St. He speaks well and tells us how much Jesus loves us and to share his message. Without him there we would be without Jesus in our lives in the Holy Eucharist. His faith and LOVE keeps us coming and we are a beacon of light. I love you! Over 35 years ago at a small parish in Clinton Township named St. Valerie of Ravena, we received a new priest who was energetic, kind, loving and passionate about his faith. He connected with the young and old of our parish. This extraordinary priest is Msgr. Thomas Villerot. He is the most spiritual, selfless and humble man I know.
He took interest in our youth group and came to our activities. He kept us interested in our faith. He later retired but continued to celebrate Mass all around the archdiocese. I have lost track of all the wonderful ways he has given to the archdiocese, but in all those places, I know that he has touched many hearts! He developed friendships with so many people it was hard sometimes to schedule a day to take him to dinner. My children have gotten to know and love him over the years, and he looks forward to our visits.
He resides at a nursing home in Livonia and still loves celebrating Mass. Since finding out we share the same birthday, it is the first thing on my list of things I want to do for the day, to celebrate with him all these years later! I met Fr. Robert Bauer at St. Our first meeting was about my baptism and becoming Catholic. At Easter Vigil , Fr. Bob welcomed me into the Church. At Easter Vigil , my sister became Catholic; it was Fr. Robert Bauer has made a difference with his pastoral care, insightful homilies and love of Jesus and his holy Catholic Church.
Oh, what a blessing! My sister and I are eternally grateful. Bob, for all that you do. Craig Giera had some big shoes to fill when he took over after the death of our beloved Fr. Ron Milligan at St. Ephrem Parish in Sterling Heights. Craig is just what our parish needed, a breath of fresh air. His homilies are fabulous; his dedication to his vocation is evident in every celebration of the Mass. He is always available to talk or just give you a pat on the back. We still miss Fr. Ron, but God was looking out for us when he sent Fr. We, the parishioners of St.
Mark Parish in Warren, are very blessed to have Fr. Stanley Obloj as our pastor and spiritual leader. My family and I would like to thank Fr. He has brought much joy and understanding by the Gospel and by his interpretation of the Gospel in his homilies. Stanley, we thank you for everything you bring to us in your teachings and your wise words.
We also thank you for helping our parish community reflect on the gift of eternal life. Thank you for all your kindness and love. You have made a big difference in the lives of the people of St. We thank you, Mr. Obloj, for giving us your son. We thank you, Archdiocese of Detroit, for bringing Fr. Stanley to our parish. We thank GOD for Fr. Stanley every single day. Far be it from me to think that Fr.
Chris Talbot from St. Francis of Assisi-St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Ray Township is the best pastor around, but the truth is the truth. He stretches himself to be able to include all who call upon him for help — spiritually or physically. His actions of service inspire all to follow his example — even to take the lead instead of just following. His lead is not always comfortable and he makes me question my own motives — and for all of that, I thank God for Fr, Chris! In July , the parishioners of St. John the Baptist Parish, Dearborn Heights, eagerly awaited the arrival of their new pastor.