Dear Brothers and Sisters of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
I have some major local news to share this week.
I requested retirement with the Carmelites this winter. I am seventy-five years old, and have been ordained for fifty years. When I came here in 2015, I did not want to be retired. Now I do. Some medical concerns have surfaced. I believe it is time.
Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop of Newark, has accepted the recommendation of my Carmelite superiors that Fr. Mark Shaffner, O.Carm. be our next pastor. Fr. Mark will become the twenty-seventh pastor in the long brown line of Carmelites who have served Our Lady of Mount Carmel since 1878. Fr. Mark will begin on August 15, 2019.
This is very good news for two reasons. Fr. Mark is sixty-four years old and has been ordained for thirty years. He has served as a pastor for twenty of those years in Texas and in Florida. He applied for the pastorate of OLMC, so that means he really does want to be here.
Secondly, the Carmelites are withdrawing our services from four parishes around the country as of June 30, 2019. St. Anastasia parish in Teaneck is one of them. The fact that OLMC is getting another Carmelite is a blessing in this time of Carmelite downsizing.
I feel good about our four years together. We have accomplished some good things together. It has been my personal blessing to be part of this proud Catholic parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Let us continue to pray for one another.
Sincerely yours in Christ and Our Lady of Mount Carmel,