The sixth photo is my family when we first moved to Atlanta, Georgia from my hometown of Naples, Italy in the summer of 1957. The one below it is at a ristorante in Napoli before our move, although the image is dark. Guess which one I am? By the way, my father is Canadian from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and my mother is Italian from Livorno. They met after the war in Livorno. My mother got a job at the American hospital established there working in the kitchen and my father was stationed there and the rest is history. They married on December 1, 1945. I was born in Naples in 1953 as my parents were stationed there from 1952 to 1957, so I was conceived there too and I have an affinity for things Italian and Napolatano! I identify more with my Italian side than Cape Breton side.
This is where we lived in Naples, actually a suburb above Naples named Vomero and I remember Mt. Vesuvius clearly as a two or three year old and this view of it in particular:
Since my liturgical views are well known on the internet, I suspect there could be some anxiety or joy depending on one's liturgical perspective for any parish in our diocese receiving me as their pastor.
Let me just say, I am not General Sherman when I move into a new parish burning down all that existed previously. I am not insecure about what happened before me and in fact believe wholeheartedly that what one priest sows another reaps. I am thrilled to build upon a parish's priestly legacy not destroy and start all over. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel!
And approaching my 63rd birthday at the end of December, I have become a mellow sort of person in by twilight years, a kindly, doting grandfatherly sort of priest. Would you like for me to sing you a lullaby?
So what will I do immediately at Saint Anne Catholic Church? Nothing radical! I will appreciate all the priests who preceded me and their legacy liturgical and otherwise. The first thing I want to do is to get the know my grandchildren, I mean, my parishioners. I suspect they are like any other Catholics throughout the world.
I want to get to know my staff. I want to know how things are done at St. Anne and I will follow what they do only tweaking this, that or the other slowly over the next 12 years when I retire at the age of 75.
I am a liturgical progressive. I love both forms of the one Latin Rite. Thus I won't change anything of what is being done liturgically at St. Anne and I won't foist my idiosyncrasies on anyone when it comes to the Liturgy.
I will respect the beautiful new church these parishioners have sacrificed so much to build. I will respect the older church building too and try to keep both of them well maintained.
With time, if there is a stable group that would appreciate the EF Mass, I might consider celebrating it at a unique time that doesn't interfere with any already scheduled Masses. The older church seems ideal for it. There are only two Sunday morning Masses so there is some wiggle room. But I am the only priest so I don't want to become a Mass machine. But I suspect with time a parochial vicar may be assigned or at least a part time priest. That would be great!
So, Saint Anne, don't worry. I am an older doting grandfatherly type now, moving slow due to age and loss of brain cells which act as a sort of mellowing agent in my life.