Sunday, October 9, 2011

Looking ahead

By Father Perry D. Leiker

Three months have passed since I arrived here in the faith community of St. Bernard.

Now with more clarity I can express my gratitude for what I have discovered here. I am very grateful to follow in the footsteps of many priests who have led this community with great dedication and love.

How blessed to have "2" pastors emeritus — Monsignors McNulty and McSorley — alive, healthy and still serving this community. How blessed to have been so encouraged by Father Tim McGowan to apply for this parish; his words were: "Ask for this parish. It is a gem! You will love it — these are such good people." I am grateful to have heeded his advice.

I am very grateful to Berna Gurule who gave so many dedicated years of service here and handed over a very organized and well functioning parish administration. Her skills and knowledge and complete dedication are noticeable everywhere. The fine staff at St. Bernard’s is also to be commended because they love what they do; they are generous in their service, and they have helped me very much to adapt and come to know this parish community.

Last, and most certainly not least, my thanks go directly to the community. There are: countless volunteers; wonderful ministry groups; a gem of a school with an outstanding principal and staff; a history in the school and parish of great pride; an enchanting "mountain like" community in the hills north of El Centro.

There is so much to be grateful for here in this parish — and today, I must shout it out for all to hear: thank you God! Thank you for your great blessings! Thank you, Bernard, for your blessings on this parish dedicated in honor to you!

Father Perry D. Leiker is St. Bernard parish administrator. Reach him (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112.

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