Every Spring, the Fraternity of St. Peter in North America must decide where to assign its newly-ordained priests and if any other transfers of priests must be made between our apostolates. Very often, one transfer will cause a domino-effect and make other transfers necessary in order to make sure our apostolates are properly served. This year, I have been asked to replace our pastor in Atlanta, Georgia, in the United States, who is being transferred himself to replace another priest. The fact that we are blessed with many newly ordained priests each year in the Fraternity of St. Peter and the fact that we make every effort to have at least two priests in each apostolate according to our charism, means that we are often are transferred more frequently than diocesan clergy. I have been here in Montreal for four years, and was in my previous assignment only two!
As much as it is a privilege and honor to become the new pastor in Atlanta, I have greatly appreciated my time in Montreal and will miss everything and everyone very much. I’ve met some of the best people ever here, and I have grown very fond of Montreal. You will all be in my prayers and I do hope to come back to visit now and then. We are as priests, first and foremost, ordained to God and have promised ourselves to His service, no matter where He sends us. I ask for your prayers as well, as I embark yet another adventure in my priestly vocation.
Your new pastor here will be Fr. Stéphane Dupré, FSSP, whom I have known for many years and who is immensely qualified and has seventeen years of experience as a priest. He is originally from Champagne, France, but has served all of his priesthood in the United States and is now a dual citizen of France and the U.S. In addition to his native French, Fr. Dupré speaks excellent English and Spanish. I first met Fr. Dupré when I was a universtiy student in California, before I was even in the seminary, and he was the newly-ordained assistant priest at my parish. It is an amusing coincidence that I, too, was once one of his faithful!
The timeframe for the transfer depends very much on the immigration restrictions due to the pandemic. If all goes well, he will be able to come to Montreal at the beginning of July and I will spend a few weeks initiating him before I leave. I sincerely hope that I will be able to celebrate Mass and see everyone before I leave, but all depends on what is possible with the pandemic restrictions.
We have recently been informed by the archdiocese that we may start preparing to reopen the Montreal churches in phases, however the government has yet to announce the specific date. During the first phase, the church will be open for adoration, private prayer and confessions. We will keep you informed of any updates and look very much forward to returning to normal parish life.
With my best wishes and assurance of my prayers,
God bless you!