The Catholic Church is widely known for transferring priests and religious from one parish to another to familiarize and boost their faith in their field of evangelization. In some cases, they are sent to countries far from home where they are to learn a foreign language, eat new dishes and meet different people all together, a difficult and challenging task.
Parishes this time of the year begin to hear of the transfers of their priests from one parish or assignment to another parish or assignment. It is a sad time for many priests and their parishioners, but also an exciting time for priests and parishes, a new beginning.
These transfers though considerate affect most parishioners in the sense that they get too acquainted or conversant with the priests forgetting they could be transferred at any given time. Finally when news of their transfers is put out, parishioners are either happy or sad to accept the reality. Some go to the extent of following their transferred priests to their new parishes making it awkward for them to do their work. For some of the priests, the process of transfer, as relevant as it is for the parish, the diocese and for the priest himself, is a kind of death. For two, three, five, six, twelve years, the priest has made his roots in the parish.
He has been able to build a connection with his parishioners, a bond as strong as a family. He has celebrated Mass with them, shared in their joys and sorrows, dined and danced together and most importantly during these difficult moments of the COVID-19 pandemic they devoted their time to pray for and with us virtually. Some, however, extended helping hands to parishioners who could not fend for themselves due to the lock down and other restrictions that came with the COVID-19 pandemic, a gesture most parishioners will forever be grateful for.
Though these transfers are heartbreaking, parishioners should put aside their emotions and embrace the dynamics the church has adopted to ensure growth and promote evangelization.
Let us continue to pray for our priests and religious striving to win souls for the kingdom of God, may the good Lord bless their ministry and grant them wisdom and knowledge to propagate the good news to all people.
Story by, E.S.D