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Fr Dang’s LAST Front Page Reflection Dec 17, 2021

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Greetings to All

Fr Peter has announced to all of you a couple of weeks ago, that after Christmas will be my last week of my ministry at this lovely parish of Caloundra. What a truly blessed year. It hardly seems possible that a year ago I arrived at the parish and yet here I am, all packed up and ready to move again for a new mission.

Today, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to each and every one of you for the privilege of being a part of this wonderful parish family. In so many ways, you have affirmed the gift of my priesthood vocation and also taught me what it means to be a priest.

My spiritual director once advised me that “the first three years of your priesthood is a honeymoon, all care but no responsibility, so enjoy as much as you can”. I am certain that I have had an incredible third year of my “priesthood honeymoon” here at the parish of Caloundra. I experienced so much love and joy, especially the way in which the people of this parish have embraced me. It has been so wonderful.

Perhaps this is why I have experienced some challenges in saying good-bye. Especially, in the last few weeks it was like being on an emotional roller coaster, sometimes overwhelmed by these feelings.

However, as it often appears in the Scriptures, there is the word BUT. In the midst of the mixed feelings of leaving, BUT the one thing has remained constant in my heart is an awareness of a deep gratitude to God and to all of you. I have come to know so many wonderful people in this parish who have an incredible faith. There is so much that I have learned.

Therefore, I am grateful for your faith, your kindness, your generosity, your laughter and hugs… I am thankful for many relationships that I have formed in this parish and for the many ways the people of this parish have helped me to grow in my relationship with God. I thank God for the year I have been here.

I would like to express my gratitude to Fr Peter, Fr Joseph, Fr Josh, all the retired bishop and priests, Parish staff – Vicki, Eileen, Dawn, Don, Dale & Edgar for your support and friendship throughout this year.

Especially, my special thanks is to Fr Peter. Through your mentorship, you have had good answers and solutions for everything that needed to be addressed. I have learned things that would never have crossed my mind through your guidance, and I would like to thank you for the difference you have made in my ministry.

Leaving and change are emotional no matter who we are. My heart is truly filled with sadness to say good bye, BUT it also embarks an excitement with a new journey ahead of me at Jubilee. I hope that you remember me in your prayers and I will do likewise.

I would like to borrow the words of St. Paul to the Philippians to close my words of farewell to all of you.

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

 

See ya, Fr Dang

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