Today we said goodbye to our dear priest, Father Julian, who is retiring to his homeland, Malta.
I stopped practicing Catholicism after college. It just happened. Then after kids, I knew I should return but I had married an agnostic in a non-Catholic ceremony and the hurdles to become active and in good standing just seemed too much.
After trying to return unsuccessfully with two parishes in the valley, who couldn't figure out how I could come back to the church while not making my husband participate. I arrived in Father Julian's office for our first meeting ready to stand my ground. I had my arguments lined up.
Instead, I was greeted with kindness and compassion and the promise not to worry about it; we'd figure it out. Which we did. I was able to return to church and my husband didn't have to have a single conversation about religion. Lled & Father talked often, just about apps & iPads. Instead of a very public convalidation ceremony in the middle of Sunday mass, he performed a private one in an auxiliary chapel. He helped my girls and me understand and grow in our faith with kindness; always with incredible kindness.
Father Julian had a melanoma removed shortly before his retirement announcement and I pray the 2 aren't connected.
In my life, I never thought I would miss a particular priest, but I can tell you, this man will be sorely missed by our entire community. I am so thankful he was part of our life.
I pray God grants him happiness & peace .
Here's a photo of him & Quincey, who was portraying one of the apostles for the foot washing ceremony on Holy Thursday.