By Very Rev. Canon Walter J. Ptak
Praise be Jesus Christ! My Dear Parishioners, I greet you with this age-old Catholic Greeting, one that was near and dear to our beloved St. John Paul II, as a way to officially begin my time with you as your Pastor.
I hope that my pastorate and ministry here among you will reflect this greeting, for indeed I see my role here as one of service to Our Lord in and through you the parishioners of this great parish! May all that we accomplish together give praise and adoration to Our Lord Jesus Christ, who indeed is our Way, Truth and Life!
As I write this to you, I am sorting, disposing and packing my “stuff” to leave St. Sebastian Parish. This is no easy task! I have only been here for four years but over those years, my belongings have somehow grown. Sometimes I think that someone is adding to my belongings while I sleep! I must admit that I have boxes from the move four years ago, and even longer,
that have not been unpacked yet. I cannot believe that one person, me, can have so much STUFF! These are the days when I think it might be great to live the life of a hermit, one small room and very sparse personal belongings! Please bear with me as I make the move west and try to settle into a routine in our Parish. I promise you will have my undivided attention from Day One, even though my personal life, daily routine and belongings may be in disarray!
I want to tell you from the start how glad I am to be your pastor, even though this appointment came as a complete surprise! The call from the Archbishop caught me off guard but I do believe the Archbishop has the charism of leadership and the entire Archdiocese in mind. I could not turn down his request to take this new assignment! I believe the fullness of priestly life is truly found in the parish and I am pleased and thankful to be with you here at Our Lady of Sorrows. I have heard so many positive comments about this Parish Community and look forward to journeying with you as we grow in holiness together.
I am overjoyed that we have a faith-filled and hard-working Parish Staff, a great school, a competent and caring Principal, a wonderful and intelligent faculty and staff and, of course, the best students in Southeast Michigan!
I cannot wait until school begins in August. (Even though I must admit I hope Summer does not fly by too quickly!) I promise you that I will work with you to enrich what we have and build upon the great tradition that is Our Lady of Sorrows Parish and School. I am sure you have many questions about me as I do about you and our parish. Over the course of the years, we will get to know each other better and learn about each other. I will introduce myself more via the bulletin over the coming weeks, so please stay tuned as they say.
Until then, I want you to know that I am here for you and will be happy to serve you in any way that I can. Please never be afraid to approach me. I may be large in stature, and I have been told that I have a loud and booming voice, but I am always ready and willing to help. I will do my best to be your pastor in word and deed. I am sure that I will not be able to solve every problem or satisfy everyone, but I do promise to try and if nothing else, be present with you here in our parish on life’s journey. Together we can and will grow in holiness in the time we have together!