Announcement from Msgr. Maniscalco
With my 76th birthday last December, I am beyond the retirement age for priests in this diocese of 75 and even further beyond the permissible age of retirement of 72. In addition, my second six-year term as pastor should have concluded at the end of June 2020. Bishop Barres kindly allowed me to continue for a year so that I could celebrate my 75th birthday and 50th anniversary as a priest while still in active ministry.
In early 2020, the pandemic struck full force in our region so the grace of the extra year turned out to be less one of celebration than a continuous state of emergency.
The next time the occasion arose to discuss my continuation as pastor, I expressed my desire not to retire with the memory of my last year of active ministry being such a diminished one.
As the time came around this year to discuss my future once again, Bishop Barres extended to me the courtesy and privilege of doing so in person at a meal in his residence. I expressed to him my willingness to continue as pastor. I did so with the tremendous words of St. Paul to the Corinthians in mind: "I will most gladly spend and be utterly spent for your sakes" (2 Cor 12:15).
I also expressed my willingness not to continue. As I told the Bishop, ever since my sister Peggy died, the tug has been strong to retire to my home in Rockville Centre so my sister Ann is not there alone. Bishop Barres promised to call me personally with his decision which he did, and it is to allow me to retire.
My association with St. Thomas goes back almost as many years before I became pastor as my years as pastor. It started when I began assisting at Sunday Mass at Msgr. Lisante's invitation in 1996 when I traveled back and forth from Washington where I was working for the U.S. bishops conference. For over 25 years, this church/chapel has been the venue of my performing the most fundamental priestly act of all -- celebrating Sunday Mass.
Over that length of time, one becomes either "a grand old man" or "the man who came to dinner" or perhaps a bit of both. And what was once the future inevitably becomes the past.
Whoever is chosen to be your new pastor, I commend you to his care and him to your kindness and support of which I have been the beneficiary all these years.
Msgr. Frank Maniscalco
Masks are no longer required to be worn at parish events. Parishioners should do what they judge best for their health in terms of mask-wearing and social distancing. Please continue to show sensitivity to others who may not yet be completely comfortable coming to church, especially since there is no guarantee that everyone in attendance has been fully vaccinated.
The 10:30am Mass on Sunday is being livestreamed each week. Click here to watch live, or to view the Mass after it has ended. (The video becomes visible as Mass begins. You need not join Facebook to see it.)
IMPORTANT! Msgr. Maniscalco has NOT sent any email blasts to parishioners recently. If you receive an unexpected email that appears to be from Msgr. Maniscalco, delete it immediately. Thank you.