Please see below the letter sent by our Parish Council chairman, Benjamin Camerota, on behalf of the consensus achieved from your parish council membership. This was done at the request of Bishop McDonnell as a means to assist in the appointment of our new pastor. I am personally grateful for the sense and content of this letter. Fr. James J. Scahill
Dear Bishop McDonnell May 15, 2014
On behalf of the St. Michael’s parish council, I’d like to thank you for requesting our input in the replacement of our current Pastor, Fr. James J. Scahill. Our collective feedback is best represented by offering a few thoughts on our parish family.
St. Michael’s holds an indelible place in the hearts and minds of each parishioner here. To paraphrase a popular sentiment from our departing Pastor, the beating heart of our parish is greater than the four walls of our church in East Longmeadow. St. Michael’s is a place that is seen in the smiling faces of our many youth, in the welcoming handshakes and hugs that greet new members, and in the actions of the countless volunteers in the community.
Throughout his tenure, Fr. Scahill has led a “Catholic community” by its very definition: a unified body of individuals both inclusive and resolute in sharing and growing in their faith together. As you are aware, our current Pastor would be best categorized as more “progressive” and, as a result, has attracted a younger and diverse congregation.
Our laity, in the mold set by Fr.Scahill and the Sisters of St. Joseph, strive to be open-minded, energtic, loving and compassionate. Our hope is for our Pastor to share similar values and characteristics in an effort to resonate with our current members and avoid unnecessary defection.
We are deeply saddened with Fr. Scahill’s departure, and eternally grateful for the contributions he has made. We also look forward to the next generation that will fill our four walls, and to welcoming a new Pastor into our family to lead them.
Benjamin J. Camerota, Chair
St. Michael’s Pastoral Council