Fr. Jim's farewell

People of St. Boniface Parish: Peace.
Fr. Jim Gray, St. Boniface

I elected to become a priest to minister to the People of God and His Church. In the Year of Our Lord 2000, that ministry brought me here. I came to serve and found myself being served by your trust. I came to give and found myself gifted by your generosity. I came as a stranger and was welcomed as a friend. I came to preach the Gospel and discovered it already alive in your hearts.

The closing of St. Boniface saddens us all. It saddens me as much as our oldest members because St. Boniface has become my first real home I have known my entire adult life. It became my home because of the simple quality of you, its people.

There are some I must thank as individuals. Deacon Dick Stevens for his generous gifts of labor and support. Sr. Carolyn Brambilla for her wisdom, insight and patience. Mrs. Doris Schmidt, our music minister, who helped hide my tunelessness from the congregation. Mrs. Kelly Howard, our parish manager, who labored unsung to ensure that my Irish sloth didn't create an impossible havoc. Deacon Earl Tresch and his wife Pat who saw me through my first days here. Patsy and John Meppiel who kept us all afloat by running the bingos. Mr. Kelly Howard who kept the church and hall clean and presentable for our use with a scant budget. There are many more to thank and praise and no time or space to do so. May Christ reward you for all your sacrifices that make this such a warm community of faith.

Let us not forget each other, let not our losses keep us from worshipping God in the community of the saints. Farewell.

Pax Christi
Fr. Jim Gray
June 26, 2005