Dear Fellow Disciples of Jesus,
May the Lord give you peace! This will be my last Pastor’s Corner. I am so thankful to all of you for these nearly 8 years of Christian fellowship as your pastor. I remember Holy Saturday, 2010, finishing my canon law studies in Washington, D.C., and receiving a call from then Bishop Jackels. He called to ask (a.k.a., assign) me as the next pastor of the Church of the Blessed Sacrament. I was in shock and full of excitement. Could this be true? I had been the parochial vicar of Blessed Sacrament from 2002-2004 and now I was going to be the pastor! I could hardly sleep and I had a hard time paying attention at the Easter Vigil.
Blessed Sacrament has a wonderful reputation in the Diocese of Wichita as a strong, stable parish. It is filled with great stewards that make the relationship between the priests and people vibrant and dynamic in serving the mission of the Catholic Church. I can’t tell you how blessed I have felt to be your pastor over these past years. I absolutely loved my assignment and have been enriched greatly. (I was hoping to break Msgr. Timothy O’Sullivan’s record for years as pastor of B.S. He served as pastor for over 30 years. Although I was the youngest pastor to serve at the parish, I won’t be breaking the record for years of service.)
A year ago, in Feb. of 2017, we had the blessed opportunity to hear Msgr. Charles Pope give our parish mission. There was one line of his many homilies and mission talks that impressed upon my mind and heart during his visit to Blessed Sacrament. In a few words he described his own profound relationship with his current parish. My heart resonated with his words, “For you I am your pastor. With you I am your brother, From you I am your son.” Thank you for letting me be your pastor. Thank you for being a brother companion on The Way. And, thank you for fathering and mothering me as a priest.” For these blessings I will always be thankful to the holy people at The Church of the Blessed Sacrament.
For the last time, I share with you as pastor to, “Take it to the Next Level!”
Ad majorem Dei gloriam,
Fr. John F. Jirak, pastor