Dear Friends,

 

I thought I would take a couple of minutes to tell you a little about myself, where I’ve come from and what I’ve been involved with these last 39 years as a friar priest. I come from a simple family in Buffalo, NY. My father was a Principal of one of our local elementary schools. The whole town knew him and liked him. He was a people person for sure. We could not go anywhere without someone saying hello to him. When my Brother Greg and I went to school my Mom got a job at Fowler’s Candy Factory in Cheektowaga taking candy off the belt, just like Lucy did (if you know what I am talking about you are showing your age). I entered the Order when I was 18. I studied (kind of) in our Seminary in Granby MA and then to my surprise I was sent to Rome to finish my studies. To be honest I never considered myself “Roman material.” When I got back I taught in two High Schools. They were great years. I ran a retreat program for young adults in Assisi Italy and I had the privilege of being a Campus Minister for 20 years. I served at Western Connecticut State University and I was the University Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry at The Catholic University of America in Washington DC where I worked with Bishop O’Connell. My years on college campuses were wonderful. I would call them storied years. Young adults' lives are always filled with excitement, and craziness. They are often very idealistic and faith filled. At Catholic University the kids went out on Saturday Night for sure but many or most also went to Mass on Sunday. What a privilege it was to be a part of those young lives. Now, most of the young adults I worked with are in their late 30s or early 40s When I run into them I am not above telling their kids a story or two about their parents. I’ve also had the privilege of being a Pastor in two different parishes before I came here. Each one had a school which I loved. I am very committed to Catholic Education. It certainly has played an important role in my life. I am hoping that St. Peter will be my last dance as a pastor two terms here would put me right at 75 and then I would be happy to let the younger friars run the show. Actually I wouldn’t mind if they ran the show now. Since I’ve come to Point Pleasant Beach, I've walked around town every day. I’ve met good people and I am very impressed with the staff I’ve met here. I enjoy living with Fr. Brennan Joseph, Fr. Richard (the heartbreak of Point Pleasant Beach as I call him) and Fr. Nick. I look forward to getting to know you and your families. This week I spoke to both Fr. Pedro and Fr. Marek they are both doing fine and settling in. They certainly left big shoes to fill and Nick and I will do our best to do just that. They send you their regards. Fr. Bob Benko also sends his regards. He loved his time here. I lived with him for the last four years and heard lots of “Point Pleasant Beach Stories.” He spoke so much about some of you I feel I know you. Fr. Bob will be the Pastor of St. Mark Church in Boynton Beach Florida. He is really looking forward to it. Once again I look forward to getting to know you, praying with you and serving our Lord here at St. Peter’s with you.See you around…  

 

Fr. Robert