2020 has already been a year of surprises, change, and disruption, and I am acutely aware that on top of all that has been going on, our inability to gather together in person has been a cause of great pain for many of you.
I now need to inform you of one more change before the year is out. The Archbishop invited me to take up a new Parish appointment as Parish Priest of St Michael's Parish in North Melbourne. This small Parish on the city's outskirts has until recently been looked after by the Blessed Sacrament Fathers, but in the last few months has returned to the Archdiocese's care. The Archbishop would like to use this opportunity to reinvigorate the Parish, which is in a growing area of the inner city, and more closely unite it with the University of Melbourne, whose chaplaincy I took up earlier in the year.
Sadly this will see me leaving Holy Family on Sunday, 15th November. Over the past five years, Holy Family has been my family, and I will be sad to be leaving, especially in the challenging times in which we live. As a Parish, we have achieved much during this time and can proud of many things. A special mention must be made of the many young families who fill our Parish with such vibrancy. It has been wonderful to see so many families involved in our Parish's life and have seen so many youth and young adults call Holy Family home over the past five years. My new appointment sees me working closely with the Archbishop and his team to support Young People and University Students across our Archdiocese. A crucial work for our Church's future and one that I entrust to your continued prayer.
While there has not been a decision made yet about my replacement, we are incredibly lucky to have Fr Patrick Bradford, who has recently joined us. Fr Bradford will hold the fort and will be with you over these next few months as we come out of lockdown and navigate the ever-changing environment that is COVID Normal. My departure is made much easier by knowing that I am leaving the Parish in such capable hands and that a fine priest like Fr Bradford will be with you during this time of transition.
The opportunities at this time for traditional farewells will be limited. Still, I look forward to finding creative ways to say goodbye to as many as possible over the next few weeks.
May Jesus, Mary, and Joseph continue to inspire and intercede for each one of your families, and may God Bless you.
Fr Nicholas Pearce
Fr Pearce's video message can be viewed via this article on our website.