Messages From Fr. Anthony Smith

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This past Friday, May 14th was my 10th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood.  It is a minor milestone but one that still leaves me asking, ‘where did these years go?’  Almost six of those years have been spent here in Watertown as pastor of St John the Evangelist Parish. During that time I have also been administrator of Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and now administrator of St Mary Magdalen Church in Oakville.  All these assignments have enriched my priesthood in countless ways. For almost six years I have been blessed to be your pastor, and on this weekend of my anniversary I give thanks for God’s call sending me here.

Back in the spring of 2015, when I was the Vocation Director, I was on my way to the train station with Archbishop Blair. We were traveling to visit some of our seminarians.  Shortly after picking up the Archbishop he said, ‘I would like to send you to St John in Watertown to be pastor. I have to admit I was surprised by the announcement. My emotions were mixed since I was enjoying my time as Vocation Director. But the thought of being a pastor was exciting and from that moment I looked forward to fulfilling this call. I was especially excited to come back to the Litchfield Hills, the county I had called home for many years. For these six years I have been blessed to live my vocation in a most beautiful part of the state. More importantly, I have been blessed and humbled to serve the parishioners of St John the Evangelist and, recently the parishioners of St Mary Magdalen Church.

Together we have accomplished a great deal in these past six years. We’ve work hard to update our campus, make improvements to our buildings, add new ministries, sponsor wonderful fundraising events, develop a dynamic Faith formation program and continue to provide a first rate Catholic Education at our schools.  Our liturgies are enhanced with beautiful music and we continue to provide outreach to those in need.  We are simply building on the hard work and legacy of my predecessors. All of our efforts must have one focus – Our Lord Jesus Christ. I pray that I have helped make Christ the center of all our efforts.

My anniversary is not a personal milestone or accomplishment, rather it is a time for gratitude that I have been able to serve the people of God for the past ten years as a priest of Jesus Christ. I am especially grateful to be serving in Watertown/Oakville. It really is all about Jesus working in and through all of us and, together, with Christ, we can accomplish great things.

Thank you for making my time here so special. Thank you for being a model of faith. Thank you for your perseverance through the most tumultuous times in recent history of our Church. Thank you for helping me fulfill my calling. And thanks to Fr Gustavo, Fr Phil, Fr Dave and Fr Zacharias for their fraternal support and to our deacons, Dcn Victor, Dcn Dan, Dcn Bob, Dcn George and Dcn Mike for their commitment serving at the altar.  Finally thank you to all our parish staff, and school faculty and staff for the heroic work you do every day.

Today we celebrate and give thanks. Monday, it is back to doing the work we are called to do, making Christ present in the sacraments, in the Word and in the ministries we fulfill.   We have much more work to do and together, with faith, we will continue building the Kingdom of God.

Mass Schedule

Weekend Masses
Saturday Vigil, 4:00 PM;
Sunday, 8:30 & 10:30 AM
Daily Mass
Monday-Wednesday; 8:00 AM Chapel

Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday, 3:00-3:30 PM

Parish Livestream

Our Parish Facebook page “Keep the Faith” will live stream Mass
from our church at 10:30 am on Sunday

Parish Livestream