|Dear Sisters & Brothers of St. John and St. Joseph,
The months of June and July are traditionally months of transition, especially with students graduating from high school and college. While these moments of transition look and feel very different this year, the transitions continue regardless.
The months of May and June are also traditionally the time we celebrate ordinations to the diaconate and priesthood. With the arrival of summer also comes the reassignment of some clergy. Ordinations have been rescheduled for the end of the summer which will delay most in assignment changes until September. However, Archbishop Lori has made two local appointments that I am pleased to share with you today.
Effective August 1, 2020, Fr. Juan Antonio Membreno, our Associate Pastor for Hispanic Ministry at St. John the Evangelist, will enter the full-time English Language Immersion program with continuing studies in theology at Mount Saint Mary’s University here in Frederick County. For the last several years, Fr. Juan has cared for the pastoral needs of the Spanish-speaking parishioners at both St. John the Evangelist and St. Joseph, Hagerstown. This inter-county model posed many logistical difficulties, yet Fr. Juan earnestly persevered in his pastoral care for the parishioners of both parishes. I am so thankful to Fr. Juan for his years of service to St. John. I am also glad that Fr. Juan is being given this time to further develop his ability to learn the English language, thus allowing for many happy years of fruitful service in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The current COVID restrictions will prevent us from properly saying farewell to Fr. Juan at this time. His last Mass at St. John’s will be Saturday, July 25. The parish will look forward to a farewell celebration when the archdiocese indicates it is safe to do so. Please join me in expressing our deepest thanks and best wishes to Fr. Juan as he prepares for continuing studies.
Psalm 30 tells us, “At dusk weeping comes from the night; but at dawn there is rejoicing.” With sadness also comes news of joy. Archbishop Lori has assigned Fr. Peter Gevera as the new Associate Pastor of the Pastorate of St. John and St. Joseph on Carrollton Manor, effective September 1, 2020. In this new arrangement, Fr. Peter will minister to both our English and Spanish-speaking parishioners while in residence at St. John. Fr. Peter, originally from Kenya, joins us after several years of priestly service at St. Louis Parish in Clarksville, MD. After being ordained for the Yarumal Missionaries in 2008 and serving in various capacities around the world, he came to the Archdiocese of Baltimore to begin priestly ministry. Fr. Peter brings with him significant experience in Spanish-language settings, and we are very happy to welcome his gifts into our Pastorate community.
God bless you all in these challenging times, and please know of my continued prayers.
In the Lord,
Rev. J. Kevin Farmer