Dear Friends in Christ,
Father Ikechi Korie, OP came to St. Mary’s in December 2010, and after twenty-one months of service to our parish, he has now been called to a new assignment in our diocese. Effective 17 September 2012, Father Ikechi will be the parochial vicar of Holy Trinity Church in Orangeburg, South Carolina and its three mission churches in Allendale, Barnwell, and Springfield. He and the pastor of Holy Trinity are responsible for more than 1,000 square miles of territory, and both of them will regularly ride a circuit to celebrate the sacraments and provide pastoral care to the Catholics in that vast part of our diocese, a quickly growing number of whom are Spanish-speaking. Father Ikechi will return from Nigeria on 8 September, and his last weekend with us will be on 15 and 16 September. After the 1 pm Mass on Sunday 16 September, there will be a farewell reception for Father Ikechi in Gallivan Hall, and if you cannot attend that reception and would like to say farewell, then please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or a written note to the church office.
Father Ikechi will leave Greenville for his new assignment early on Monday 17 September, and he will go with our gratitude for his devoted priestly service and with our prayers and best wishes for his new responsibilities. Let us be mindful that without the assistance of priests from Nigeria, Colombia, India, Poland and other countries far from our shores, we would not have sufficient priests in the Diocese of Charleston to celebrate the sacraments and provide pastoral leadership in our existing parishes, let alone in the new parishes that need to be opened as the Catholic population continues to grow. We must redouble our prayer and efforts to help the sons of this local church answer God’s call to the priesthood.
Before Father Ikechi’s arrival here in December 2010, we did not have a parochial vicar since Father Smith’s departure in May 2007, and that pattern will now return. I will, however, have the very able assistance of three “supply priests”: Father Bart Leon, Father Jon Chalmers, and Father Francisco Cruz. With their help and your patient understanding, we’ll get on as well as can be without a second full time priest in the parish, and the sacramental schedule will remain unchanged. Although the demands on my time are great, I am always at your service. Please remember that if you need to see me for anointing of the sick or a visit in the office, you should call Mary Williams in the church office at 864.679.4101. She keeps my calendar and will find the first available time for us to meet. If you have a question that I can answer by email, you are always welcome to write me at email@example.com, and in a medical emergency outside of office hours you can reach me by calling the answering service at 800.925.1087.