At times one is called to make difficult and painful decisions. I have had many such occasions, when at times I had to correct a friend, giving up some pet idea, stand up to a principle, etc. When two years back I was told to take this assignment at St. Francis Xavier's, Parksite, as Parish Priest, I foresaw the hardships I would have to face, given my not so strong physical frame and age factor. I had expressed my unwillingness; saying that someone younger and stronger would be more suited. However, I was told to give it a try.
As obedience is expected of us, when one is told to take up a job, after having made my representation, I accepted to come to Parksite. I must say that I received much consolation from the fact that I received a lot of warmth from my parishioners, who have shown great consideration all along. You have overlooked my shortcomings and made no demands, which I think would be your legitimate right. In fact, I think my dear parishioners you are just great. You get the best out of your priests, because you are so positive in your approach. You have been constantly giving me positive strokes, by showing appreciation for every little thing we did together. You have made me feel happy by this your attitude, however, all along I have been living with a sense of guilt, because I have not been able to fulfill certain pastoral requirements for the parish. I feel very strongly, that a younger and stronger person should be appointed in this place, as I have always felt, and which I had expressed on my Induction Day, in the presence of the Bishop. And so I had to make this difficult and painful decision to leave behind parishioners whom I have come to love.
Fr. Xavier D'Souza is so fortunate to come to work with a community like yours. and I think you too will find in Fr. Xavier a loving pastor and leader. Besides being young and energetic, he comes with a wealth of experience. For one thing, Konkani is his forte, and that is why he was appointed to teach Konkani to the Seminarians at St. Pius College, Goregaon. I wish Fr. Xavier the very best in his ministry amongst you. Farewell and God bless you my dear friends.
- Fr. German Lemos