BISHOP BARRES
ST. ANN’S EMMAUS REMARKS

SEPTEMBER 17 & 18

I come to St. Ann’s today to be with you and to “walk with you” in this time of pain for this inspirational and loving parish.

What happened is not a reflection on you, on this parish or the school. St. Ann’s Parish and St. Ann’s School are the same wonderful, valuable, holy institutions today that they were a week ago.

I know that you are experiencing many deep feelings: shock, sadness, confusion disillusionment, anger.  These feelings are completely understandable and together we bring every dimension of our pain to the radiant and colorful light of Divine Mercy that streams from the glorified wounds of Christ to our wounds.

As you know, your former pastor has been dealing with serious medical issues for some time. Many of you here today are very personally aware of this.

When he left the parish this summer it was to undergo medical treatment for these serious physical issues. The events that led to the charges he now faces were not known to anyone at that time. Only later did they come to light.

Many of you have said that you would have liked to have known about the investigation involving Monsignor before Tuesday. That is an understandable concern.

However, when the Diocese was informed about possible crimes, it immediately turned the matter over to law enforcement officials who then launched an investigation. The Diocese cooperated completely with that investigation and did not want to interfere with it in any way. We know that can make it more difficult but it was necessary that we not interfere with law enforcement. Announcing the investigation prematurely could have interfered with the investigation.

As your Bishop, I recognize the urgent need for healing here at St. Ann’s.  That is why I will be present at every Mass here this weekend. As we move forward together in Christ’s love, I will be appointing a new pastor to lead you in the very near future.

It is so good to be with you today.  It is so good to be able to celebrate Mass together – it is in the ecstatic fires of the Body and Blood of Christ that we discover the ultimate source of healing in the world, the ultimate source of healing in our hearts and the ultimate source of healing in our parish.