Important Message from Fr. Bryan
October 19, 2023
To all of the amazing parishioners of St. Rose, Immaculate Heart, St. Mary’s, and St. Catherine’s,
I love you all so much. That needs to be clear. Being assigned to these communities for the last ten years has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. Not only do I love our parishes and our parishioners, I love the entire Cowlitz/Wahkiakum community. Living here has been such a joy.
But love opens us up to some sad things, and I have some sad news to share with you all. My time with you is going to be coming to an end much sooner than expected. Recently, Fr. Paul Kaech, the pastor of St. Edward’s in Shelton suddenly passed away and the Archbishop has asked me to move there for the rest of the year to care for the people as they grieve. I’m honored that the Archbishop thought of me for this role.
This means that my last weekend here will be November 11th and 12th. Yes, I know that is coming up very soon. November 4th and 5th will be my final weekend offering masses at St. Catherine’s, St. Mary’s, and Immaculate Heart. November 11th and 12th will be my final weekend at St. Rose.
I’m very sad that this is happening so suddenly. It is not how I expected it to end. I was hoping for one more Christmas, and one more Easter with you. I found out on Thursday, October 5th, the day I left for vacation. It was hard to accept, but I can already see some good things coming from this. After I leave, Fr. Michael will be in charge as administrator of the parishes. I’m excited to see the things he will do without me getting in the way!
Of course, Fr. Michael will need a lot of help. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that another priest will be assigned here before July. This means that he will be on his own during the week and will only have priest coverage on the weekends. There will be some needs that will emerge, and I hope that if you are asked to use your gifts to serve that you will say yes.
I also want to acknowledge our amazing parish staff. It has been such a privilege to work with such an amazing group of people. I can’t imagine working with a more amazing group of people, and I hope that as the parishes move into the future that you will continue to love them and pray for them. They are very important to me.
I have attached the official announcement from Archbishop Etienne to this email.
Please stay tuned for more developments as they happen.