Photo: Goodbye to a Pastor
Parishioners at Sacred Heart Church (Camp Washington, Cincinnati) said goodbye last weekend to their pastor, Fr. Earl Fernandes, who began work Monday as a secretary to the Papal Nuncio in Washington, DC.
After only a few weeks to prepare for the move, Fr. Fernandes left his positions at the parish and at The Athenaeum of Ohio/Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West, where he served as Academic Dean. The Nuncio — currently Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, although a new Nuncio will be appointed this spring — serves as the Holy See’s Ambassador to the United States and as the Pope’s official contact with the US Bishops. Cincinnati’s Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, who served on the Nunciature’s staff himself, said the appointment was “an honor not only for Fr. Fernandes, but for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati as well.”
There were many tears as well as good wishes at Sacred Heart Saturday and Sunday. Though Fr. Fernandes had been pastor for only 20 months, mass attendance had increased dramatically over that time because of his efforts to foster both the Sacred Heart English and Latin Mass communities, and his institution of a monthly Italian Mass. Priests from the Oratory-in-Formation of St. Philip Neri in Cincinnati will take over administration of the parish, and parishioners say they are hopeful for the future. “But I’ve felt like crying for the last two weeks,” one parishioner said Sunday.
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