Farewell from Father Cliff Bishop

My Dear Friends,

Well I am back for a delightful few days away. I returned on Monday to a phone call from the Chancery. You will read about it in this week’s bulletin, but I wanted to share with you what you will hear from me at Mass.

Back in August I met with my doctors for their follow up meetings. They both, as well as their staffs, had the same thing to say to me. They were gravely concerned that the next time I would have a stroke or heart attack I would become debilitated or it would be fatal. NOT NEWS I WANTED TO HEAR I had to reduce the stress I was under by have 2 parishes and St. Joseph’s much less 2 cemeteries (which are almost no stress for me because of Bobby Dancho and Ron Koach.)

So before he was ordained as our 5th Bishop I had a little conversation with the Bishop Elect and told him I needed to request another assignment, and making it very clear that I was not going to retire, I wanted to be active. He told me he understood and could I wait until after the ordination for a decision. I told him I would and would still be Pastor until I heard from him.

This past Monday afternoon I heard from the Chancery. Monsignor Gobitas called with the news that the Bishop and Personnel Board had agreed with my request and I was being reassigned as Assistant Pastor of St. Anne Church in Bethlehem! I am elated! St. Anne Church is the first church my family and I joined in 1979 after moving up here from Maryland. My dad became a Catholic there, and he was buried from there under Msgr. John McPeak of happy memory.

So on Tuesday the 10th I will move over there and Fr. David Kozak will come here from St. Peter’s in Reading in his role as Administrator until he is named Pastor. Ron Koach is the Pastoral Coordinator of the two places, and Janice Woolley is the Financial Secretary for both places as well as Secretary for Incarnation. Both can be reached at their respective parishes. And I want to thank both of them for helping me get through my various health situations. With Ron, Janice and now Fr. Kozak, I leave both Incarnation and Holy Ghost in good hands!

The tough part is I live in the whole rectory right now, in my new assignment, I am given two rooms and an office! What am I going to do with all my Santas and Elephants????

Know that I am praying for you and the parishes as a whole, I simply ask that you remember me once and a while in prayer as well.

God love you!
Fr Cliff