THANK GOD. The OLPH Syro-Malabar Community of Greater Washington has been Blessed by God with a new Director/ Pastor: Rev. Fr. Roy Varkey Moolechalil. Hearty Welcome, Fr. Roy. You are the Special Christmas and New Year Gift of God for this Community. The Lord was pleased to choose you to execute HIS Dream of a Church for this Community. May the Lord lead you by the hand and may He fill us with His grace to follow your lead towards our Church. As the retiring Director of the Mission, I consider it my sacred duty and privilege to welcome and introduce Fr. Roy Moolechalil as our new Director / Pastor.
It is with a joyful and grateful heart that I bid you farewell. You have always been a source of support and inspiration for me. With great enthusiasm and hard work, we overcame all inconveniences and other issues could not stand in the way of our achievements of securing a piece of prime property for the church. My hope and prayer: “Lord, make your dwelling in our midst and bless us that we be able to work together for a church on Zion Road Property.”
“There is an appointed time for everything, There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). The appointed time for me to bid farewell is now.
A LITTLE HISTORY It was by God’s decision that I was chosen to minister at Mother Seton Parish, Germantown (2002-2004) and at Visitation Parish, Darnestown, from July 2004 to the present, and now to leave for India at the end of 2018. And my role in all this is simply to say “Amen.”
My time at Visitation is the longest of my years of priestly ministry in one place, for the same communities. I am very glad to say that the OLPH Community and the OLVP Community created a “Home of Love” for me: so much love, acceptance, understanding and forgiveness. All that I want to say at this moment of farewell is: “THANK YOU.”
Thank you All for your understanding and generosity in spite of the many inconveniences I caused you all these years. Your support and understanding have been a source of strength and growth for me. To the Trustees and Members of different Committees, Volunteers, past and present - so friendly, helpful, kind and loving: “Thank You” and “Hats off to you!!”
My Dear Parishioners, you have been with me all these years: such a wonderful group of people - so kind and generous, inspiring and encouraging. I don’t know if I ever succeeded in living up to your expectations or if I have offended you or scandalized you, in any way, in word and deed: “Forgive me; and pray for me.”
Our Common Dream of our own Church and facilities remain yet unfulfilled. But I feel consoled and comforted in the awareness that the Church is His work; if He selected the Zion Road Property for His Church, I am absolutely certain that He will realize His Dream for us. He will march ahead of us and fight our battle for us. Are we ready to march with Him and follow His lead?
If, in any way, you believe that I have been of any help for you, surely it was not me, but the Lord. He may have used me as a weak instrument. “Thanks be to God.” You inspire me to sing with Mary, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.....” (Luke 1:46).
NO FUTURE PLANS
My future is totally safe in God’s hands; I leave for India at the end of the year and I have no specific plans for myself. I will present myself to my Archbishop (Mar Joseph Perumthottam) and will be ready to serve wherever he thinks I can be of help. Your best Wishes and Prayers will safeguard and empower me.
And my special Wish and Prayer for you all: “May the Lord be the FIRST in your life; may you all support the OLPH Mission of Greater Washington and Roy Achan with your prayers and generosity!”
Finally, my friends, “THANK YOU, ONE AND ALL” for your love and friendship. I carry you all in my heart and fond memories; I will miss you all. My Prayers and Best Wishes will be with all of you. May the Lord continue to hold you all in His embrace and may all of us, you and me, experience one day “His Heart-Beat.” God Bless.
A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!! Fr. Mathew Punchayil