Penny’s Farewell

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Tapestries are an ancient textile art form woven on a loom with various colors of threads to create an intricate design. Tapestries tell stories, encourage reflective and tranquil moments, enlighten the human spirit and are great subjects of conversation. They combine the imagination of the artist with the skill of the weaver. In addition to providing beautiful art and preserving history, tapestries were extremely functional in the middle ages used to provide warmth and room separation in large spaces. And finally, the success and popularity of decorative tapestry can be explained by its portability as they can be rolled up and transported from one residence to another.

I believe that tapestries are a wonderful metaphor for our Holy Spirit Parish Community. Over the last few weeks, as we said farewell to Fr. Brendan and extended a warm welcome to Fr. Ritche, we described the beautiful “tapestry” that we continue to weave here at Holy Spirit Parish. Now as I say farewell to this community that I have called family over these last 22 years, the “tapestry” takes on a deeper meaning.

It has been a joy to be part of this wonderful community, it has been a family to me in so many ways. I can still recall the first time we came to Mass here. We were warmly welcomed, and my daughters were asked to bring up the gifts. I became a lector, the girls joined faith formation and the altar server ministry. Brad became a Catholic in this community. When I retired from HP, I found a true vocation on the Parish Staff. My ministry at Holy Spirit became a significant part of the tapestry of our lives over these years.

I cannot even begin to name all those whom I should thank. Beginning with Fr. Paul and Rosalie, all the years that Fr. Brendan encouraged my faith and my ideas, the amazing staff that I have worked side by side with, the amazing ministers that give out of the first fruits of their gifts, Fr. Ritche for his help and compassion in this bittersweet transition. And the sheer joy of this community worshiping and serving together. This tapestry fills a castle with beautiful art and provides the warmth and nourishment needed by so many in this world.

As I say farewell, I think that like a grown child leaving home for a new adventure, I am given a piece of the family tapestry, to roll up and carry to my new home where I can begin to create new stories built on the foundation of Holy Spirit. We will always be connected by the beautiful colored threads that are woven together even though we are separated by many miles.

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart and be assured that you will all be in my prayers. There will always be a place in Florida for you to visit. We will always be connected.

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