Fr. Aidan Writes:
This weekend we celebrate our Parish Picnic in the Park at 11.30 am. This is always a happy occa- sion for us to celebrate the Eucharist and enjoy a wonderful lunch cooked by the Knights (thank you in advance). This year we will be celebrating a great occasion, Fr Alfred’s Golden Jubilee of priesthood; 50 years of serving the Lord as a priest.
I want to just give my own appreciation of Fr Alfred. Born and raised in a small Flemish speaking village in Belgium, Alfred was sent to the great Josephite Holy Trinity College in the University town of Louvain, where he was a very bright and studious pupil. Having been educated by the Josephites, he decided to become one. He joined the novitiate, progressed through to vows and then in 1973 ordination to the priesthood. Belgium at that time still had national military service. If you did not do a year in the army, you had to do two years in service. Alfred chose to go to our Missions in Congo, a period of time he holds dear with fond memories. On returning to Belgium, he was soon approached to come to USA, which he did in the mid- late 70s. After working at St Joseph’s and St Pius X in Downey, Alfred settled in Santa Barbara, first with Fr Charles at Bishop Garcia Die- go and then as Associate with Fr Ludo at Holy Cross Parish. During this time, he also was called to be a General Councilor of the Josephites. Five + years ago he came to join us here.
Since he has been with us here, Fr Alfred’s faithfulness and humor have won over many of us along with his concise, erudite, practical and often amusing homilies and his sage wisdom in the confessional. I, alongside Fr Armand, enjoy his companionship in our Josephite community here at SLdM. Fr Alfred’s steadfast faith, his memory, his willingness to adapt when necessary, and above all his stories and hilarious quick wit have made our community life a great blessing. So, dear Fr Alfred, many blessings and many more happy years in the priesthood in the Josephite Community and our parish. Thank you … so far!
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter