Dear Parishioners and Friends of St. John the Evangelist,
It is with a great deal of excitement and happiness that is part of me as I come to St. John the Evangelist and Center City, Philadelphia. I am looking forward to being a part of this faith community and hope to be with you for many years. I will be arriving this Friday, Sept. 24.
Let me tell you a little about myself. I am 62 years old, 63 in November. I come from a small coal mining town in North Central Pennsylvania. The town is called Kulpmont, and is approximately 2 1/2 hours from Philly, about 1 hour north of Harrisburg.
My mother, Sylvia, my sister, Mary Louise, and my brothers, Eugene and Richard, and their families live in Kulpmont. My father, John, passed away in September, 2002.
I entered the Capuchin-Franciscans in 1965, made first profession of vows in 1967, final or perpetual profession in 1970, and was ordained July 8, 1978.
My first assignment as a priest-friar after ordination was vocations recruiter (1978-1987) for our community. From 1988-2001 I was pastor of St. Joseph Parish in York, Pa. I come to St. John the Evangelist after serving the parishioners of Our Lady of Angels, Pittsburgh, as pastor for the past 9 years.
I come to St. John’s with a lot of enthusiasm. I’ve heard so many great things about our parish and all of you, and as I said earlier, I am looking forward to many years with you. For your information, I was on our provincial administration, which made the decision to accept the invitation from the Archdiocese for the pastoral care of St. John’s.
I’m beginning to run out of space, so I’ll close for now, but will have more to say weekly in my column.
Before I close, I want to invite you to my installation as pastor, Saturday, October 30 at 5:15 p.m. Mass. It is my understanding that Bishop Timothy C. Senior will be here to perform the installation ceremony.
Take care. Peace and God’s blessings,
Fr. John Daya