It is my joy and privilege to arrive at St. Gregory the Great Parish to take on the role of your administrator. Many thanks to Fr. Ian Trammell and the entire parish staff for making this transition go so well! I will continue to rely on the experience and expertise of our dedicated staff as I take on this new position. I am also so glad that Fr. Tom Vala and Fr. Jay Bowden are here to help me through this time of transition.
First, I would like to share a little about myself. I come from Park Ridge in Bergen County, New Jersey. I am the youngest of seven children. I graduated from Princeton University as a history major in 2001. Early during my time at college I started to think about dedicating my life to bringing Jesus Christ to others. I decided to become a priest and attended seminary at the North American College in Rome. I was ordained on May 20, 2006. Since that time I have been assigned to Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Moorestown, Assumption Parish in New Egypt, and most recently St. Paul Parish in Princeton. I also was secretary to Bishop O'Connell for about a year. I also studied canon law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC and currently assist at the Office of Canonical Services at the Chancery in Lawrenceville. My personal interests include American history - especially the American Revolution and Founding period - and American politics, just to name a few of them.
I am so appreciative of the opportunity to joyfully shepherd this parish. I am committed to living fully the promises I made when I was ordained. I will do my best to help you to continue to embrace the love of Jesus Christ in your life, to journey as a member of His Church, and to follow His ways and teachings.
I have reviewed the parish mission statement, which is quite compelling in its clarity of purpose and values. Be assured that, with God's grace, I will strive to lead our parish community closer to the grand and noble spiritual vision that is outlined in that document. I am particularly excited about the core values of respect and justice, evangelization, and spirit of community, and I want to continue to find ways to implement those values. In the area of respect and justice, I want to promote reverence for the dignity of human life at all its stages, from conception to natural death, both here within the church and the Academy as well as in the broader community. Together with our staff, I want to lead a parish in which every single person is welcomed and loved, regardless of their age or condition, regardless of how small or weak they might be considered in the eyes of the world.
Each of us, by baptism, is called to have a living encounter with our loving God. A parish is first and foremost a spiritual community, a community of life and love, a place of prayer in which we learn to love and forgive one another, before it is an institution or a legal corporation. In our parish I hope that we will be able to continue to sense and experience the presence of God, most especially in the Eucharist. I believe that the vision for our parish is fundamentally and essentially spiritual and sacramental. Our foundation must lie there.
I hope and pray that our journey together here at St. Greg's will be grace-filled. I want to meet each of you, so please do make it a point to say hello and introduce yourself. I ask your patience as I strive to remember each of your names! May St. Gregory pray for all of us as we bear his name in our hearts as our patron. Thank you for welcoming me to the parish. I wish many blessings to you and your families!
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Mike McClane