Rev Bosco Wong
Farewell speech to the parishioners at OLF:
With a partial opening of the church, it is now Time to Say Goodbye! I am retiring as Pastor of Fatima Parish at the end of July, after 37 years of active full-time ministry. I am ready to move on to do other more hands-on pastoral work, including as a volunteer.
I have been truly blessed that my ministry has been multi-faceted and kept me actively engaged. When I was first ordained in 1984, I was appointed to a vibrant Resurrection Parish where I spent the first three years of ministry, then Archbishop Plourde gave me an opportunity to pursue advanced studies at St Paul University where I obtained a Licentiate in theology, then in Rome’s Jesuit-run Gregorian University where I completed a doctorate Magna cum Laude. After returning from my studies, in addition to being a Pastor, I had the benefit of teaching theology at St. Paul University. I also participated in various diocesan ministries, such as assisting as Formation Coordinator for the Permanent Deacons of the diocese, for many years as a Regional Vicar, a member of the Council of Priests serving under both archbishops Gervais and Prendergast, a member of the College of Consultors, and Episcopal Vicar.
Five years ago, the archbishop appointed me as Pastor of OLF Parish. During these five years, I ventured to develop my strength in faith community-building. In my first year of ministry, the parish celebrated 70th anniversary, I thought it would be opportune to create a photo-directory as a useful tool in putting names to faces. I have always enjoyed being actively engaged with parishioners wherever I serve. With a combination of being a pastor and a theologian, I have always embraced the best of Vatican II in liturgical and pastoral practices. Also, in collaboration with others and with 40 years of experience since participating at the first RCIA institute as an intern at St Martin de Porres Parish in 1982, I implemented the Adult Initiation Process following closely the spirit of the Order of Christian Initiation of Adults [RCIA], creating pre-catechumenate and catechumenate teams so as to involve parishioners in evangelization and engaged discipleship.
I would like to thank many of you who have collaborated with my effort at faith community-building during the last five years of my ministry here. I shall miss all of you who have been so supportive of my ministry, all those who have extended the hands of friendship and appreciate all the work that we have accomplished together, followed the legacy built by former pastors and parishioners in building up our faith community.
Even though five years is not a long time, I have tried to know as many of you by name (especially through the pastoral tool of the photo-directory) and sought to be available to you as your shepherd.
This past year and a half of dealing with the COVID pandemic has been most challenging for everyone, especially as a Pastor, when my ministry has been filtered through the lens of safety for everyone who comes to worship! As I wind down my ministry under this trying circumstance, I am consoled by the fact that we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, with a daily increase in the number of people having been vaccinated.
For reason of safety during COVID, I would not want any farewell reception. Please be assured that you will continue to be in my prayer as I close this chapter of my pastoral ministry here at OLF!
May the Blessings of the Lord be with you and keep you in his peace!