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Diocesan Announcement re: Fr. Robert Ring (cont’d)

November 2nd, 2018, Promulgated by Diane Harris

We waited until we received this notice from several different parties before posting it here:

From the Office of the Bishop:
Reverend Robert Ring has resigned as pastor of Saint Louis Church in Pittsford for personal reasons and has requested and has been granted a personal leave of absence. There is no allegation of sex abuse involved in this leave of absence. Reverend Robert Kennedy has agreed to administer the parish until a new pastor is appointed by Bishop Matano. Please keep Father Ring, Father Kennedy and the parish in your prayers.

See this weekend’s St. Louis bulletin (Nov. 4th) for some details by temporary administrator Fr. Robert Kennedy:                                

Excerpt:   “TRANSITIONING”

“Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, First of all, thank you for the warm welcome and the generous offers of assistance and support you have given me as I arrive to serve as Saint Louis parish administrator temporarily. I know the unexpected news of Father Bob Ring’s resignation as pastor caught us all off-guard and has left each one of us, myself included, with many reactions and concerns. I stand ready to assist in any way I can to make this transition time you are beginning as smooth as possible.”

“…Further, several of you have asked whether you might write to Father Bob, and of course, you may. Just send or drop off a card or letter addressed to him in care of the parish office; we will get them to the diocesan office which will send them periodically on to him. Others of you have asked about the devotion called Mary, the Undoer of Knots, that Father Bob mentioned in his letter to you all. Kathryn McAlarney has prepared an introduction to this devotion, and I draw your attention to her notice on page 8 in today’s bulletin.”

 

The reference to “Mary, Undoer of Knots” (see additional comment on this title, below the “Message”) comes from the letter Fr. Ring is reported to have sent to the St. Louis parishioners (and school parents).  We have been told that he had written the following, referencing the Gospel from Oct. 28th:

A Message from Fr. Bob:
Lord, I want to see! What better to ask? This dialogue sets the stage for one of the powerful miracles during Jesus’ earthly ministry. But it has also been preserved in the Gospels because for the earliest Christian community, and in every generation since, believers have asked that the Lord help them to see, and miraculously, Jesus does open our eyes. That is central to becoming a disciple, and living as one! Sometimes Jesus opens our eyes to see that person we have trouble forgiving is a person who is trying their best, not an enemy. Sometimes he helps us see gifts in others, or in ourselves. Often he opens our eyes to see ourselves more clearly, and discover the path we need to walk, the journey that will make us whole. He helps us to see too that the cross is a place of victory, not defeat! What a grace and miracle it is in each case!
Recently, after saying ‘Lord, I want to see!”, Jesus did answer my prayer.
Remember that book by Matthew Kelly we distributed this year at Christmas, Resisting Happiness? In chapter 5, “Life is Messy”, Matthew wrote: “The lesson I learned is that someone can look perfectly fine, but you never know what is going on inside – and everyone has something going on inside” He went on to say “Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” 
I could go on quoting chapter by chapter, because it is all so true to life. I hope you have had a chance to read it before we distribute the next Christmas book, and truly hope that it has helped open your eyes to new perspectives, new ways of seeing God, yourself and others.
In June on retreat I prayed “Lord, I want to see”, and the Lord did open my eyes to things I need to work on if I want to be the best version of myself and the best priest I can be for the people God calls me to serve. I also prayed that Mary, the undoer of knots, would untie some knots in my life. I believe both prayers are being answered, even if not as I expected or at the pace I was hoping. It appears that conquering some of my blindness will be more like the early miracle in Mark’s Gospel, rather than this one. When encountering and healing a blind man earlier in Mark’s Gospel, it was a two-stage process. After the first thing Jesus did, the man’s eyes were opened, but people looked like sticks. It took a second step for a full healing. I’m seeing the retreat in June as step one, but have come to believe more is really needed, and Mary will undo the knots, but not magically. She will help, but I have some hard work ahead if I am to take full advantage of the help she is lovingly giving.
All this is to say that I have asked Bishop Matano to grant me a temporary leave of absence, to do more serious work on the personal issues that keep me from being the pastor I truly can be if the knots are untied and the issues transformed by God’s grace. I love you, this community, and all of the people of God I have served through the years. But to give what the Lord wants me to give, I have some hard work to do.
Change is hard. Don’t believe anyone who tries to sell you shortcuts. I’m learning first hand just how hard change is. Please pray that God gives me the grace to do all that I need to do, that Mary the undoer of knots will show me the way to undo the knots that hold me back, and that the investment of time will be not only for my benefit, but especially for the lives of those God calls me to serve. Thank you for being such a gift. You can be assured of my prayers during the days ahead.

 

Mary, Undoer of Knots is, apparently, not one of the official titles of the Blessed Virgin. We have many titles to choose from in our prayer, and some refer to Sacred Scripture, some may be excerpted from litanies, and others from approved apparitions. But “Mary, Undoer of Knots” comes from a painting which happens to be a favorite of Pope Francis. Personally, I feel a bit uncomfortable with creating new “devotions” which risk misleading the laity, even if it is a private devotion of the Pope. There are plenty of valid titles of long standing by which we may address the Blessed Mother; it may be concerning when it comes from an artist, no matter how well-intentioned.

But here is more information for those who are interested further in this private devotion.

 

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5 Responses to “Diocesan Announcement re: Fr. Robert Ring (cont’d)”

  1. avatar raymondfrice says:

    “There is no allegation of sex abuse involved in this leave of absence.”

    why was this even mentioned in the announcement ??

  2. avatar Ginger says:

    raymonfrice,
    That is a very good question.
    I’m beginning to feel like dejection and Catholic are synonymous.
    The comment in the announcement would normally have been a terrible insult but these days it is meant as a pacification for all those involved including Fr. Ring.
    Sigh

  3. avatar militia says:

    The St. Louis website seems to be down.

  4. avatar Diane Harris says:

    NEW: See this weekend’s St. Louis bulletin for some details by temporary administrator Fr. Kennedy:      https://container.parishesonline.com/bulletins/06/0026/20181104B.pdf

  5. avatar raymondfrice says:

    Father Kennedy’s response seems to be like the thurible overloaded with incense which seems to be hiding the issue!! The fact is that the pastor/shepherd of one of the largest parishes and most affluent parishes in the in the diocese walks out with no advanced notice and appears to disappear.

    What is sadder yet is that our diocesan pastoral center staff do not realize the trend in the Church is for more transparency and candidness and honesty. They appear also to be following a secular business model rather than an ecclesial model.


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