This past July 15th, Fr. Youssef Keikati left for Lebanon. He was assigned as a pastor of a church and principal of a school of one thousand students. It is time for me to be reassigned by my superior the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. The six-plus-six years of service at St. Thomas More Church as your pastor has been a time of grace for me. I loved you all and will love you always and will keep you in my heart and in my prayers. Please pray for me.

Obedience calls me, and I want to obey as a soldier called to service, leaving, with love and respect, everything behind. I have been on sick leave. Dear Fr. Bernard Poggi has done a great job during my illness. With dear Canon Andrew Johnson, he served you with great devotion. When I was allowed to return to the rectory following hospitalizations during my sick leave, I was honored to continue to serve you at the confessional, helping the different ethnic groups in their respective languages. I said Masses and did some ministries.

A new pastor will be assigned soon by our beloved Archbishop Salvator Cordoleone. Please receive the new pastor with love and respect. He is coming to serve you in the name of Jesus and perform miracles for you in the Holy Eucharist when he will be giving you the Real Presence of our Lord. Please love him, support him, serve him, and continue to build this church that we refer to as “One Church, One Family,” adding with Fr. Bernard, “One Bread.”

Please support our candidate for the priesthood, Ben Rosato, who is presently at St. Patrick’s Seminary. Please support the many candidates from St. Thomas More Church to the diaconate. With our new deacons, new pastor, and priests, you will be in very good hands. With love to each one of you, I would like to say good-bye with great love and respect.

Let us keep each other in prayer.

Abouna Labib Kobti