03-12-2023Pastor's LetterFr. John Bonavitacola

Dear Friends,

The Beatles chimed out, “You say goodbye and I say hello’. So, I’ll start with the ‘goodbye’ and move on to the ‘hello’.

Our Director of Pastoral Care, Whitney Lynch, who has served us well for the past many years has moved on to a new position with the Diocese of Phoenix. Which makes me conflicted…good for them not so much for us. Whitney had a unique skill set that suited our Parish and its demographic perfectly. Add to that a very generous personality and vibrant faith, and she was just, sort of like Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way!

Whitney will be working with the Marriage and Family Office for the Diocese, specifically as a Natural Family Planning Instructor. (And no for all you more seasoned members, NFP is not the Rhythm Method. It is scientifically based and theologically sound way of regulating childbirth. And when followed correctly is 99% effective.) The addition of NFP to our Marriage Preparation Process has greatly increased the numbers of happy marriages, lessened divorce rates by helping couples to understand the gift of human fertility and the challenges that human sexuality present in a marriage. As is so often the case, problems that start in the bedroom soon spread to the entire house. Whitney will be a great resource for our engaged couples going through Marriage Preparation and a gift to the larger Church in the Diocese.

And now we say “hello” to our new Director of Pastoral Care, Fernando Gomez. Fernando, born in Mexico, migrated with his family to the US in the 1980’s. He attended the University of Arizona (he’ a Wildcat but nobody’s perfect). He worked in communications with Telemundo and NBC before moving to the non-profit world and working with the Cesar Chavez Foundation and then the Boy Scouts of America. He then transited to Parish based ministry at St. Patrick’s in Scottsdale and then he assisted with our Diocesan “Let Us Go Forth Capital Campaign” and finally at the Catholic Community Foundation. He has also been part of the Cursillo Movement and the Tepeyac Leadership Initiative in the Diocese of Phoenix. He and his wife, Dominga have been married for 20yrs and have four children.

I hope that you will receive Fernando with open arms and help him as he learns the details of his new position as Director of Pastoral Care. Like Whitney, Fernando has a unique skill set and diverse experience that he brings with him, and I am confident that he will enrich our Parish and be a good steward and gentle servant to our Parish.

Love, Fr. John B.