Thank you and farewell, Fr. Jose!

Dear Friends of St. Pius V Parish,

It is with both sadness and hope that I share with you the news that I finish my ministry at St. Pius V as pastor on June 30, 2018.

It has been a privilege to serve this faith community for the last three years, especially since this is the neighborhood and parish where I grew up. I celebrated my First Communion and Confirmation here and served this parish as a deacon before I was ordained a priest.

Five years ago, when I was teaching at our Province’s school of theology in St. Louis, the Master of the Order (the head of the Dominicans worldwide) asked me to consider ministering in Puerto Rico. I stated that it wasn’t a good time then because I was the only Dominican priest from our Province teaching full-time in our own school.

In the last year, the Master of the Order presented Puerto Rico as one of the five priorities of need within the Dominican world order. When I was asked again to serve there I felt that I couldn’t refuse. I was invited to apply for the position of Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Humanities at the University of Central Bayamon in Puerto Rico. I was interviewed for the position, was hired, and begin on July 1 of this year.

It has been a great honor and privilege to minister to the people of St. Pius V as pastor. I am also deeply grateful to the many friends of the parish who have supported our mission through prayers, donations, and volunteer hours.
With the support of so many, these last three years have been fruitful.

We developed ministries for older adults, established an active liturgy committee, enhanced our religious education and sacramental preparation programs, revamped our fundraising events, and supported our young people in starting a youth group.

The parish completed several major maintenance and capital improvements inside and outside of the church, the parish hall, the school and office buildings, and the Casa Juan Diego building.

Even as I look forward to the next chapter in my priestly ministry, I know I will miss the good people of St. Pius V. I continue to pray for you individually and as a parish family and ask for your prayers for me.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. José M. Santiago, OP