2020 will certainly go down in history as a most unusual year. Who, other than God, would have had the clairvoyance of a 20/20 vision as to what would take place this year? The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused us to re-evaluate many of our perspectives in life and to try some very new and interesting means of accomplishing those same “tried and true” goals. It also has shown us just how important our outlook on life itself actually affects our day-to-day activities and objectives. The national elections will take place in the midst of much political and civil turmoil, and its ultimate outcome probably will determine the direction where our nation will go over the next several years and even generations. Life is full of surprises.

To localize more what I mean about the unexpected, here at St. Vincent Ferrer, we learned the news this past week that our beloved parish school Principal, Mrs. M. Vikki Delgado, will retire next month (October 30) after serving our school for over 20 years – twelve of them as one of the most capable principals with whom I’ve had contact. The announcement may come as a shock to you, but has been in the works since this past March, when, all of a sudden we witnessed the closing down of our churches and schools because of the pandemic. Seeing this, Mrs. Delgado then asked to stay longer than expected in order to help bring about as smooth a transition as possible. This is typical of her good heartedness and generosity.

She has done a superb job being in charge of our school family at a difficult time in the history of our parish, taking over the reins building up the academic program, broadening the scope and vision of our programs and encouraging our students to strive for the very best possibilities in life, including the ultimate goal of making it to heaven. Her valuable  expertise in the fields of music, the arts and education has enabled us to open our doors to more students from diverse economic, religious and social backgrounds. Her cooperation in helping us to update and expand our school was crowned with the opening of our new school addition a year ago and the modernizing our existing facilities. None of this would have been possible without the enthusiasm, drive, care and energy she exhibits in all things that she undertakes for the benefit of our students and parish family. She now deserves the respected title of Principal Emerita.

Now, I hope, she will be able to breathe a sigh of relief as she passes on the mantle of leading our school to achieve further and newer accomplishments. Her retirement doesn’t mean just a life of leisure; nor that she will abandon her connections with her Viking past; but, as a long-time parishioner, she will continue her parish involvement (along with her husband, Dr. Juan) and be seen from time-to-time at our church and school functions and serve in advisory and other capacities for the betterment of our parish and the growth of the Body of Christ. We will be planning, in the near future, to hold some form of public recognition in order to honor her for her years of service here (to be planned soon because of the topsy-turvy situation in which we find ourself due to the social distancing we are still observing).

In view of all this, and to keep the continuity, I am happy to appoint a very capable successor to Mrs. Delgado in the person of Mrs. Denise O’Loughlin, currently serving as Assistant Principal. She will have big shoes to fill (but she has already been trying them on for size this past year!).

Thank you, Mrs. Delgado, for your inspiration and encouragement. Thank you for sharing your many gifts and talents with us. Now enjoy a well-earned and well-deserved retirement!

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   This Sunday, October 4th, is RESPECT LIFE SUNDAY. Please join Father Danis, our Sisters, a number of the faithful and me for one hour of silent prayer and public WITNESS FOR LIFE from 2 to 3 p.m. in the annual Respect Life LIFE CHAIN, held on the corners of U.S. 1 and Linton Blvd.

We gather in the parking lot of Carrabba’s and then go out to man the four corners with our rosaries, signs and good will to alert passing drivers and pedestrians of the need to speak up on the defense on unborn human life in the womb. We are in a critical year with an historical Election Day just one month away. We need you to help express our Christian support for life. No political or partisan signs or displays will be allowed. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked his first disciples, “Could you not watch for just one hour with Me?” (Matthew 26:40).

Is it such a difficult sacrifice to give up one hour of our time once during a whole year? Yes, we’d like to stay home, relax, go to the beach, do shopping or something else instead. The devil will entice us to forget a little about prayer and sacrifice, but isn’t the defense and promotion of human life worth it? Come, join us in fellowship, prayer and witness for only ONE HOUR!!

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The annual BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS, in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, will be this coming Monday, October 4th, at 8:00 a.m., on the parish school playing field. An additional time will be that evening at 7:00 pm, same place. Bring Fido, Kittie, Kermit or any other pet or animal you want blessed (and any necessary clean-up equipment needed to keep the field clean).