This warm summer evening at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, the community gathered to witness a change within their Parish. Fr. Christopher Fitzgerald retired as pastor after 24 years of service to the community and the Church. We were overjoyed to witness the installation of the new pastor, Fr. Michael O’Neill. We had the blessed opportunity to welcome to St Francis, Fr. Martin Madavana as the new Rosminian Parochial Vicar. Fr. Madavana just arrived a few weeks ago from Kerala, India, which is located on the Malabar Coast of Southwest India.
The community would like to thank Fr. Christopher Fitzgerald for his many years of service.
He helped us during the good times and the bad times and baptized many babies. Father bid farewell to members of our church that passed and married many couples in holy matrimony. And even the homeless have a warm place in their hearts for his blessings in preparation to feed them each Wednesday. A most interesting blessing took place October 2010 when Father Chris blessed the animals within the community in honor of “St Francis of Assisi”, the Patron Saint of Animals.
Fr. Christopher Fitzgerald, was born on January 3rd, 1932, in Ballyporeen in County Tipperary, Ireland. He is the youngest of 11 children. He attended Presentation College under the direction of the Irish Christian Brothers. Then he attended University of St. John Lateran in Rome, Italy. Father Chris was ordained into priesthood on December 7, 1958 and later assigned to Florida.
In 1987 Father Chris was given a very special assignment from the Bishop of the Diocese of St Petersburg, to start a new parish within “Eastern Hillsborough County Florida.” At that time the property where the church now stands used to be full of orange groves and now bears wonderful “Green Oaks”.
With Fr. Christopher Fitzgerald’s retirement he will continue his services as Pastor Emeritus, which means retired pastor. He will assist Fr. Michael O’Neill our new Pastor, and our newest member of St Francis of Assisi, Fr. Martin Madavana with the daily Mass and the operation of Saint Francis of Assisi.
At this time the community would like to also thank Deacon Dick Beaudry and Deacon Jerry Thomas and all the faculty and staff for their service at the parish of St Francis of Assisi in Seffner, Florida.
St Francis of Assisi is always welcoming new parishioners. They presently are forming a Youth Group and Religious Education classes, grades Kindergarten thru 12th for this upcoming 2011/2012 school year.
For additional information on these programs and many more please call St Francis of Assisi in Seffner at 813-681-9115 or view hyperlink website included in this article.
Submitted by Anita Reino, Yahoo Contributor AP