Dear Faculty and Staff of Sts. Joseph and John School:

I wanted to take this opportunity to share some news with you. I have already shared this with the St. Joseph Parish Staff and shared this with the parishioners of St. Joseph Parish last weekend, but I wanted you to hear this news directly from me.

As I approach the 17th anniversary of my priestly ordination Saturday, the time has come for me to begin a new season in my priesthood. Just after our Principal Search Committee began its work, Bishop Malesic asked me to come downtown and discuss a change in an assignment. During our meeting, he invited me to consider a role in the administration of the Diocese of Cleveland. I have accepted his invitation and will become the Assistant Secretary and Vicar for Clergy next month, in addition to my ministry at St. Joseph. Sometime later this year or early next, I will move from St. Joseph to assume the full-time ministry of and become the Secretary and Vicar for Clergy.

While I was caught off guard by his call, which was nowhere on my radar screen, I remain humbled, honored, and even excited by his invitation. Make no mistake, there is sadness in leaving our school and parish communities. There is something very special and unique about a parish with a school. As I move, I recall the words of Bishop Pilla throughout my years of seminary training – that we – as seminarians – were being ordained for the service of the Diocese of Cleveland, not one specific parish, area, nor specific type of ministry, but service to the Diocese of Cleveland. After growing up here in Strongsville, I never imagined that I would have served here and even considered my application to become pastor at St. Joseph a long shot because I did grow up here, but I have had the blessing of being here now for nearly 12 years.

I thank you for your own ministry and work over these years. We may not have always seen eye-to-eye, but I have always labored to do my best, just as I know you have done, too. You are talented and dedicated. I am grateful to those whom I have come to know well and wish each of you all the best in the years ahead. While I will assume my additional duties and begin this time of ministerial transition next month, my ministry here will not end here until later this or early next and likely into next school year, so we will have time to formally say farewell. In the meantime, I ask for your prayers and I assure you of mine for you and for our school community!

All my best,

Fr. Joe