A New Associate!

Greetings from Mundelein, Illinois! I am here (at the time of this writing) at Mundelein Seminary for the week.  Archbishop Vigneron asked me, a couple of years ago, if I would study to be a spiritual director.  He has sent myself, and two other priests from the archdiocese, to study to be spiritual directors for priests.  It is a three-year course (three separate weeks every year) and this week begins my third year.  There are 90 priests present from around the country and it has been a real blessing to study and, as another priest said in a group setting, the experience has been “like being ordained again!”  Cardinal George Mundelein had this seminary built and the city was renamed (formerly known as Area) after the Cardinal who, then, purchased a fire truck, “Old #1”, in 1925 for the village, which the city proudly had restored.  …FYI!

Before I left for Mundelein, I received a call that the archdiocese has assigned Fr. Greg Piatt as associate pastor for St. Anastasia, beginning July 1, 2016. We will, again, have two associate pastors at our parish.

Fr. Greg Piatt is a later vocation priest, who was ordained two years ago. Prior to entering the seminary, Fr. Greg, who grew up in Warren and was an award-winning journalist.  He began his journalism career in the early 1980s at The Detroit News, where he worked in Sports, News and in the Graphics departments.

In the late 1980s, Fr. Greg studied Polish at WSU and won a scholarship to study the Polish language, Culture and the media at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. After his studies were completed, the university offered Fr. Greg a teaching position in its newly formed Teacher’s College of English, where he taught writing and literature.  Fr. Greg returned to journalism in Poland and reported as Reuters News Agency’s southern Poland correspondent until 1995. He was the Christian Science Monitor’s Poland correspondent in 1996. While in Poland, Fr. Greg landed a bit part in Schindler’s List.

He returned to Michigan for a little bit, but found himself reporting overseas again for the European Stars and Stripes as the newspaper’s NATO bureau chief in Brussels, Belgium.  For Stripes, Fr. Greg covered wars or peacekeeping missions in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan.  He left Stripes before the start of the 2003 Iraq War and landed in Florida. The Florida Times Union in Jacksonville hired Fr. Greg as their military correspondent and then sent him to cover the war there. He also reported from the Middle East and from Central and South America on the drug wars there.

As we wait for Fr. Piatt to be a part of our parish family, please pray for him during his transition from St. James in Novi.  I am sure that you will welcome, warmly, Fr. Greg as you have been so welcoming to me!

Show Know Mercy!

(Don’t forget to attend “Come, Encounter Christ at St. Ephrem in Sterling Heights this Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:00 pm!)