December 17, 2023

Third Sunday of Advent

I wish to offer my heartfelt gratitude to ALL who came to celebrate with me a Mass of thanksgiving for my 35th anniversary of ordination last Sunday, December 10.

The presence of the Bishop, of many brother priests, relatives, friends and dear parishioners has made the day very special.  I thank God for all of you.

I recall the memory of my parents, Alfredo and Fe Manrique, my aunt Gloria Reyes, who were present then, and are now celebrating the divine Liturgy in heaven.  I also recall the pastors under whom I served, Fr. Leonard W. Bose (St. Lucy), Msgr. John G. Sandersfeld (Most Holy Trinity), Msgr. John J. Sweeney (Our Lady of Peace), Fr. Charles F. Dougherty (St. John the Baptist), who all have gone to the Lord.  I thank Fr. Robert Moran (Most Holy Trinity) and Fr. Warwick James (St. Lawrence the Martyr).

I also recall with gratitude the memory of Bishop Pierre DuMaine who ordained me and Bishop Patrick J. McGrath, our second bishop, who sent me away to study canon law in Rome.

I also wish to thank the many volunteers, staff, and donors who helped with the reception after the Mass.

My heart is full of gratitude to all of you.  As the Blessed Mother says in her song of praise:  “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord.  My spirit rejoices in God my Savior.  For He has done great things for me.  And holy is His name.”

Once again, thank you to all of you.  May God bless you all.



Monsignor Willie