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Dear Father Peter,

Difficult to believe four years have gone by so rapidly. And yet in that relatively brief period, you have made an immensely positive impact on our parish (at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church.) Far too seldom is deserved appreciation formally communicated and good works praised. In that spirit as the day of your departure draws near, we wanted to express gratitude for your many contributions to St. John the Apostle Parish. Several examples typify your good work:

Soon after your arrival in 2015, you activated the pastoral council, finance committee and maintenance committee after long dormant periods. The transparency you championed has boosted morale and restored trust within our parish.

You have actively promoted and supported improvement efforts within the parish. Badly needed repairs/maintenance that were previously languishing have been expeditiously addressed in our church including repair of leaking windows (with resultant resolution of mold contamination), improved lighting and audio systems and a new state-of-the-art security system. Much-needed maintenance and cleaning in the parish rectory has been implemented and it has never looked better.

In addition, your enthusiastic support has been critical in encouraging planning efforts in the parish, culminating in construction of a new parking lot adjacent to the church and demolition of a significant portion of the dilapidated apartment building with recent completion of a new storage facility. Our campus is in much better shape now than when you arrived here.

Your leadership efforts have been instrumental in enhancing involvement of our Hispanic brethren in the activities of our parish. For example, Hispanics have contributed substantially to confirmation and First Communion celebrations, are represented on our parish council and regularly participate in our weekly socials following Sunday Mass. You have moved us closer to being a truly unified parish family under God.

Through your energetic outreach efforts in our community (including city officials, Russell Medial and community clergy), St John’s has become much better integrated into and respected in Alexander City.

Perhaps most importantly, you have consistently exhibited true respect and love for your parishioners. You repeatedly have extended yourself to publicly recognize and applaud contributions of members of our parish. Birthdays, anniversaries and special recognitions are routinely celebrated. Your compassion for hardships, suffering and losses experienced by members of our church has been abundantly evident and has endeared you to our members.

In closing, these are but a few examples of your leadership at St John’s. Collectively, these efforts have served to promote and enhance spiritual unity within our parish for which we can all be grateful to you. And so as you prepare to depart, may God continue to bless your spiritual journey. You will be missed.

Pastoral Council of St. John the Apostle Church

Alexander City