A Letter from Our Pastor

Posted on April 19, 2021 Under Parish News

I have good news to share with you!

The first and most important is the news from the Bishop’s Office, namely, Bishop Edward Malesic is appointing The Reverend John C. Retar to be the next Pastor of St. Vitus Parish. To this we say, “Thank you, Bp. Malesic, for sending Fr. Retar our way!” And to Father Retar, “Thank you for accepting the assignment to our parish. We welcome you with open arms.”

Father John Retar hails from St. Mary’s Parish in Collin­wood, though he proudly acknowledges that many years ago on coming to this country, his grandparents first set­tled in the St. Clair Slovenian community and St. Vitus Parish. Eventually, St. Mary’s became their home parish where they raised their family. Father John was ordained to the priesthood in 2003 and celebrated his First Mass at St. Mary’s Parish. Following the ordination, Father served in parishes as an associate pastor and for the last 11 years as Pastor of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini Parish in Lorain. Three years ago, because of a shortage of priests, Bishop Perez also asked Father to take on pastoring St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Lorain. Providentially for him and for us, Father John often accompanied his parents to the St. Anne’s Lodge #4 AMLA meetings in the St. Vitus Village and would come over to the parish house for lunches. Do not let anyone say that God doesn’t work in mysterious ways! Fr. Retar’s new appointment takes effect on July 1, 2021.

The second news is really the flip side of the first, namely, the new pastor arrives, and the former paster departs. There is no other way to describe an event which necessarily hap­pens sooner or later to everyone, including Priests, Bishops, and even Popes. I am ready for this change in my life. Back in March, in meeting with Bishop Malesic, I told the bishop how grateful I am for having been able to serve our parish­ioners these many years. I feel that I have grown into the lives of our parishioners and they into my life. It couldn’t be more beautiful and satisfying than what I am feeling at this stage of my life. I have experienced God’s blessings in measures far beyond anything I could have hoped for or dared to ask. Consequently, I leave St. Vitus Parish totally blessed in everything and most grateful that Bishop Malesic is sending one of the best priests in the Diocese as the seventh Pastor of St. Vitus Parish. I told Fr. Retar that our parishioners will welcome him with open arms, and he will surely become a blessing for everyone. Father and I will change places in the week before July 1st.

–Rev. Joseph P. Božnar

This letter was originally published in the weekly bulletin, for the week of April 18, 2021.