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A Special Announcement From Father Davis

As we find ourselves now in the First Communion season, the approach of the month of June, and the end of yet another successful school year, I again take time to reflect and take stock of the year that has gone by so quickly. Already approaching the completion of eight years (two presidential terms!) as the Pastor of the Church of the Little Flower, I have much for which to be thankful. Together, we have accomplished so many things to the glory of God!

Whether it has been the experience of our beautiful liturgies, our vibrant array of active ministries and services, the development of a wonderful professional staff, an impressive international group a devoted priests that make up a very healthy parish rectory, the enhancement of our community and its devotional life, our Healing Masses and pilgrimages, the fiscal health of the over-all parish and school operations, the hosting and training of seminarians for future priestly ministry, the creativity in our print and social media initiatives, and the all-consuming care for the patrimony of the parish, there has, indeed, been much accomplished in relative short order.

This year in the Archdiocese of Miami, with the retirement of several pastors as well as the unanticipated deaths of a couple of our diocesan priests, the priest personnel situation in our South Florida Catholic parishes is quite acute. For the past seven years I have worked closely with Archbishop Wenski, as a member of his Priest Personnel Board, and I know first-hand the slots to be filled and the extensive needs of our Archdiocese. Our priests throughout South Florida have been called upon time and time again to flexibly respond to the pastoral demands of a church ever in need. This coming June will be no different. Many assignment changes for priests will take place, all with a view to best serve the uniqueness of our many parishes and their great cultural diversity. Knowing of the Archbishop’s exemplary concern for the care of souls, I made myself available, ready to assist, even ready to move. To be honest, I love change; I love challenge, and I love the Church no matter where it is manifest. With this in mind, when presented with the needs of a larger parish than ours, and when asked if I were willing to assume those responsibilities, I naturally told the Archbishop “yes.”

Recently, this conversation has become reality with the announcement of my transfer to become the new Pastor of Saint Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Plantation, Broward County, Florida, effective June 15th. A quick transition will soon be underway for me and for our parish.

As I share this news with you, mixed emotions fill my heart. In so many ways, I have loved being your Pastor here at Little Flower. You have made me feel like a bishop in my own cathedral! Yet, it is part of my priestly DNA to be a man of the Church, to look at the broader picture of the Kingdom of God, and to forge ahead on the spiritual journey of following Jesus. It has been my joy to serve you; and it will now be my joy to serve the good people of Saint Gregory, as I have done in all of my previous 11 assignments over my 29 years as a priest.

A fine new Pastor for Little Flower has been chosen. For the first time in parish history, a priest of Cuban-American heritage will take on the leadership of our very vibrant church. Father Manny Alvarez, the current Pastor of Immaculate Conception in Hialeah, will become the new Pastor at Little Flower, effective June 15th. I think you will be very pleased, and well taken care of too!

For the sake of planning, my own farewell Mass will be on Sunday, June 9th at 10:30am, followed by a reception in Comber Hall. Let us rejoice in all that God has done among us, as a new chapter dawns.

Father Davis