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My dear friends in Christ,
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to you, but first I would like to give you some background to my appointment as your new pastor.
On August 20, 2018 Cardinal Dolan appointed me as the pastor of your parish for a term of six years effective September 15, 2018. For me, however, the story of this appointment began on Monday, July 30, 2018.
I was finishing my vacation in Florida and preparing to return to New York when Cardinal Dolan called me. (This was my first surprise!) He asked me to become the pastor of Saint John and Saint Mary in Chappaqua. I was stunned! (This was my second surprise and it was huge!)
I was surprised for two reasons. First, I had not applied for any parish, indeed, I had not even opened the e-mails announcing open parishes. The second reason for my surprise was the nature of the parish of Saint John and Saint Mary. It is often regarded as a "reward" for priests, who had served for years in one or more of the central offices of the archdiocese. I have never done so!!
Having recovered from my initial surprise, I am eagerly looking forward to joining your parish family!!
As for my background, I was born and raised in the Bronx in Our Lady of Mercy Parish and attended OLM's elementary school. This was also Msgr. Gilleece's home parish; but since he was 11 years older than I, we did not know each other until years later.
I attended Cathedral Prep, the high school seminary, and then Cathedral College in Douglaston, Queens which was the college seminary for New York, Brooklyn and Rockville Center. After four years at the North American College in Rome where I attended the Gregorian University, I returned to New York.
My first assignment as a priest was to Our Lady of Solace in the Bronx and then Saint John's in the Kingsbridge section of the Bronx. I was then assigned to the faculty of Cathedral Prep where I taught for almost 10 years. In 1994, I was appointed as pastor of Saint Denis parish in Yonkers where I served for 18 years. (This was during the time the diocese suspended the two 6-year terms or 12-year limit for pastors.) After I left Saint Denis, I was given a three- month sabbatical in Saint Patrick's Seminary, Menlo Park California which was a wonderful experience. After I returned from California, I was asked to help at Saint Patrick's in Verplanck and then at Saint Charles Borromeo in Gardiner because the pastors were recuperating.
In 2012, I was assigned as pastor of Saint Joseph's in New Rochelle and then in 2015 to be the pastor of the newly merged parish of Saint Gabriel and Saint Joseph. This is where I expected to remain until I received that phone call on July 30, 2018.
While my official start date at Saint John and Saint Mary is for September 15, 2018, I may or may not yet be in-residence at the rectory. A pastor has yet to be appointed to replace me; and therefore, my move in date is still up in the air.
Again, I am looking forward to meeting each of you and together, we will build up the kingdom of God.
Sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Edward O’Halloran
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