Dear Editor: Our outgoing priest, Father William G. Smith became our parish priest when St. Pascal Baylon (SPB) and St. Catherine of Sienna (SCS) parishes were merged in 2008.
He swung his leadership skills into action and this resulted in a smooth merger as the two parishes soon became one united parish of Our Lady of Light (OLOL), St. Albans. It is acclaimed to be one of the most successful mergers of all time.
He quickly weighed in to battle an enterprise that, prior to his arrival, had usurped and commercialized some church property.
The legal tussle ended few years later and the property reverted to the church.
Father Smith affirms that the Church must not insulate itself from surrounding communities; rather, the Church must impact and animate her community positively. He reached out to other churches of St. Albans and Jamaica to strengthen EQUAL. This is a social/community service organization that works together with other CBOs to improve the lives of the communities. EQUAL deals with such issues as crime reduction, flood containment, urban blight, fight for social justice, etc.
He gave solid support to lay associations, inaugurated new ones, and revamped the churches. He leaves OLOL with a very vibrant youth ministry. Spirituality at OLOL is at an all-time high and our Masses and activities are thrillers. Just come and see!
Father Smith pushed hard for conversion of the closed primary school of SCS to Riverton Street Charter School which is now an asset to OLOL. It is the most coveted charter school in the vicinity.
Father Smith is a rare and humble pastor with missionary vision! His administrative initiatives resulted in the current vibrancy and solvency of OLOL parish.
He will leave the parish for his new assignment on June 25.
We wish him well in his new assignment and may God lead him to even greater heights in his vocation.