Fond Farewells, Warm Welcomes!
It is always difficult, in any walk of life, whether parish community of faith or a business, to say goodbye to exemplary people who have given so much of themselves and impacted so many families as they shared their God-given gifts. Over the next couple weeks, our St. Genevieve Parish family will bid farewell to three special people – retiring SGS kindergarten teacher extraordinaire Donna Reifsnyder, Andrew Puntel and Guna Pantele — who will leave huge footprints behind them on their final days.
As many of you know, Andrew and Guna will sing and play and lead our fabulous choir at their last
St. Genevieve Sunday Mass next week at the 10:30 on Pentecost, with a reception to follow. Andrew, St. Gen’s Director of Music Ministry since 2010, informed me over a month ago that he felt it was time for him to decrease his workload and step down from his director position in order to spend more time with his courageous wife, Guna, and their growing, talented children. I asked Andrew to share some thoughts as he and Guna prepare to depart. His beautiful words of gratitude are on this page, and I thank him for doing so. Andrew has accepted a position to be a part-time organist – with far less responsibility and time demands – at St. John Neumann Parish in Bryn Mawr, where my
St. Gen’s predecessor, Msgr. Matz is pastor. With Andrew’s move to SJN, we will miss Guna’s dedicated ministry as Children’s Choir Director, Musician and Sunday cantor. May the Puntels enjoy their newfound family time together. They know they are always welcome here and I have been truly blessed to experience their musical and vocal gifts in my two years as pastor.
At the end of the month, Praise God, we will formally welcome Vince DiFrancesco as Andrew’s successor as Music Director here at St. Gen’s. Vince is one of the most respected and brightest young vocal and musical talents (32) in the Archdiocese, who joins us after seven years as Director of Music Ministry at St. Dominic’s Parish in NE Phila. As we bid farewell to two great ones, Andrew and Guna, I give thanks that God has sent us another great one to carry on the best music ministry in the region.
I pray that Sister Theresa, our legendary SGS principal, will be similarly blessed in her search for the next
Donna Reifsnyder, whose 30-plus years shaping young lives at St. Gen’s, will end on June 14. St. Gen’s, I pray, will always be home for Donna, as well. Please see
Sr. Theresa’s words about Donna in this bulletin and keep her in your prayers for a happy and healthy “retirement.”
Finally, I’m also happy to announce that
Mrs. Patricia Coady, a longtime volunteer catechist in our PREP program, will succeed Joan Dierkes as our new Coordinator of Religious Education. Trish’s dedication to our Sunday parish PREP program is perhaps best exhibited by her stepping away from a fulltime career to teach the faith and help form our youth in their Catholic education, carrying on all that Mrs. Dierkes and our devoted catechist staff built here at St. Gen’s.
I know our SGS 8th graders can hear it, can you? Tick…tick…tick, summer is coming!
God Bless you all! Father Kevin