Farewell, and Thank You
I first set foot in Newman in late 1978. I had just moved to the East Bay from Colorado, having started a job with a “Big Eight” accounting firm in San Francisco. I had been active in the Newman Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where I’d recently received my degree. I was looking for a spiritual home and community.
What I found in Newman was that and more. In my 40+ years I’ve been most consistently a member of the choir – I think I’ve outlasted at least five choir directors! I’ve also at various times served on the Parish Council and Finance Committee, and have helped with the refugee ministry, Rebuilding Together, church clean ups, and more social events than I can count. My two wonderful daughters have been Newmanites from birth, having gone to Little Church and CCD, been baptized and received first communion, and been members of the choir at various times themselves.
And now it is time for me to move on. The company I work for opened an office in Denver a year ago, and they have asked me to move there. It is a homecoming of sorts for me – my brother lives in Boulder, my sister in the town in Southwest Colorado where I grew up. My younger daughter has already moved to Colorado with her fiancée. I know that when I get there I will find a new spiritual community, and music groups to sing with, and friends. And I will come back to visit!
But I will also miss all of you terribly. I will miss the energy and spirit of the students. I will miss the wisdom and ideals of the “old timers”. I will miss the inspired and inspiring preaching of the Paulists. I will miss the blessings in the smiles of the ministers when I receive Communion. I will miss hearing Jim Roth and Colleen playing heavenly duets before and during mass. And I will miss the choir – who have been friend and family and inspiration to me and my daughters for so long.
You all have seen us through joy and tears, through exhaustion and tragedy and “mountaintop” experiences. And there have been times when I have been on the risers singing, and I look at the congregation and my fellow choir members, and I am overwhelmed by beauty and fellowship – and I’ve thought “This is what Heaven must be like”.
“Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place – I can feel His mighty power and grace.
I can hear the brush of angel wings – I see glory on each face.
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place”.
Thank you all.
– Mary Ann Fake