Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ:
In accord with Church policy, on May 18, 2012 as I turn 75, I am sending my resignation as the Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of San Angelo to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. What will happen after that? How soon will it happen? These are questions that will be answered eventually by our Holy Father. I do know this, that some time in the future – soon or maybe a little later — a new bishop will be named for the Diocese of San Angelo.
As I await our Holy Father’s reply, I will continue to serve you to the best of my ability as your Bishop, and pray daily for all of you. As the future is somewhat cloudy, I will be writing less for the West Texas Angelus, and reviewing which pastoral commitments for our communities I can accept as we await word from the Holy Spirit through Pope Benedict.
Already, I encourage all the people of our diocese to pray for the bishop who will come after me, and once the new bishop has been appointed, give him your abundant prayers and full, entire support. This is a time to look to the future, and to ask Jesus our Good Shepherd to guide us as we march into the future with a new shepherd.
Please continue to pray for our diocese each day and to pray for me, your servant. What the future holds for me is still uncertain. I trust the good Lord will guide me as the good Lord has guided me throughout my priestly and Episcopal service. I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know whose hands hold the future and that is enough for me.
So, don’t look back to the past, look forward. If we reflect on the past, let us do so with a spirit of gratitude and appreciation for God’s many graces and blessings that we have received through the years of being a diocese. And, as we look to the future, let’s look ahead with much confidence, hope, and trust knowing that our God who has been good and gracious in the past will bestow loving care upon us as we strive to be God’s children and disciples of His Son, Jesus Christ, following the example of Mary. Once a more definite date has been given about the future, I will let you know so there will be time to offer a Mass of gratitude. Thank you for your support and prayers over the past 27 years. God’s peace.
Your servant in Christ and Mary,
Most Rev. Michael D. Pfeifer, OMI
Bishop of San Angelo