LAKEPORT, Calif. – This Sunday’s special liturgy of leave taking and thanksgiving for shared ministry at St. John’s Episcopal Church will mark the retirement of Fr. Leo M. Joseph, O.S.F., from his position of priest in charge at the church.
All are welcome to the 10 a.m. service at 1190 N. Forbes St., Lakeport.
A native of New York, Joseph entered a Mariavite Old Catholic Franciscan religious order in New York City in 1970 and received his Franciscan habit two years later.
He was received into the Episcopal Church as a life professed religious in 1995 and then as a priest in 1997.
“I wish to thank all of you for the opportunity to serve with you this past five (almost!) years in this portion of God’s vineyard,” said Joseph as he addressed the vestry in their last meeting together, “and for your love and support in this our shared ministry in Christ to God’s beloved children.
“I also thank Hospice Services of Lake County for their excellent care of my every need, making it possible for me to continue this ministry so long into my illness,” he said.
“In all of this, it gives me great comfort and joy to turn over my responsibility to a team of lay leaders so willing and prepared to take on this leadership role once again,” Joseph added.
For the past three and a half years, Joseph has been living with an incurable cancer. Originally given three months to live, he has been in the loving care of Hospice Services of Lake County.
Now as one of their longest-lived patients, Hospice has enabled Joseph to continue to minister to his devoted parishioners, despite his increasing disability.
St. John’s is the presence and ministry of The Episcopal Church in Lake County since 1877.
For more information, see www.saintjohnslakeport.org .