St. Patrick’s Catholic Church priest on leaving parish: ‘I’m go - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church priest on leaving parish: ‘I’m going to miss you guys. I love you.’

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Father Vaverek in Longview will take over Father Francis' duties on August 1 (Source: KTRE Staff) Father Vaverek in Longview will take over Father Francis' duties on August 1 (Source: KTRE Staff)
Father Francis says he will miss the community at St. Patrick's (Source: KTRE Staff) Father Francis says he will miss the community at St. Patrick's (Source: KTRE Staff)
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) -

St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Lufkin announced over the weekend that Father Francis O’Dowd will be leaving the parish by the end of the month.

O’Dowd has lead the parish for the past four years and said the move comes after the Bishop decided he needed a change.

“The Bishop, and his wisdom, decided that I needed some place else and is sending another priest here who is vastly experienced in the parish work and school life, as well. The new priest, who will be coming here, is Father Gavin Vaverek who is the present pastor of St. Mary’s in Longview and school, as well. He’s keeping the school identity very strong,” O’Dowd said.

O’Dowd will be leaving the church to take on new duties at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Daingerfield, Texas, which is two hours north of Lufkin. He begins his new position on August 1.

“I’m going to miss you guys, and I love you. Keep me in your prayers, and I’ll keep you in my prayers. May the Lord rise to meet you and may the wind be at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face and rains fall gently upon your fields until we all meet again,” O’Dowd said.

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