This is a very heartfelt letter that was written by regular visitors at St Isabel’s Church. Parishioners as well as our visitors are hurting because of the Bishops thoughtless actions.
It has been such a loss to us this year when we visited Sanibel Island — to not have Fr. Senk here at the parish of St Isabel has been difficult for us. Fr. Senk was a good priest and good person and his homilies were very inspiring ..from his heart …we looked forward to coming back to Sanibel Island for 4-6 weeks and attending mass during the week and on the weekends and joining the community at times for social events, scripture classes, stations of the cross after morning mass and different fund raising charity events that were had here.
Many parishioners were friendly to us when we saw them …just in greeting us and we were aware of the spirit in the parish that was encouraged by the friendly and warm hearted, kind pastor.
Fr Senk was always welcoming to us and when we were leaving for the season we always took time to thank him for his good homilies and humor and tell him how we hopefully were well enough to come back again next year! We hoped that he would be well enough to be here also since he suffered with severe arthritis.
We really did miss the parish and Fr. Senk’s ‘talks’ until we returned the following year. We definitely missed him and his knowledgeable, spiritual homilies this year. We have missed the music also. But we are not here and we pray for Fr. Senk to find the peace that we believe he deserves and that no clouds or shadows of anything bad hangs over him. It seemed evident this year when we were here that there is something missing… and that must be Fr Senk!
It seems ‘ unfair’ to us that he isn’t being treated the way we think he deserves to be treated. If someone is found innocent under the law he should not be punished further. If someone chose to give a priest a gift — that is their business. We have given some priests who we appreciated some gifts and we are glad we are able to do that from time to time. I assume some have given the Bishops gifts too??
Bishops are supposed to be very special people as stated in a recent book by Pope Francis. If this Bishop doesn’t recognize the legal findings of innocence in this matter— that does bother me. It seems he is closing his eyes to some part of this matter for his own reasons which I do not understand or know.
(Pope Francis said: We need a bishop who ‘sees us with the fullness of Gods heart’). I hope this bishop is looking at this matter with the fullness of Gods heart. Fr. Christopher has many good qualities that help the people live better lives. We always went back home renewed to work and pray and with the thoughts about how lucky the people of St Isabel were to have such a pastor as Fr. Christopher Senk.
May God bless him and the people of this parish. We are sorry you have suffered unnecessarily. We know that Fr.Senk is an honest man and that this parish can rise to support him as best able. Have courage. What would Jesus do?
It is our hope that Fr. Christopher be treated with respect and appreciation for all the good qualities he has shown us these past many years when joining the St Isabelle community for our time to worship and of growth as good practicing Catholics in the Catholic faith while here on the island. He has been a great gift to us and I am sure he doesn’t seek anything in return for all he does.
It is with sadness that we leave this week and have not had the spiritual insights and sharing’s of this fine person and very special kind of priest. We hope that is resolved soon for the good of Father and for the good of this parish.