WILMINGTON, Del. — William McIntyre, OFM, former pastor of St. Paul Church here, was honored on June 29, the weekend feast commemorating Saints Peter and Paul, for 10 years of service to the largely Hispanic parish.
Saying that he “grew up in the ministry” in Wilmington, Bill said his recent move to Durham, N.C., where he is associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish, brought mixed emotions.
“I had been in Wilmington for 10 years total, in many capacities, including as a formation student, an associate pastor and pastor. I liked St. Paul very much.”
He spent 1992 to ’93 at the parish as an intern, 1995 to 2000 as a newly-ordained pastor, and from 2004 to 2008 as its pastor.
Bill found the church’s diversity refreshing. With 95 percent of its parishioners of Hispanic descent, St. Paul was the reverse of most parishes, according to Bill. Worshipping with about 1,000 people a week, Bill said he “built on the foundation that previous friars had created.” He was the fourth Franciscan pastor there.
He will use this diverse experience in Durham, where he continues his ministry to the Hispanic population and Mexican immigrants.
At his sendoff celebration, he thanked parishioners, staff and friars for their support, friendship and prayers during his pastorate, and presented Francis Medals for outstanding service, ministry and prayer.
The parish showered Bill with gratitude, affection, and well wishes with three parties, many gifts and a photo scrapbook highlighting Bill’s presence at St. Paul’s,” said Christopher Posch, OFM, who lives in the friary where Bill resided and is director of the Hispanic Ministries for the Diocese of Wilmington.
“Maybe Bill will come back some day as a senior friar in residence,” joked Christopher, who is shown in photo with Bill, as Julie Rivera receives Francis medal.
Francis Medals Go to Eight
Those receiving medals included Guillermo and Gloria Medina, Julie Rivera, Deacon Cruz, Bernie Rodriguez, Pablo and Nieves Sanchez, and Sandra Toala.
The Medinas and Sanchezes are liturgical ministers, honored for co-founding the Mexican immigrant community, coordinating the Guadalupe Committee, organizing the annual Our Lady of Guadalupe Novena and the torch run from Mexico City to New York’s St. Patrick Cathedral, and more.
Rivera coordinates the choir and is a member of the parish council. She also is involved with the Cursillo retreat movement, is a volunteer office assistant, friar informant and mentor. She also cheerfully volunteers wherever needed, even showing up to clean bathrooms.
Liturgical Ministers Cruz and Rodriguez serve on the baptism and pre-Cana prep teams, parish council, and work with Marriage Encounter and Bible study groups. Cruz, a full-time volunteer, celebrates sacraments and quinceaneras, does charity outreach work, and assists the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Voices Without Borders.
Toala, St. Paul secretary for 12 years, aids Franciscan novices and the team, in general. She always gives much more of herself than her job description asks.
A Beautiful Celebration, Complete with Song
The church was beautifully decorated by the Mexican immigrants from the village of San Pedro y San Pablo. One choir sang an original sendoff hymn composed by choir Director David Colón, titled, “Adios Padre Bill.” It started slow with a gentle waltz beat and ended with a foot-stomping, hand-clapping meringue, Chris said.
Adiós Padre Bill
Adios mi querido amigo,
Hermano en Cristo y Pastor
Gracias por tu gentileza,
Y mil gracias por tú amor.
Acepta esta melodia,
Las notas de esta canción.
Llévalas siempre contigo,
Guárdalas querido amigo,
Cerquita del Corazon.
Adios Padre Bill
Nunca Te Olvides de tu redil
Que los angeles te guarden
Y te cubran con su luz,
Y que recibas de Cristo
La fortaleza y salud.
No temas, Padre, adelante,
Camina y toma tu cruz
Se que tu saldrás triunfante
Camina, sigue adelante
Pues contigo va Jesus.