The Very Reverend
John-Michael Lavelle, D. Min.
At the 4:30 PM Mass on September 18, 2021, The Most Reverend David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, officially installed The Very Reverend John-Michael Lavelle as the sixth pastor of Saint Michael Parish. During the ceremony Father Lavelle made a profession of faith and oath of fidelity to the office of pastor. All parishioners were invited to attend a reception in the Parish Hall following Mass.
From the Pastor...
On June 2, 1953, Great Britain, and indeed, the entire world, was invited to witness the Coronation of the current reigning monarch. In a celebration steeped in tradition and pageantry, she was proclaimed Elizabeth II, by the grace of God, Queen of England. But one of the more interesting bits of trivia is that, while an important ritual, she actually became queen 16 months earlier while sleeping in a treetop house in Kenya, Africa. This is due to the fact that she and her husband, the late Prince Philip, were carrying out a royal visit in the name of her Father, King George VI, when he suddenly died. It was at the very moment that the late king breathed his last that his daughter became the new queen. Regardless, the public proclamation of her commitment to God and the people of her realm is an essential and necessary part of everyone committing themselves, each in their own role, to the common cause of building up their kingdom.
First, let it be said that I make no connections to the regal nature of the above story, aside from the understanding that, while I began my role as your pastor in July, by virtue of my appointment from the Bishop, this weekend’s Mass of Installation is an important celebration for each of us here at Saint Michael. Rich in its own tradition and customs, I stand before Bishop Bonnar and not only make a Profession of Faith for myself, but rather, lead us all in that Profession. A beautiful reminder that we each are called, through our various roles, gifts, talents, and blessings, to live out our abiding faith and deep commitment to our Triune God. I also make an Oath of Fidelity to the Office of Pastor. Among the various commitments is that I shall hold fast to the deposit of faith in its entirety, and faithfully hand it on and explain it, and avoid any teachings opposed to that faith. Among my many roles, one that I greatly cherish is the opportunity to teach. As we journey together, I hope that we will all grow not only in our knowledge of our faith, but the ability to share that gift of faith boldly and generously each and every day.
I am extremely appreciative of Bishop Bonnar’s presence with us this weekend, for the confidence he has shown in appointing me your pastor, and for the dynamic ways in which he is working throughout our diocesan Church, “That all may be one”. Thank you also to the entire parish family of Saint Michael for your gracious welcome and your deep commitment to working together as we move our parish forward.
On the wings of an angel we rise,