Those who attend services at Our Saviour Parish this weekend might need to adjust their greetings to the new Pastor.
Instead of welcoming Father Ring to Jacksonville, parishioners will want to say welcome back to Jacksonville.
Father Joe Ring has been appointed as Pastor of Our Saviour Parish, and says he is looking forward to getting reacquainted with both the Our Savior community, and the Jacksonville community.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the parish. Each parish is unique in it’s own kind of, culture I guess I would say and it’s history of course, and so learning more about that. And I’m actually coming home, this is my home parish.
So I was born in Jacksonville and baptized here at Our Saviour’s, and enrolled in school here. And then when I was eight years old my family moved over to Paris on the east side of the state. So I have some faint memories of Jacksonville, and the school, and the old church here. So some of it is a trip down memory lane, as long ago as that was.”
Father Ring was ordained in 1988 and comes to Our Saviour after serving at Christ the King Parish on the west side of Springfield for the last eight years.
Father Ring says part of his appointment here will be serving as the Chaplain at Illinois College. Ring says he is 61 years old, so the appointment will be a new experience he is looking forward to taking on.
He says Father Adam who is the new Associate Pastor, arrived this week and has been appointed as the Chaplain at Routt and Our Savior School. He says Father Adam brings some talents that seem tailor made for Jacksonville, as they both settle in to their adjusted duties.
“I’m not the chaplain at the prison, the bishop rearranged that and the priest who is going out to New Berlin to be pastor, he is going to take on that responsibility, so that’s not on my plate here, which helps just because there is enough other things going on.
Father Adam signs, he knows sign language so he will be signing when he’s having masses, I think, and then of course his ministry to the deaf community. So the bishop I think made a wise move to assign Father Adam here.”
Father Ring says he does not anticipate any changes in how services will be handled as everyone continues to adapt to life in phase 4 of the COVID-19 pandemic. He says proper distancing and dissecting will continue.
He says for now he is just excited to get to know the Our Saviour Parish family, and learn how he can best fill the needs of his parishioners.