Dear Pastor and Parishioners,
I am writing to inform you that I will be retiring from my role as parochial vicar of St. Thomas the Apostle parish by the end of June 2023. My seven years at St. Thomas have been a source of great joy and fulfillment in my life, and I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to serve this wonderful parish.
During my time here, I have had the privilege of working with three different pastors, each of whom has brought their own unique style of pastoral leadership to the community. This experiencehas been invaluable, and I am grateful for the lessons I have learned from each of them.
I have also been fortunate enough to serve in a few institutions and parishes throughout the Diocese of Joliet, including Meadowbrook Manor, Tabor Hills, The Springs of Monarch Landing, The Auberge, AccentCare Hospice and many others. I have found these experiences to be deeply rewarding, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have served in these capacities.
One of the highlights of my time at St. Thomas has been the weekly Mass I have been able to offer at Benedictine University. It has been an honor to serve the students and staff there, and I have cherished this opportunity.
During my time at St. Thomas, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to assist with confessions and celebrate Holy Mass at several neighboring parishes, including Saints Peter and Paul, Our Lady of Mercy, Our Lady of Peace, St. Irene, St. Mary of Gostyn, St. Margaret Mary and occasionally at other parishes as well. It was a privilege to serve alongside my fellow priests in these communities and to get to know the parishioners there.
In addition to the fulfilling ministry work I was able to engage in, I also enjoyed the spacious and comfortable rectory at St. Thomas. The surrounding park on the west side and the vast parking lot on the east were peaceful and inviting, and I often took advantage of the long sidewalks for my evening walks and rosary. These moments of reflection and solitude were important to me and helped me to feel grounded and connected to the community.
I would be remiss if I did not express my deep gratitude to the parishioners of St. Thomas, who have shown me such kindness and consideration during my time here. I have been deeply touched by the outpouring of support I received during the pandemic, and I will always remember this time with great fondness.
Finally, I would like to thank the diocese, Fr. Peter and the staff at St. Thomas, and all the parishioners for their patience and understanding, especially during times when my abilities fell short of my aspirations. May God bless you all.
Fr. Joseph Kappilumakkal CMI
A farewell reception will be held on Tuesday, June 27, following the 8:30 am Mass. In lieu of personal gifts, Fr. Joseph will gratefully accept monetary gifts for his family in India.