Fr. Matt Barnum officially installed at St. Ann-St. Ignatius, St. Bernard

Bishop David Walkowiak (center) officially installed Fr. Matt Barnum (right) as priest of St. Ann-St. Ignatius and St. Bernard.

Bishop David Walkowiak (center) officially installed Fr. Matt Barnum (right) as priest of St. Ann-St. Ignatius and St. Bernard.

Star photo/Shanna Avery

IRONS — Although Fr. Matt Barnum has officially been pastor at St. Ann-St. Ignatius and St. Bernard in Lake County, since July 1, 2021, Bishop David Walkowiak of the Diocese of Grand Rapids was at St. Bernard last Saturday to perform an installation ceremony, as he does for all priests in the Diocese when they preside over a new parish.

Walkowiak was celebrant during the 4 p.m. Mass, and gave the homily as well as installing Barnum. Parishioners from all three parishes were represented.

"I now commend Fr. Matthew to you at long last as your new pastor," Walkowiak said. "It's good both faith communities are represented as we officially acknowledge and welcome Fr. Matt as your pastor."

Walkowiak spoke to the parishioners, saying how Barnum is to be the shepherd looking after the sheep, and to help them be what the church calls the parishioners to be emphasizing three points: praise and worship of God, give the gift of faith, and care for the poor and the needy.

"There's lots of poor and needy people in this county, and so we have to do what we can to help them," Walkowiak said. "Remember Matthew, Chapter 25, 'Whatever you do to the least of my brothers and sisters, you do it unto me.' This is the yardstick by which we will be judged, and so we have to be aware of the needs of those around us."

"And to Fr. Matt," he continued, "Pray for your people, good people of St. Bernards, St. Ann and St. Ignatius. There is great work to be done here in following Christ. And I'm happy to know, Fr. Matt has given me a great report about how the year has gone. It's been a really good year, and you have really worked with him and supported him to continue to move these communities of faith forward to advance the Kingdom of God.

"Know of my prayers for you Fr. Matt, know of my prayers for you my dear parishioners that the good work God has begun in you will be brought to completion. Amen."

The parish staff were recognized, as well as the parish Council members and finance council of each parish, Walkowiak stating the importance of Barnum and these members all working together in their pertinent roles.  

"My friends, I pledge to seek your counsel, guidance and advice in the spiritual and temporal care of my pastorate," Barnum said.

Barnum was then installed, ceremonially, by Walkowiak.