Fr. Paul's Announcement
Dear families and friends of the Seattle Prep Community,
I'm writing to let you know that I will be leaving employment at Seattle Prep at the end of the 2016-17 school year. I say this with sadness. Seattle Prep has been good to me and for me; you especially have been good to me and for me. I will miss the people here very much and this school very much, but what both my superiors and the president have told me, and I have agreed, is that it is time. 85 years old, and it is time.
I held up my agreement for some time since I needed the guarantee of Jesuit presence at Seattle Prep. The provincial, Fr. Scott Santarosa, SJ, has promised that this will be his highest priority. With this, I sense the rightness of the decision. I have been a part of Jesuit educational institutions for nearly 60 years and there comes a time. And it is now.
I don't believe it is time to retire. We are investigating other possibilities for "gainful employment." So, what is this year for me? It is to continue a ministry of Jesuit and priestly presence at Seattle Prep and to find appropriate ways of leave-taking from a place that I love very much. One more thing: as I prepare to leave Seattle Prep I continually say: in this school year of 2016-17 we have a faculty, staff and administration and a student body that is without equal. You have been and you will continue to be an inspiration to me.
Fr. Paul Fitterer, SJ
from Kent Hickey
I recall a discussion Fr. Paul and I had many months ago about the possibility of his departure. The sadness that welled up within me at that time resurfaced last week when Fr. Paul read his letter to me. While I know we will stay connected, separation from such a dear friend is a hard thing to contemplate.
Fr. Paul alluded to two questions that still need to be addressed: What will be the Jesuit presence at Prep next year and to what work will Fr. Paul be missioned? While neither can be answered at this time, what I do know is that the Province is committed to a vibrant Jesuit presence at Prep and that our Provincial is well aware of Fr. Paul's gifts and his desire to serve. I think it likely that Fr. Paul's expertise in spiritual direction will be central to his next ministry, but what exactly this will look like is not yet known. What is known is that we are blessed with a wonderful leader in our Provincial, Fr. Scott Santarosa, SJ, and that the answers to these questions will flow from prayerful discernment and a spirit of generosity.
The months ahead will provide time for the upcoming transition and, more importantly, many opportunities for our community to thank Fr. Paul for his 38 years of service, ministry, loving presence and friendship.
President, Seattle Prep