June 10, 1978, a pleasant summer day in New York City. I arrived in the office at the usual time, grabbed the usual cup of coffee, greeted the staff – it was business as usual but not quite because it was then that ”THE CALL” came but this one was very different. Instead of being informed of the next assignment and when to be there – just like the previous five calls; this time I was asked to go home to discuss a transfer to a new assignment to manage Southern California sales, marketing and support operations with my family. This was going to be a challenging transfer – East Coast to West Coast, it would present many obstacles.
Phyllis and our sons, Bob and Randy, were less than enthused to make still yet another move, especially to Southern California. But, as they had every time in the past, they agreed to make this one happen. Phyllis and the boys were then and still are today dad’s greatest asset, strength and supporters. The family again embraced the career of their favorite “corporate tramp” accepting each transfer as a new adventure.
Well, that was 1978 and we are still here. However, the East Coast to West Coast transition turned out to be quite a challenge after all – the social culture, the logistics, the smaller size of our lot and house, distance from friends, and roots and adjustments to new schools all contributed to the difficulty.
How did we manage? What happened that linked us to our new home? Was it a miracle or divine intervention – maybe a little of both! But NO more than anything, it was our new parish San Antonio de Padua. Even though we celebrated Mass in the El Rancho Jr. High School cafeteria, used folding chairs as our pews, and congregated in various homes to participate in our ministries; the Fiorentino Family was grounded and found home. Amazing, perhaps, but not strange at all. WHY?
We were warmly welcomed by Fr. Seamus, we were drawn in by and to parishioners from near and far, we were enthusiastically invited into parish ministries and treated as though we have been parish members for years even though the parish was barely a year old. We were at home and comfortable in the San Antonio Parish Community. Fr. Seamus, the clergy, and the pastors who have followed have framed, crafted and built an absolutely wonderful unparalleled Catholic Community, our parish, our faith home.
We all know that structure without content, heart, and soul is meaningless. San Antonio is the extraordinary parish that it is because it is our Catholic Faith, it is you, it is us, it is our Clergy, it is our ministries, it is every Mass and every event. Now nearly 40 years (isn’t that hard to believe) since the Fiorentino foursome moved to Southern California, we are still Parishioners at San Antonio. The four of us become 20 with great grandchild #4 soon to arrive.
So it is with warmth and our very best wishes that The Fiorentino Family thanks San Antonio and its parishioners for your kindness and your gift of friendship which we will cherish always. We encourage all to continue in that tradition of open warm hearted welcome for all who join our community and pray that God continues to bless San Antonio de Padua del Cañon.