Dear People of St. John’s,
It is my bittersweet responsibility to announce that the Reverend Mary Mackin will be retiring from her work as a priest at the end of February. Mary decided that after working her entire life in one capacity or another, it is time to look to a new season of life. All of us at St. John’s will miss her terribly even as we are grateful for her impact on our lives.
After a thirty-year career as a university professor of English, Mary finally engaged a lifelong calling to ordained ministry. The catastrophe of Hurricane Katrina that destroyed Mary and Cooper’s home in New Orleans provided a surprising silver lining when they fell in love with Roanoke while driving through the area. Following a season of discernment, Mary was sent to Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria in 2009 to study for the priesthood. After graduating in 2012, Mary was ordained to the diaconate and then six months later to the priesthood. Through the grace of God, Mary was called to serve at St. John’s, where she has been our companion in ministry ever since.
While her primary focus has been pastoral care, Mary has overseen our Intercessory Prayer Group, Meal Ministry, Book Club, Fine Wines, Eucharistic Visitors, Card Writing Ministry, and Brandon Oaks Tea, while participating fully as a priest in the worship life of our church.
Mary and Cooper intend to continue to be a part of St. John’s community. This is great news, but also going to make it very important that we respect her new relationship with the parish. While there are a few obligations she has made that she needs to fulfill, she will no longer engage in the ministries she has been doing. This is going to be an adjustment for us all, very much including me. Please understand she will not be able to make exceptions to her retirement without misunderstandings arising when she cannot accommodate all requests. The bright side to this is Mary and Cooper will remain a part of our community.
At a latter day when we can better be together, we will have a celebration of her ministry. For now, I encourage you to send cards of appreciation and join us for her last Sunday serving as a priest amongst us on Sunday, February 28th at 10am.
Thank God for sending Mary our way as a priest of the Church.
The Reverend Eric Long, Rector