There are moments in the life of each Parish that are well remembered: the dedication of a new building, significant anniversaries, and of course, the installation of a new Pastor.
For the faithful of St. Thomas More Parish in Sarasota, such a day occurred Dec. 1, the First Sunday of Advent, when Father Gordon Zanetti was installed as Pastor by Bishop Frank J. Dewane.
The First Sunday of Advent was an appropriate time to install a Pastor, because it not only marked the start of a new Liturgical Calendar, but a Pastor signifies the next chapter in the life of St. Thomas More Parish.
Bishop Dewane encouraged the faithful to offer advice to their new Pastor but also know that he will be called to make difficult decisions that not everyone will always appreciate.
“He needs your support in many ways but in particular through prayer,” Bishop Dewane said.
As part of the installation, the priest begins with selected words leading to the start of the Creed when he is then joined by the faithful. At the end of the Creed, the new Pastor has extra lines which are exclusive for him. In addition, the Pastor makes an Oath of Fidelity to the Bishop and his successors; formalized by the placing of his hand upon the Book of Gospels.
Following the installation, two members of the Parish, representing the entire congregation, served as official witnesses and signed the formal documents, copies of which are left at the Parish, placed in the Diocesan archives, as well as in the Parish file kept at the Diocese.
Bishop then introduced the new Pastor to a rousing applause. Afterwards Father Zanetti took the time to hug his mother, Cornelia Zanetti, who was present along with faithful from his previous assignment, St. Andrew Parish in Cape Coral. At the conclusion of the Mass, Father Zanetti thanked Bishop Dewane for his installation and commented on how welcoming the Parish community has been since the day he was first assigned.
After the installation, a reception was held in the Parish Chelsea Center.