Bring Father Joe back!
This is a petition, written by parishioners of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, that will be sent to Bishop Knestout, the bishop of the Diocese of Richmond. On Saturday, December 8th, our pastor, Father Joe Metzger, was missing from the 5 o'clock Mass. The following was read from the altar as an explanation: https://www.13newsnow.com/article/news/local/mycity/norfolk/norfolk-priest-on-leave-accused-of-violating-code-of-conduct/291-622518991. Although no allegations of child sexual abuse have been made, our pastor has still not been allowed to return to our church.
On August 14, 2016, Father Joe celebrated his 25th jubilee as a priest. It was a very special time for Father Joe, and the parishioners of Blessed Sacrament were blessed to be a part of this special celebration. “I am very grateful to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and I love being a priest,” he said. We are very grateful to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that we have had such a wonderful priest as our spiritual leader at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church.
Father Joe leads tireless ministries in his life and through our parish. He has a heart of gold and works hard to help those in need. He supports the homeless of Norfolk, through the NEST program, he ministers to those in the local jails, he ensures there is plenty of food for the local FoodBanks, he also encourages us to participate in our local angel tree. Our parish consistently brings in the largest amounts of any local parish, at the simple request of Father Joe.
We miss our pastor, priest, spiritual leader and friend. It is time for the bishop of our diocese to realize that Father Joe's actions do not warrant this continued suspension. We did not have the opportunity to share Advent and Christmas with our beloved pastor, let us not go too far into the new year without celebrating his return.
Please join me in adding your name to this petition. We also ask that you share this with as many people as possible. You do not have to be a member of our parish and you do not have to be catholic to sign this petition. We need to show our Bishop, Father Joe has all of our love and support. In this tumultuous time in the Catholic Church, it is important to keep the good priests around. Father Joe is definitely one of the good guys.