CHAZY - On June 23, the Rev. L. William Gordon retired from the ministry, after 45 years of service.
Gordon, who has been the pastor at Sacred Heart Church for the last 12 years, said he has chosen to retire now due to increasing health problems.
"I'm looking forward to still ministering in parishes on the weekends, weekdays and whatever other calls that I might receive," said Gordon. "But, I don't have to be responsible for running the business side of the parish."
Gordon said he felt called to the ministry at a young age.
"When I was a senior in high school, a priest in my parish brought it up to me and I thought that was not the thing I was supposed to do," he recalled. "But, here I am."
To honor Gordon, a concert was performed June 20 by the church's choir, prior to his final mass, which he said he had "mixed emotions," about.
"I'm looking forward to retiring," he said. "As of Wednesday, I will no longer be called a pastor, I will not have a parish. That's kind of difficult to consider."
During a retirement party for Gordon held June 17, church trustee Mark Henry, who served as emcee of the event, gave high praises to the pastor.
"Father has been a wonderful parish priest," Henry said. "My family and I will miss seeing him every weekend. We have enjoyed his friendship. His good humor and his pastoral leadership."
"Father has a gentle, almost hubris way of making his points," he added. "We have been fortunate as a parish to have had him here and my family has been fortunate to know him as a priest and a friend."
During his retirement, Gordon will relocate to Plattsburgh. The new pastor of Sacred Heart Church, the Rev. Raymond J. Moreau, formerly of Tupper Lake, will take over June 23.