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                 On May 28, I made my first visit to the Catholic Churches of western Wayne County since Bishop Matano gave me a new assignment with you, to follow Father Daniel L. White on June 25, 2024. I met the staff and some volunteers that Father Symon had arranged to have present for lunch, Father White gave me the grand tour, and I’m looking forward to serving you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ as one of your priests.

 I grew up not too far away in Greene, NY, a rural community north of Binghamton. After 13 years in the Greene Central School system, I attended the University of Rochester and graduated a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in Computer Science and Mathematics. From 2000-2014, I worked in the information technology office at SUNY Brockport, where I was primarily responsible for the technical side of the public web site. I also continued my studies there, earning a Master of Public Administration degree in 2006. I helped to found a professional association of similar professionals in higher education, and most recently presented at its annual conference in 2023 in Buffalo (after my ordination). My lightning-talk was titled, “If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Confessions of a Recovering Web Professional.” I attempted to imagine how I might have benefited from the lessons of seminary during my time working in IT.

 In 2014, I could no longer tell our Lord “no” or “later,” and entered formation to be a priest. Bishop Matano sent me to study at Saint John’s Seminary in Boston. My diaconate ordination was delayed due to Covid to August 15, 2020, and Bishop Matano ordained me a priest on June 5, 2021, which was the weekend of Corpus Christi that year. I was first sent to serve the four Catholic Churches in Tioga County (Owego and surrounding), and again follow Father Amato and Father White from there to you as my second assignment. Father Symon also served there but had other stops along his way to you as your pastor.

 The bishop sends me to you in the name of Christ. I receive you in their names. I accept you into my heart and truly want the best for you: to get to heaven. Toward that goal I labor for you. I ask for a remembrance in your good prayers. I have been praying for you even before I knew I was to be assigned to you.

 

 In the Lord,

 -Fr. Steven B. Lewis

 

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