After more than 10 years as pastor of St. John the Evangelist, Hydes, Father William F. Franken began to feel as if parishioners were like relatives.
With his reassignment to Our Lady of Hope in Dundalk, effective Feb. 15, Father Franken is ready for new additions to his Catholic family.
Since learning of his new challenge in January, Father Franken visited Our Lady of Hope several times, meeting with staff members, viewing the church and touring the facilities, including Our Lady of Hope-St. Luke School, an inter-parish venture since 1991.
“I just wanted to get a sense of what Our Lady of Hope is like,” Father Franken said.
There are about 2,100 families at Our Lady of Hope, noted Father Franken, who is optimistic about his new faith community.
“One of the things I’d like to see happen,” Father Franken said, “is for it to continue to be a vibrant parish while doing some evangelization work.”
Before St. John the Evangelist, Father Franken served as pastor of Our Lady of Victory in Arbutus for five years. He also served as an associate pastor of St. Isaac Jogues, Carney, and St. Joseph, Fullerton.
Father Franken wants to bring people together at Our Lady of Hope, while creating community outreach projects.
He wants Our Lady of Hope-St. Luke School to become “a full school.” He said there about 240 students currently enrolled.
Like at St. John the Evangelist, the native of Brooklyn, N.Y., wants to help facilitate successful youth ministry, religious education and lifelong faith formation programs.
“I want to work with the staff together to try to make Our Lady of Hope a vibrant community,” Father Franken said, “and one that grows in faith and grows deeper in its relationship with Christ.”