Father Eric Ayers, Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church and Saint Patrick Catholic School Chaplain, recently announced that Bishop Barry Knestout has asked him to relocate and serve as the new Pastor of Saint Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg, VA. We are sad to see him leave, but we're so grateful for his four years of service to Saint Patrick. We had the opportunity to celebrate him after Mass on Wednesday, February 15th and let him know how much he has meant to our Wolfhound community.
The Religion team worked with each grade level to craft a meaningful gift of thanksgiving for his positive impact on the student body. Here are the mementos given to Father Eric:
PreK presented Father Eric with a door knob sign that reads “Quiet, I’m praying.” It was signed by each PreK student and will let people know whenever Father Eric is at prayer and to enter quietly.
Kindergarten printed an 8x10 picture of their classes sitting in front of the School for Father Eric that read “When we think of you, we thank God.”
First, Second, Third, and Fourth Grade said farewell by making a rolodex of “dad jokes” that read “It’s heart to say goodbye,” “Thank you for being our good shepherd,” “Sea you later,” and “Saint going to be the same without you.”
Fifth Grade created a giant banner signed by the entire grade level that read “Once a Wolfhound, Always a Wolfhound.”
Sixth Grade shot a fun video to say goodbye to Father Eric and shared it with the entire school.
Seventh Grade students crafted a special paper bouquet with spiritual quotes and well wishes to take with him.
Eighth Grade gave Father Eric a memory book with their favorite scripture passages, so he would always remember the Class of 2023.
After the students had concluded their presentations, Head of School Lauren Mazzari said that “as we say goodbye to a beloved friend, I hope he takes the Wolfhound spirit with him.” She then noted that “there is time for everything” by readingEcclesiastes Chapter 3. Sixth Grade Religion teacher Liz Rossi then presented Father Eric with a handmade cutting board made of four different woods representing the four years he has served as our chaplain. Lauren Mazzari then returned to the podium to give Father Eric a gas card so he could “come back and visit” and a vase embossed with the Irish Blessing. To close out the celebration the faculty, staff, and students in attendance sang Father Eric the “Irish Blessing” to wish him well on his new adventure.
We are truly thankful for all that Father Eric Ayers has done for Saint Patrick Catholic School over the last four years. His spiritual guidance and strong sense of faith has helped shepherd this Saint Patrick community and navigate the pandemic as one Wolfhound family. We wish him the best in his next chapter and want him to always remember that “Once a Wolfhound, Always a Wolfhound.”