On December 9, 2012, Fr. Dale Jamison, OFM, was formally installed as the pastor of St. Mary Mission in Tohatchi, NM. Fr. Jamison is also the director for the new Diocesan office of Native American Ministry, which was officially established November 1.
“I was very pleased with the attendance,” said Fr. Jamison. “Standing-room only. And, you know, I think the response from the people was very good.”
Fr. Jamison has an impressive amount of experience in the field of ministry – over 30 years, spread between the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, the Diocese of Phoenix, and the Diocese of Gallup. This new assignment marks a return to the Gallup Diocese, as Fr. Jamison was previously stationed at Sacred Heart Cathedral for a number of years.
During the Mass, Fr. Jamison met and warmly embraced each member of the parish council – a group that will be helping him in his new responsibilities. A parish potluck followed, and many of the parishioners came up to introduce themselves and shake hands. Overall, each member of the parish seemed to radiate happiness, glad at the opportunity to share in fellowship with each other and their new pastor.
In the coming months, Fr. Jamison plans on working closely with Bishop James Wall in establishing the new Native Ministry office. He also commented that he is looking forward to getting to know the needs of the Native peoples of the Diocese, as well as those at St. Mary Mission.
“Thank you for warmly welcoming me,” he said in an interview the day after the Mass. “Let us continue to encounter Christ and to grow in his image.”