Photo: Msgr. Rucando invited his successor, Fr. Swartvagher, to do the invocation last Friday at the Ave Maria Catholic Academy Dinner-Dance. Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza
In a symbolic gesture signaling the end of one era and the dawn of another, Msgr. Anthony Rucando on Friday night passed a microphone—and the spiritual reins of Our Lady of Grace—to his pastoral successor, Fr. Marc Swartvagher.
“I told the monsignor, ‘Keep the keys, so you’ll always feel welcome in your home,’” Swartvagher said prior to delivering the invocation at Ave Maria Catholic Academy’s 6th annual Dinner-Dance at Roma View.
Rucando is retiring after 45 years of priesthood. Swartvagher will officially take over as pastor on July 1.
“I thank you for your kind thoughts, and more important, for who you are,” Rucando said on Friday. “Your support is essential.”
Rucando also said that while he may be retiring, he is not abandoning his OLG family.
“’Don’t light a lamp and hide it under a bushel basket,’” he said, paraphrasing scripture. “I’ll be around—because how do you leave people you love?”
Rucando ended his remarks with heartfelt words of praise for his successor.
“He’s the son I never would have had, but would be proud to have,” he said of Swartvagher.
By Michael V. Cusenza