My dear fellow parishioners,
I want to thank all of you for such a warm and happy welcome last weekend. I pray Our Lord that our association will be long, fruitful and soul-enriching for all of us! As I asked you, please pray for me as I will be praying for each of you.
I told you a little bit about myself last weekend, but allow me to tell you another few bits of information that might help you to feel that you know me even better.
I am an Atlanta native (one of the few these days, and even rarer among the priests of the Archdiocese of Atlanta). I was born in Crawford Long Hospital (now called Emory Midtown Hospital) on 8/29/56. (To save you from doing the math, I’ll be 59 years old this coming birthday!) I am the only child of Charlie and Peggy Goolsby. Daddy’s family has been in Georgia for nearly 200 years. Cook County is our family seat, and the mansion still remains in the family. My mother, Peggy, was one of 10 children born to Leonardo and Maria Altizio. She was number five in the kid line-up, and was the first child to be born in this country. Her family came from Italy around 1900, through Elis Island, and they settled in Poughkeepsie, NY. Mama died at the beginning of my junior year of high school on 9/22/72. Daddy died 2/2/03.
I attended Saints Peter and Paul Church & School (Decatur, GA) from 1961-1968, when we moved to Buford, GA. I graduated from North Gwinnett High School (Suwanee, GA) in 1974 and Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH) with a good Jesuit education in 1978. I entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) after graduation, but remained in the Novitiate for only one year, at which point I returned to the big ATL. I attended GSU School of Law (Charter Class of 1982), and I worked in one of the Colleges as an assistant to the Finance Director to support myself in those four years. I graduated Law School in 1986, joined the Ga. Bar 3 months later, and worked in tandem with another attorney (general civil law) until I entered the Formation Program of the Archdiocese of Atlanta in 1989. Most of my seminary days were spent at St. Mary’s Seminary (Baltimore, MD), which is the first & oldest (225 years) seminary in the USA. I also spent a year at the Catholic University of America from which I earned my Masters of Divinity degree.
I was ordained to the Priesthood on November 27, 1993, along with Bishop Luis Zarama. My first parish assignment (1994) was at St. Benedict Church (John’s Creek) and then, 2 years later, at its mission of St. Monica, which was then meeting in the auditorium of my old high school! Full circle, eh? We were erected as an independent parish in 1996. During my ten years at the Catholic Church of St. Monica we purchased land and constructed the first two buildings; we were the first parish to open its doors in the new millennium (Feb. 2000). It was a great honor and gift to be the Founding Pastor of that still thriving faith community. I was transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas parish (Alpharetta) in 2006 and remained pastor there until 2012. I have spent the last 2+ years at Holy Spirit parish (Buckhead area of Atlanta) and now I am privileged to be here with y’all at Saint Pius X parish.
I will be authoring a Pastor’s Column most weeks henceforth. It will appear in the parish bulletin, the website and maybe taped to the doors of the local Kroger!
Remember that my door is open to you (make an appointment with Barb Roberts, our parish secretary). My email is SPX_Pastor@spxconyers.com and I am,
Your brother on the Journey,