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St. Mary's Catholic Church gets new pastor

December 27, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

HAGERSTOWN -- Recognized at a ceremony Sunday for his "youthful spirit" and ability to instill confidence in people, J. Collin Poston was installed as pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church.

An estimated 350 attended a special 1 p.m. Mass at the West Washington Street church to see Poston, 41, installed as pastor.

Ordained in 2003, Poston was first assigned as an associate pastor to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Cockeysville, Md.

After three years, he was assigned in the same capacity to Church of the Resurrection in Ellicott City, Md. He also was a temporary administrator for St. Paul's in Ellicott City in 2008.

For the past year, Poston has been the administrator of the local Catholic church and was elevated to pastor in October.

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The Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski, bishop of the Seton Vicariate of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, presided over Sunday's ceremony and recommended Poston as pastor of the church.

Those in attendance responded with a long round of applause. Audience members continued clapping and then stood.

Rozanski talked about the importance of families: The parish family that Poston will serve and how God's love is part of families of congregation members.

Rozanski said people in families get on each other's nerves sometimes, but people are called together in relationships that must be nourished daily.

Rozanski sprinkled humor into the ceremony, talking about how Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus often appear calm and peaceful in pictures.

"Just like our families, right?" Rozanski said, spurring laughter in the crowd.

Regarding Poston's installation as pastor, Rozanski said, "What this means is the engagement is over and now it's a marriage," a comment that drew more laughter.

Poston spoke to the congregation, recalling how he came to the local church as a child. Poston said he "never would have dreamed" that he would become pastor of the church.

"It's my hope that many others will come here and pray as I did. Today is a special day for many reasons," Poston said.

A reception was held after the ceremony.

Colleen Garringer, who attended the ceremony, praised Poston for being prayerful and being able to instill confidence in people.

"He brings a youthful spirit to the church. He's a breath of fresh air," said Garringer, a member of the parish council.

"I think this was a great installation ceremony," said Wells Ridenour of Boonsboro, who, along with his wife, has become friends with Poston.

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