Dear Family: Regretfully, I have a message that does not come without significant pain to both you and me. I have to tell you in all honesty and truth, that I have been personally involved with helping a widow and her struggling family. Over the course of time, the mother and I have grown very close. As a result, I am compelled to take some time off to prayerfully and honestly discern my future.Fr. Francis Mary, your brothers and sisters in CITI are praying for you and with you and please contact CITI if you want to speak to other priests who have walked this path and get their advice. Whatever choice you make prayerfully, God will bless you. Falling in love with another human being is NOT a sin.
I am truly sorry of the impact this may have on so many. I am not unaware of the gravity and magnitude of the situation, yet after much wise counsel, it is really something that I must deal with now for the good of all.
With that said, it is best that I deal with it away from EWTN. Therefore, I have asked for and graciously been granted some extended time to prayerfully discern my vocation.
To those who are part of the EWTN family locally, and others throughout the world, especially all those who have supported me so faithfully in my priestly vocation and ministry here on Life on the Rock, I sincerely apologize. I ask for your prayers and understanding during this time that is so very difficult, but yet so very necessary.
Please lift me up in your humble prayers to Jesus through Mary, our Mother, in Grace and Mercy.
Fr Francis Mary, MFVA
Monday, November 19, 2007
This month, the Catholic blogs are heating up with the news that Franciscan Father Francis Mary Stone, host of EWTN's Life on the Rock program, has stepped down from the program and taken a leave of absence to re-assess his calling to the priesthood, following his romantic involvement with a widow whom he was helping. In a letter read to EWTN viewers, Fr. Francis Mary says: