Father Albert's Installation
A New Hope
Saint Mark Parish announces the installation of Father Albert van der Woerd as their new Pastor for the period of 2021 to 2027.
Venice, California, July 13th 2021 - On Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 5:30pm, Regional Bishop Edward Clark presided over the installation of Fr. Albert van der Woerd as the new Pastor of Saint Mark Parish. The service was concelebrated by Fr. Tom Elewaut from San Buenaventura Mission (Fr. Albert's first pastor), Msgr. Lloyd Torgerson from St. Monica Parish (his mentor during the time being an administrator), Fr. Ethan Southard from St. John Eudes Parish (Classmate), and Bishop David G. O'Connell from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ San Gabriel Region, who played an important role during Fr. Albert's transition from the Netherlands to the US, and his initial formation to the priesthood, while being Pastor of St. Michael's Parish in South Los Angeles.
“Dear parishioners of Saint Mark Parish, Archbishop Gomez knows the pastoral needs of your parish, and confident in the qualifications of Father Albert, has appointed him as your new pastor. As bishop of Our Lady of the Angels Pastoral Region, it is with joy that I now present him to you, and I invite you to express your support for your new pastor and to welcome him with your applause” said Bishop Clark in his presentation.
Fr. Albert received a standing ovation and applause from the congregation attending his installation mass. This will be the first Parish Fr. Albert serves as a Pastor. Appointed by the Archbishop for a six-year term, which can be extended with another six years, Fr. Albert will reach retirement age by the end of his second term. It means St. Mark Parish could be his first, his last and his only assignment as Pastor. Baptized at age of 33, he began his vocation journey and at the age of 56 was ordained priest by Archbishop José H. Gomez in June 2016.
Fr. Albert was appointed as administrator of St. Mark Parish in July 2019 and guided this community through several transitions, including a global pandemic.
More than 300 people packed the pews at St. Mark on Saturday evening. Among them the Parish staff who have supported Fr. Albert on his journey at St. Mark since day one. The Staff members were introduced by Bishop Clark and lined up at the sanctuary as Fr. Albert welcomed their collaboration on the pastoral service.
The Pastoral Council and Financial Council were also present and introduced to the congregation. These councils represent the voice of the St. Mark parishioners, and assist and counsel Fr. Albert in his ministry to the Parish.
“My friends, I pledge to seek your counsel, guidance, and advice in the spiritual and temporal care of my pastorate.” said Fr. Albert to the council members.
During the Installation Mass, three meaningful symbols were given to Fr. Albert by the members of the Parish: The Book of the Gospels, saying: "Father if you are going to preach to us, it better be good;" the Holy Oils signifying: "We want you, Father, with God's help, to heal the wounds from the past and the present; that you are available for us at our best times, and at our darkest hour." Furthermore were presented the Sacred Chalice and Ciborium, representing the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the sacraments, and confession stole which stands for a solid understanding of Church doctrine, applied with great mercy. Not stern, not wishy-washy but by priestly governance rooted in the best traditions of the Catholic Church.
Several cantors and instrumentalists from St. Mark formed a music group with an eclectic bilingual repertoire. One of the pieces "And that Your Fruit Should Abide" was actually written by Fr. Albert during his discernment period in 2011, and first sung at his Ordination in the Cathedral. This Mass, that composition came full circle after 10 years.
Bishop Clark concluded the Rite of Installation praying for Fr. Albert in his new ministry at St. Mark Parish.
“Father, you nourish and protect your Church, providing it with pastors and stewards of your word and sacraments. Strengthen this pastor as he begins a new ministry among your people. Under his guidance, help the members of this parish ever more faithfully to follow your Son, Jesus Christ, who is Lord, forever and ever. Amen.“
A reception was held after mass in the Garfield Lawn. Parishioners welcomed Father Albert with open hearts and the hope and joy of a reborn St Mark Parish.