Pastor at largest Catholic church in US retires

(News-Journal) He started his Charlotte career in 1974 as the first priest ordained in the brand new Catholic diocese here. He ends it this month as pastor of St. Matthew, the largest Catholic parish in the United States.

At 75, Monsignor John McSweeney will soon leave the affluent Charlotte neighborhood of Ballantyne – where this parish named for the patron saint of bankers was built – and move to Jamaica or Haiti, where he hopes to spend his retirement years living with and ministering to the poorest of the poor.

“I’m going to try to walk in the sandals of the Lord,” he says.

He exits Charlotte with a wish that the city had more affordable housing and less traffic congestion, but says a more diverse Queen City has done a better job in recent years in integrating its various cultures and developing more green space.

His parting advice for Charlotte and its leaders: “Remember that it is a city for all people, not just a select few.” [More]