GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A leader in the West Michigan Catholic community has announced his retirement.

Father Mark Przybysz, who leads the parish at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Community in Grand Rapids, announced on Tuesday he will be retiring on July 1. In a letter to his community, he cited health issues, saying he had COVID-19 in 2020, a heart attack in March of 2022 and then again contracted COVID-19.

“This situation is leaving me with ongoing shortness of breath, daily chest pains, which cause tremendous anxiety and an important reminder that I must deal with this fatigue so that I don’t have another heart attack,” he wrote.

His retirement comes with the support of Bishop David Walkowiak, he said.

“I see a great future for St. Anthony’s parish and our growing school. I feel I am continually blessed to have the Holy Spirit at my side throughout my work as a pastor and beyond,” he wrote. “It has been, and will continue to be a gift to gather as a community of prayer here at St. Anthony. And most of all I know that God continues to support and guide me as I will be called upon and support new areas of service.”

Przybysz asked the community for its prayers, and reminded them to stay up-to-date on vaccines, “so that no one has to endure the health situation that is changing my life.”