Monday, June 29, 2015

Grateful to be a Priest: Parish Bulletin--6-28-15

            This past week I celebrated my third anniversary to the priesthood—praised be Jesus Christ!
            Next to life—first as a person and second as a Baptized Christian—being ordained a priest is the best gift I have ever received.  In fact, one of the first prayers I offer when I wake up each morning is, “Thank you God, for another day to serve you as a priest.”  Each night my day concludes with a similar act of gratitude. 
I could not imagine my life not being a priest.  I have the honor of celebrating Mass every day.  I am in the humble position of offering Christ’s forgiveness for sins in Confession (and also receive this sacrament frequently).  I am charged to baptize, witness marriages, anoint and preside at funerals.  I consistently get to walk with the grieving, sick and poor and have plenty of opportunities to teach both in our parish and school.
            And after serving at St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Columban for nearly a year, I can tell you how honored and happy I am to serve you.  I know this joy and peace runs deep—I have actually had a couple of nightmares that Bishop asked me to leave our parishes.  Each time I woke up with that panicked feeling and thought, “Thank God that was just a dream and I am still here!”  God (and Bishop!) willing, I hope to be here for many years!
            During this joyful time in my life as a priest, here are three requests to you all:
i.)             If you are a single guy (ages two and up!), please consider the awesome vocation to the priesthood.  If you are called to be a priest, you will have the ride of your life.
ii.)            Please pray for more vocations to the priesthood in our diocese.  We will soon unveil our Diocesan Vocation Prayer at every Mass (more on this later) but pray that many young men will respond positively to Christ’s call to be a priest.
iii.)          Please pray for me.  I want nothing more than to lead you to Jesus Christ.  Pray that I will be happy, healthy and holy as a priest.  Pray that God may give me wisdom to guide our parishes, especially with difficult and/or unpopular decisions.
Know of my prayers of gratitude for the priesthood and for you all during this joyous time!
God Bless!

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