On June 13, 1992, I was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Louis Gelineau. Where have all the years gone? Please pray for me, my classmate Fr. John Soares and all who celebrate the anniversary of ordination on this day.
I will celebrate a Low Mass at 5:00 pm, all are welcome.
Look at that picture. A lot has change in 24 years!
1st Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving, 14 June 1992, Feast of the Most Holy Trinity.
#Anniversary #priesthood #Catholic #ordination
This week I learned that two priest friends with whom I was in the seminary passed on to eternal life. One was a Franciscan, the other Diocesan. They both had very different lives. The Franciscan was with the Holy Land Commissariat and died in Haifa. Fr. Joshua Doyle, OFM suffered from a number of physical illnesses throughout the years. He had a great love for our Lady and for the Blessed Sacrament. I remember one time when one of the superiors in a Franciscan house in Maine was disturbed by Fr. Joshua’s personal prayer time. Fr. Joshua would sit in the chapel with his eyes transfixed on the tabernacle. The superior, with a tone of disgust in his voice said, “What are you looking at?”. Fr. Joshua knew not “what” he was looking at but “whom” he was looking at and communing with. I will always be grateful for his friendship and the example he gave me in his love for our Lord and the Church.
Fr. Anthony Dandry was a parish priest from New Jersey. I remember the day I met Tony in the seminary. The first thing he asked me was, “Do you wear the brown scapular?” Fr. Dandry was deeply devoted to Our Lady and there was no hiding it. He was Italian, not in name only, it oozed from his personality. He was very outgoing and jolly. Fr. Tony loved being a priest. The very center of his life was his daily Mass. Fr. Tony also suffered from illness. He had a severe issue with diabetes. Diabetes began to take away Fr. Tony’s eyesight. At the end, he retired due to health and lives in a trailer where he had an altar to celebrate his daily Mass.
Although I have not seen either Fr. Joshua or Fr. Tony for a number of years, they have had a lasting effect on my life. I remember them both in sadness because I will not see them again in this life, but I know we will be joined together in the Kingdom as brother priests forever with our eternal High Priest, Jesus Christ.
Although they were both men who sought holiness in their lives, I remember them in my Masses and prayers. They would both tell me and I ask of you to prayer for their eternal rest and peace in grateful thanksgiving to God for two priests.
I am a priest!
Why am I a priest? What was God’s purpose in calling me? That I cannot answer, but I am a priest! There are many more gifted that could have done great things, but, I am a priest.
I am a priest! I was chosen by God Himself. Before I was created, God knew me, He consecrated me and appointed me! I have been raised to the dignity of the priesthood of Jesus Christ! This does not make me better, or more important than you, but I must not forget that I am a priest.
The priest is a gift to the Church. Without the priest there is no Mass and without the Mass there is no priest. The mass is my reason for being and everything about my priesthood flows from the Mass.
I am a priest! My hands are consecrated to consecrate. In my hands, bread and wine become the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. I raise my hand over a sinner and his sins are absolved. I anoint a dying soul and he receives the graces needed to meet his make in peace. I pour water on someone’s head and he is made a new creation. It Is not my power, but “He who lives within me”. A priest is another Christ, an altar Christus. Everything the priest does as priest, Christ does through him.
I am a priest! I am no better than you. I am a sinner like you. My flesh suffers the same pains and my bones break like yours. But I am a priest!
I am a priest for you! I cannot absolve my own sins, nor can I give myself anointing, but I can give them to you. I offer Holy Mass for the salvation of the world. I go to the altar of God on behalf of man. With Christ, I ascend to Calvary in a mystical union and I offer the Lamb of God to the Father for you.
I am a priest!
…but the Priesthood of Christ is Eternal! Although the Year for Priests is over for almost two months, but dedicated work of priests continues world wide. We only hear of the few rotten apples in the basket, but rarely hear of the priest who jumps out of bed at 3 AM to bring the sacraments to a dying person, or the priest who assists the dying, family members and emergency personnel at the scene of a tragedy. But these are the many stories that go on every day and night in our own towns and neighborhoods. The work of a priest is often thankless and never ending. We have the grace of being Christ in the midst of a broken world. To be the healing hands of Christ for the broken hearted. The faces and names are many of those priests who faithfully work in their own little corner of the world, not seeking praise, but doing all for the love of Christ and His Church.
There is a great new wing of Catholics Come Home called Encourage Priests. Drop on by the site and give your priest a Collar-Holler, send him a video greeting or a spiritual bouquet. Let your priest know you appreciate his dedicated work by your love and faithful prayer.
One of the most discussed and contested issues relating to the priesthood is celibacy. In this episode, I have the vocation director from my diocese speak about this beautiful gift to the Church.
– Music: “Made For You” by Tara Leigh Cobble
– Diocese of Providence Vocations Office
– Fr. Najim’s Blog – Live Holiness
– The Capuchin Sisters of Nazareth
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