Pastor’s Keyboard: It just hit me! This week I turn 43!!! When I arrived here 10 years ago, to my first pastorate, I was 33 years old. That age is often called the perfect age (for it is the age of Jesus when He laid down his life for us). I made the tough decision to look at a picture of myself taken that first Summer of 2008. “What has changed?”, I thought. My hair was mostly black, and now it’s mostly white. I had hair on the top of my head instead of just the sides, and I was thinner… You can guess where this is going. The only thing that has not changed (I hope) was my smile. But these were just the exteriors, what changed on the interior?
I might have been smiling, but I was scared to death! I had never even lived in my own before (I went right from high school, to seminary, to ordination). Now I was going to live in a glass house, in the woods (does this not sound like a scene out of a horror movie you’ve seen?) I went from no parish responsibility, to being in charge and responsible for everything! I went from being a parochial vicar of one parish, to Pastor of two separate parishes with two of everything, a chaplain to a college, and I still had to minister to all the Boy Scouts of the Archdiocese. I was scared and stressed. This changed when a Holy daughter of the Lord approached me one Sunday before Mass and said to me “Father, I’m to Blessed to be Stressed!”. That started the change in my attitude. God spoke to me that moment.
So where am I now? I love the Lord, the parishioners, and my life more than words can express! This has been the greatest blessing of my life and I thank the good Lord for each one of you and only pray to be a better Disciple of the Lord, Pastor to you, chaplain to many ministries, a Brother and an uncle. So, this week I turn 43! What happens over the next 10 years? Only God knows (which is good news)! Please do not buy me a present! I need less stuff, not more. Don’t throw me a party for my birthday, my anniversary party is enough. If you want to do something for my birthday the best thing you can do is pray for me, and if you want to do more than that, please donate money toward our future seminarian fund. This benefits young men who serve in the Summer and are discerning vocations to the priesthood (which is one of the great joys of my life). Otherwise, just pray for me especially at the consecration.
Never forget after God and my family, YOU are my greatest blessing!!!
Your Father and Brother in Christ Jesus,