Thank you for all of your gifts, cards, and kind words as I celebrate 10 years as a priest of Jesus Christ. It has been a whirlwind ride, but a source of great joy and fulfilment all the same. I have been blessed to be part of your families’ celebrations and sorrows. Together we have celebrated the Eucharist and Adored our Lord for countless hours. We have blessed your homes and your families, and in these moments, you have been great blessings to me. I have physically felt the support of your prayers, and I know that the graces you have begged of God for my sake and for the sake of our parishes have borne great fruit in our communities.
I am greatly encouraged by your faith and especially your hunger for Jesus in the Eucharist. I am sorry for any hurt that my faults and failings may have caused along the way, and I pray that God’s grace has and will continue to make up for my weakness. Priests are as human as everyone else, and I am no exception. But for ten years I have seen God’s grace work through my sinful hands and this striving sinner has been blessed to witness many miracles, great and small.
Most of all, I am grateful for the work of our Deacons and parish staff, past and present. Anything great we have achieved has been mostly their doing. I am humbled to work with such good and prayerful people, who daily remind me of God’s presence and action in my life. Our many dedicated volunteers, too, have made great use of their many gifts, and for this I am eternally grateful.
My favorite Sacrament to celebrate as a priest has always been Reconciliation. A good confession was the turning point in my young adult life that set me on the path to priesthood. I love watching the tears of joy on your faces as you receive God’s mercy and are made whole again by His love. I am proud of the forgiveness you show to one another—a true miracle in our world today.
My only regret, if it can even be called such, is that I haven’t done more to encourage priestly vocations in my time here. Every priest’s secret desire is to render himself obsolete by fostering a company of future priests to continue the good fight. I pray that the next ten years of my priesthood will be more focused on achieving this goal. Please pray with me for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our sons, that this great vocation of love might be answered with courage and joy by all whom He has chosen.
I love being a priest! This is my call to holiness, and I cannot imagine any other life for myself, so naturally I want to share it with everyone. I am grateful for the call, the walk, and the blessings. You are all blessings to me, and I thank you.