Last week in Fr. Luke’s Consider this reflection, he wrote about the Universal Call to Holiness for all people. It is a reminder that by our baptism, we are all called to a holy life. Through prayer and discernment, we can be called to certain vocations—Holy Orders (priesthood), marriage, religious life, and single life. We reflect on how we can be most loving in our life.
June 5, 2021 I was ordained a priest by Bishop Michael Fisher, Bishop of Buffalo, at St. Joseph Cathedral. It was an incredible day with lots of emotions, and was happy to have my family and many friends present. The next day at St. Louis Church, my home parish, I celebrated my first Mass of Thanksgiving.
Reflecting on my first year as a priest, I think of a prayer I often offer to God when I am getting ready for Mass or to celebrate another sacrament—God, it is the great privilege of my life to serve as a priest. Thank you.
It has been such a privilege and honor to serve at St. Mary and get to know many of you. Your faith strengthens my faith, and I thank you for your presence at church. I am also very grateful to get to know many of the students and faculty at the school where I and Mr. Michael Slish, our Youth Minister, teach a bible study once a week for the sixth grade.
There are many rewards serving as a priest, especially at such a vibrant and faith-filled parish like St. Mary. There are also some challenges. I want to thank St. Mary’s parishioners for your patience and support when at times I do experience some nerves at Mass. I am healthy and well, but do have to deal with this at times. I appreciate some of the perspective and encouragement I have received about this.
Reflecting more on finishing my first year in ordained ministry, I realize I have a lot to learn and will continue to grow into this new role and responsibility. I continue to pray a prayer I used to offer when discerning a call to minister as a priest:
Lord, take me where you want me to go.
Let me meet who you want me to meet.
Tell me what you want me to say.
And keep me out of your way.
~ Fr. Mychal Judge, O.F.M.