Last month – on June 7 – I celebrated my tenth anniversary of priestly ordination. My parishioners at the Cathedral of St. Paul (and friends from former assignments and beyond) organized a lovely celebration for me. Here is a small sampling of photos:
If you’re interested in seeing more of the great photos one of the parishioners took, a full gallery is online here.
As you see in one of the photos above, I was presented with a spiritual bouquet calendar as a tenth anniversary gift! A parishioner contacted hundreds of people to ensure that at least one — often two — people are praying for me each day from June 7, 2018 until June 7, 2019. Of all the gifts that I received, this was the greatest, and it is my pleasure and duty to pray for those whose names are listed each day. Thank you!
As I look back over these ten years so much has happened – and the time has gone by so quickly. I have been Parochial Vicar at Holy Spirit Parish in Huntsville, where I also became fluent in Spanish as I worked daily with the many Hispanic immigrants. I was religion instructor and later chaplain of St. John Paul II Catholic High School (also in Huntsville). Then the Bishop sent me to study canon law in Rome – three years that were both wonderful and not without their own challenges. When I returned I was first Administrator and then Pastor of two parishes in Birmingham — St. Barnabas and Holy Rosary. And from there, Bishop transferred me to be Rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul, in addition to naming me Chancellor of the Diocese and Judge of the Marriage Tribunal.
Along the way I have met so many wonderful people. I have made many mistakes but see the many good things that God has enabled me to do also. Each week I meet young men whom I believe could have a call to the priesthood – and, whenever it seems prudent, I tell them that. I hope that many others will want to follow God’s calling to serve him in this way. The priesthood is a wonderful life for those who are called to it, and I am thankful to God for my call. Please pray with me in gratitude for these years – and that I may serve the Lord and his people more faithfully in the years to come!