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Q&A about Discernment for the Priesthood

Q. If someone is interested in becoming a priest, how does he go about it?

Discerning a vocation can happen in any number of ways.  It might come as a surprise to the person called, or to family or friends.  Sometimes, it is a gradual process, other times it is as quick and bright as lightning.  Regardless of how it starts, a vocation to the priesthood or religious life requires a process of discerning, testing and preparing.  The best place to being would be with lots of prayer, receiving the sacraments and attending daily Mass whenever possible.  The talk to your pastor, or a priest you know and trust.  Your diocese may have a vocation director who can provide you with guidance and information.  The Serra Club is also a great source of information and contacts to help you discern if indeed God is calling you.

Remember that many young Catholic men have considered the priesthood.  Some are ordained and others realize this is not their calling.  However, we are all called to be of service to others as we practice our faith.  These are extraordinary times in which we live and they require an extraordinary witness to faith and to God’s presence in the world.  Our work, our ministry as Catholics is to be the body of Christ with and for others.  The church needs priests.  If God calls you to ordained service in the church, he will provide the grace, direction and support you need.  Just listen and respond with all your heart, mind and soul.

Big Weekend for Assumption

Thirty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This is a big weekend in our parish. First, we distributed over 200 Thanksgiving baskets with turkeys to families in our neighborhood yesterday through the generosity of St. Pius and Our Lady of Mercy parishes. Second, today is the awesome feast of Christ the King! Third, Cardinal Wuerl installs me today as your pastor. Last but certainly not least, my Mom is here this weekend! (I think parishioners are most exciting about that).

I’ve written before that it’s an incredible honor to be stationed at Assumption as your pastor. Today, it becomes official as the Church presents me as pastor through the Archbishop. One of the things I will do is renew the promises I made at my ordination to the priesthood. These words were significant then but are even more so now because they are specifically related to you.

Here is one of the questions the Cardinal asks me to which I answer, “I do”:

Are you resolved that you will bind yourself ever more closely to Christ the high priest who for us offered himself to the Father as a spotless victim, and that with Christ you will consecrate yourself to God for the salvation of your brothers and sisters?

Like vows in Holy Matrimony, these promises are intimidating. With the help of God, I am to be so bound to Christ the High Priest that I am consecrated (“set apart”) for the salvation of your souls! His mission is now my mission here. We hear in today’s Gospel for the feast of Christ the King that Christ’s mission on earth was to “testify to the truth”. That‘s what his mission was. That’s what his kingdom on earth looks like. May his mission be fulfilled here, and may He make our parish into a kingdom (Rev 1). Specifically, may He help me to testify to the truth, and may you belong to the truth and hear my voice.

None of us priests are worthy or capable of this, and those of you who have gotten to know me know that it is most true in my case! But, God is good, and He knows who He has called. Someone said the other day that God has blessed us with many graces even before I was installed as pastor. These were left over from Fr. Ivany! Seriously, though, in these first few months here especially, I have tried to continue his great work of the past three years…the work that God did through him. God has blessed us indeed throughout our Jubilee Year, and the graces will hopefully continue. On top of all of this, Thursday is Thanksgiving Day! But, really, as disciples of Jesus Christ, every day should be thanksgiving (especially if we are daily Massgoers). I give thanks to Almighty God every day for my life, faith, family, vocation, and now being pastor at Assumption. I give thanks to God for each one of you, and for being not only part of this extraordinary parish family, but its father.

–Sincerely in Christ,

Fr Greg