A Priest Life

"Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing." -St. Paul

Priestologist

Fr. Jeff! I know what I want to be when I grow up!

The first graders in our religious education program were really excited I stopped by their classroom. They were learning about Jesus’ Resurrection at Easter.

I pointed to him and asked him what it was he wants to be:

Excitedly, he explained that he wanted to be someone who did lots of different things each day. When he grows up, he wants to be a

priestologist.

We don’t understand

We had just finished practicing for the Easter Vigil liturgy. I was standing outside in front of the church greeting a family as we prepared to celebrate a funeral for a young man who died at only 37.

His brother expressed faith profoundly:

I know we don’t understand, but I know it’s because we aren’t supposed to. If God tried to show us the truth of his love, it would be far greater than anything we can comprehend.

The beauty of the mystery we prepare to celebrate is far greater than we know. Today, I’m thankful that

We don’t understand.

Transition from the Cross to the Resurrection

The joy of watching students express their faith is unlike any other. I imagine it’s like the joy of a parent watching their children accomplish something beautiful.

After celebrating Mass at St. Louis Catholic High School, the transitions students led the entire student body in the Way of the Cross. Narrators lead the prayer and reflection while the students created each scene as a silhouette.

As we draw near to Holy Week, teach us to model Your passion in our daily lives, that we may

Transition from the Cross to the Resurrection.

Way of the Cross

New Life Counseling

The chairs circling the room barely provided us enough room. Circling the altar, we prayed that our ministry would help those who walked through our door. Before blessing the building, we heard those words of the Gospel:

Whoever keeps my word will never see death. –John 8:51

Helping those in crisis pregnancy situations is a beautiful ministry. Providing hope and the gift of love here on earth is a great grace. But most of all, we try to offer them an insight into Your love. Help us to be faithful to this ministry, that we may provide

New Life Counseling

Erasing the white board

I walked out of the sacristy vested with an alb and purple stole. When I looked at the back of the church, I expected there to be a few people who came for our Lenten penance night. Over 10 pews worth was more than few!

Grace was given penitent after penitent:

I absolve you of your sins in the name of the + Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

As my arm made the sign of the cross over and over again, I was brought back to my school days. The dry erase boards would be covered in black. To make it white again, it only took a little effort of the arm.

With Your words and grace, the forgiveness of sins is just like

Erasing the white board.

Eucharist

I spent part of my evening enjoying our students’ Fine Arts Night. They showcased their works while the performing arts provided great entertainment.

The students’ talents are incredible. There was one piece, though, that nearly took my breath away. It was a charcoal image of Mary standing at the foot of the Cross nearly embracing Your feet. Her mouth was open as she looked up, and she was about to taste the blood dripping from Your feet.

The image made me ponder what the Crucifixion was like for Your Mother. It made me think about how we remember the sacrifice. It was the title, however, that pulled it all together for me. I’m not sure I’ll celebrate it the same way again:

Eucharist.

EDIT: Click here to see Natasha’s image.

How was your day?

She walked into the sacristy about fifteen minutes before Mass started. Her husband was standing in the corner and she walked over to him and greeted him with a quick hug and a kiss.

Hello dear, how was your day?

They hadn’t seen each other since the morning and talked briefly about their day. After they finished setting things up, they went into the main church together to pray.

I processed up the aisle and venerated the altar with a kiss. At the penitential rite, and emphasized by the Lenten season, I realized her question was the same You asked me:

How was your day?

More pride than Gaston

I snuck in the back of our cafeteria in time to catch the end of the first song in their performance. The St. Louis Drama Club was performing a number of songs from different Disney movies.

To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one—to each according to his ability. –Matthew 25:15

A little girl in my row smiled as she was transported to a whole new world. The teachers were elated that they brought honor to us all. The costumes contained all the colors of the wind.

Watching them use their talents, I was absorbed in the show as they brought me

More pride than Gaston.

Practice for eternity

Don’t forget about Holy Week practice this evening.

We met in the church to practice the Triduum liturgies. We reviewed the words and ensured everything was in order. The practice helped make sure we will be ready when Holy Week arrives.

That’s one of the purposes of liturgy, isn’t it?

Practice for eternity.

Great stories

Great story, father!

I was in the refectory of the seminary after celebrating Mass for the seminarians. I had shared with them his story of conversion and how the power of grace is amazing to watch as a priest.

Looking out at all of them, it was my prayer intention for Mass. Through Your work, I want their ministry to create a collection of

Great stories.