A Priest Life

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

Category: Reflections

Dial correctly

It’s part of being a new pastor: fiddling with (and praying over) the A/C unit at 5am so I could fulfill my first promise to the parish (it did!), cleaning out the brochure display, picking up trash, and trying to deposit the collection. Left three times, right two times, left again and finish on the number. The […]

Thankful for firsts

My second day as pastor was a day of firsts. I heard my first confessions, I introduced myself for the first time, I celebrated my first weekend Mass, and I made my first promise to the parishioners to fix the church’s A/C that broke my first day. It was a day of firsts also for St. Henry’s […]

You Provide

Today I begin to serve St. Henry Catholic Church as pastor. It’s my first pastorate, and that’s not to mention my new assignment as Director of Vocations. The schedule for the day was light: unpack boxes in the office and serve Benediction at 5pm. I wasn’t scheduled for daily Mass because the schedule is lighter in July. I […]

Yeah, you right!

My truck was parked in a friend’s gravel driveway. He told me about the staggering number of catfish they had caught over the last few weeks. “They want me to go with them tomorrow morning, but I can’t. I told them I have my holy hour in the morning,” he said proudly. I listened attentively as […]

What Our Lord Saw from the Tomb

It must have been quite dark.The sun wasn’t over head yet, and the opening was still barred. Darkness: It probably doesn’t realize it yet, but the light has already conquered. Standing in the church two thousand years later, I had to fight a few tears next to the baptismal font. The paschal candle provided the light, […]

What Our Lord Saw from the Cross

Fr. Jeff, you like to look around while you are on the altar. The little boy is right. Our sanctuary is surrounded by pews on three sides. Part of my routine is to look at the entire church gathered during the Introductory Rites. As I see different people, I formulate prayer intentions for each of […]

Serve, wash, and feed

I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do. –John 13:15 As the pastor knelt before the men to wash their feet, the expressions on each man changed. Removing their shoes and socks was humbling. We rarely show our feet to another. He knelt […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]