Year One

by Fr. Jeff

Today, I celebrate my first anniversary as a priest.

Reflecting on my inaugural year to the presbyterate, I find my priestly-life summed up in two events:

When I arrived in this parish, one of the ushers went out of his way to make me feel welcome. He invited me to breakfast and dinner practically every time I saw him. He let me tag along on fishing and hunting trips. I feel as if he treated me as one of his own. Now, he is in the last moments of his life. And I rejoice that I am a part of it.

As I journey with him in the last moments of his life, today I begin a new one. Late last night, my younger sister and her husband welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world. She is in the first moments of her life. And I rejoice that I am a part of it.

Priesthood is about life. We are privileged to be a part of life from its beginning to its consummation, and everywhere in between.

Tonight, I spent some time with You reflecting on the events of this year. I asked how it went. The Apostle gave me Your answer during Vespers:

We always give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in our prayers for you because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love you bear towards all the saints–moved as you are by the hope held in store for you in heaven. You have heard of this hope through the message of truth, the gospel, which has come to you, has borne fruit, and has continued to grow in your midst, as it has everywhere in the world. –Colossians 1:4-6a

Thank You for my life.
Thank You for my priesthood.
Thank You for

Year One.