In my limited experience of priestly life these past five months, I would say priestly life is like being handed the keys to a 1953 Chevy pickup truck with manual transmission and no power steering and being told by God the Father, “You’re driving. Let’s go!” God sits shotgun and places an indescribable amount of confidence and trust in me, his beloved son, the driver, as I strive not to kill the truck amidst the fear that I will do just that. Ultimately, what is revealed to me is that God the Father’s confidence in me is justified, I just can’t see it in myself because of my fear of failing. God is guiding me each step of the way, not by driving for me, but by teaching me how to drive. Read more
This past week I rediscovered something crucial to any life well-lived, exercise. Before priestly ordination, seminary life provided a mostly structured scheduled environment in which it was fairly easy to work in running to my weekly routine. During my time in seminary I ran 3 half-marathons and many other 5Ks, 10Ks, and 15Ks. Since priestly ordination, however, my life has been far from routine; with a bit of vacation, starting at St. Stephens Indian Mission, World Youth Day trip to Lithuania and Poland, and trying to get settled back here, I haven’t made the effort to get out and run…that is, until last week. What transpired was a rediscovery of the joy of running. I don’t mean that in a superficial sort of way, in truth, it hurt; my body was not ready for me to pick up running again and definitely let me know it wasn’t appreciative of the 3 miles I tried to cover. The joy consisted in the experience of getting out and away from everything for 30 minutes. It gave me an experience to be outside, with the beauty of God’s creation all around me, creating a sense of awe and wonder at the created universe. I also love to run with music so running allows me to jam out to my music and enjoy without worrying about anything back home. It’s a great stress-reliever, a healthy habit, and a spiritually uplifting experience (for our spiritual life and our physical life are intertwined: when our bodies are in a healthy place it aids our spiritual life and vice versa). Needless to say, I hope to keep up the running routine and check out some of the local races here in the area…I’ve noticed a Turkey Trot 5K coming up in November in Riverton. Read more
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.” – Mk 10:29-30
One of the things that every newly ordained priest must face is the fact that he has in a very literal way, laid down his life for Christ. That means giving up a family, a stable home life, even a career. It also means living and ministering in places he possibly never thought he would. Being a priest means having one foot in the created world and the other in the spiritual world. He directs the people he ministers to an encounter with Christ and points everyone to their ultimate destiny, eternal life in heaven where we will all see God face to face. Read more
Having never gone to World Youth Day before and being a newly ordained Catholic priest (May 20, 2016), I have to admit, I was a bit nervous going into this World Youth Day pilgrimage in Kraków, Poland. I wasn’t entirely sure what my role would be, what my purpose would be, on this pilgrimage. I have been ordained a priest for about two months, so I knew that I would be going on this pilgrimage as a priest, but even that didn’t reveal to me what my deeper purpose was going to be. Plus, with my life being hectic with the move to my new parish at St. Stephens, which occurred literally a week and a half before we left for Europe, my life was understandably upside down. I had almost no time to mentally prepare for this trip. Instead, I packed light and hit the road to join up with the rest of the group from Wyoming as we prepared to leave the United States of America with little to no expectations of what was to come. I think this complete unpreparedness was, in itself, a grace given to me by the Lord. Without any expectation of what was to come, the Lord moved me in ways I didn’t see coming and have been tremendously blessed by, and my not have noticed had I been actively expecting something else. Read more
What a grace filled week I have experienced. Words fail to describe the greatness of the Lord to me this week. I feel that I can only echo the Psalmist: “How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me? The cup of salvation I will raise; I will call on the Lord’s name” (Psalm 116:12-13).
On Friday, May 20, I was ordained to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. I am still processing the reality that is now my whole life and vocation. I am incredibly grateful to God for His goodness and grace in my life and I am grateful to all of my family and friends throughout my entire journey who have helped me along this path to my priestly ordination. I could not have done God’s will for me without your prayers along the way. What a grace to be part of such a great family as the Body of Christ! Read more