Dear Friends in Christ,
By the time this bulletin is disseminated at the Masses, we will have five new priests: Father Paul Abbruscato, Father Logan Nilsen, Father Cesar Pirateque, Father Stephen Robbins, and Father Christopher Myers. What a graced time for the Church, for our diocese and for our parish which was chosen for the ordination. We are honored that Father Cesar and Father Logan are offering their Masses of Thanksgiving at Our Lady of Hope, Saint Agnes Church. The life of the priest is mysterious and blessed. Right from the beginning our Lord called priests who were loving such as Saint John; impetuous such as Saint Peter and the traitor priest, Judas. Our own time is no different. It is the mystery of God whom he calls. The five new priests are now conformed to Christ and will dispense the Lord’s grace to thousands who hunger and thirst for God. We need to pray for vocations to the Holy Priesthood. It is amusing that recently I was speaking to someone who said, “I really wanted to be a priest, but I discovered women.” I wanted to ask him if he thought I was made of wood! Priests love women more, because we are so close to the most beautiful, of women, Our Lady. Does one not realize the cost of giving up a family? The challenge of not holding one’s own child? To live the incredible life I have already lived and to continue to live the Priesthood, I would give up so much more. The Venerable Fulton Sheen wrote, “The sex drive can be transformed with a focus on Christ’s presence dwelling in His priests. Carbon may either become fire or it may become a diamond. The libido may be spent or it may be harbored. It may seek unity with another person without, but it may also seek unity with another person within, namely God. …So celibacy is not just the renouncing of the person outside but a concentration on the person inside. God is not out there. He is in us: ‘I will abide in you and you will abide in Me.’ Celibacy is a transformer which multiplies an energy within to concentrate entirely on Christ Who lives in the soul. Priests are imitating Christ, carrying a cross to prolong His redemption,” Sheen said. “The more closely they follow Christ, all the easier to be His. If I belong to the new humanity which was born originally of a Virgin, why should I not live in exclusivity for the Master? I never felt? I gave up love in taking the vow of celibacy; I just chose a higher love.” Those who said that they believed that they were called to the Priesthood simply did not have the strength and resolve to say yes. Our five new priests had the spine. Pray for them, for the devil will attack them full force and he will watch their weaknesses in order to strike at them. I entrust my new brother priests to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, the High Priest and to His Mother and Our Queen, the Holy Virgin Mary. Dear Fathers, go and save souls!
God bless you,