Today is the anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. I was ordained to the Sacred Order of Priest on the feast of St. Boniface – June 5, 1998 in the church of St. Matthew Heart’s Delight Newfoundland. I celebrated that anniversary today by taking a day off. I dug in the dirt I washed patios, walkways and windows and I did various and sundry duties around the home, all of which left me pleased when they were complete.
St. Boniface was an interesting guy – he was Bishop of Mainz and in generally attributed with the Christianization of Germany in the 8th century. I was fascinated to read about him years ago when I was getting ordained to learn more about the person for whom my feast day of ordination was named. You can read more about the good saint at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Boniface
I am pleased to be priest. The ordination day itself is not the happiest of memories, but the people I have come to know through priesthood in the 8 years since have made up for all of that. Being priest is a great privilege. It is by the consent of the people that I was ordained and it is the commission of the people that allows me to serve today. I serve God and I know God through the many I have come in contact with in my life as priest. Many people forget that being priest is really about serving. We are reminded by Christ that we are called to serve and to be served. I have been honoured to serve as priest to the people of the parish of Labrador West and to the people of St. Mark’s by-the-Lake. I pray that I may have the strength and wisdom to serve in the ways in which God wants me to serve.
There are days that I feel I get it right and days that I feel like I have terribly loused it up. Thankful there are less of the latter days. This past year or two have been very different for me. I have had to adjust the way I work and serve day to day as the face of the parish changes in substance and in number. My role is changing and I am excited about renewing myself and trying to be better at being priest in the context of a growing church community. Pray for me that I may be able to meet the challenges that lie ahead of us asa community and pray for God’s will in the life of our church.
I received a great note from Catherinanne today who is away. This is the first year that she has not been with me on this day. She always makes a big fuss of the day and always does something nice for me. I could not serve the way I do without the love and support of a great partner in ministry and life. I will close this blog with the note she sent me – this will give you an idea of hoe supportive she is of me – I’m fortunate to have such a loving spouse!
I just wanted to let you know that I was thinking of you, and that I prayed for you at Mass today. I am praying in thanksgiving for you, in thanksgiving for your many gifts, and in thanksgiving for your wonderful years of ordained ministry. Thank you for giving me the gift of journeying with you, and in sharing in ministry together. I am very proud of all that God has done in you and through you. You are a tremendous gift to me, to our families, to St. Mark’s, and to the community at large, and God will continue to use you for many things in our world!
I do not think we have seen a dent of what is in store, nor of what God is asking of you, and of me, as we continue to walk together. I know that wonderful things will be accomplished. You are a wonderful man, and a wonderful priest, and I love you!