Priests, Seminarians & Our Parish

08-16-2020From Fr. Antony's DeskFr. John Barbella

This coming Saturday, our Bishop will ordain several young men to the priesthood. Two of them, Deacon Thomas Lanza and Deacon David Keyes, spent a summer in our parish as seminarians. I am happy to see them reach priestly ordination, and look forward to attending the ordination. Please keep them in your prayers.

Speaking of seminarians, I want to thank Joseph Ho for all he did in our parish this past summer. He arrived in our parish in the midst of the pandemic, and immediately went to work. Most of the things I ask seminarians to do, like helping at Vacation Bible School, was not possible this year, but that didn’t stop Joseph at all. He helped serve all our Masses, distribute Holy Communion (even in the parking lot before public Mass restarted) and was a big help in cleaning and sanitizing our Church. Joseph’s willingness to serve in many different ways will help him be a great priest!

With Joseph’s return to the seminary, another seminarian will be joining our parish soon. His name is Dawid Malek, and he has an interesting story. As a layman, he earned a Master’s Degree in Theology from the University of St. John Paul II in Krakow. Having come to believe God is calling him to the priesthood, Dawid must now spend some years in priestly formation (the practical & spiritual dimensions of preparation).

As part of this process, Dawid will serve a pastoral year in our parish. It will be a time for him to gain some practical experience working in a parish & living with other priests. I know our parish will make him welcome!

The fact that so much of my column this week is about seminarians is a testimony to our parish. Not only have we produced many vocations over the years, but our Bishops have trusted our parish priests and laypeople to encourage, support, and help many young men prepare for the priesthood. For me, it is particularly satisfying to see some of these men reach the goal of ordination-knowing that the good people of our parish played a part in their journey!

Please pray for all the seminarians of our diocese. Pray also that many young men in our parish will hear and answer God’s call to the priesthood and some young women His call to religious life. There are some young men among us considering whether or not God might be calling them-and they could certainly use our prayers as well.

Of course, I also ask you to pray that daily Hail Mary for me!! I really appreciate that so many of you do! Let’s also pray for the sick, and for those working on vaccines-may God bless them with success. Finally, pray for peace.

Have a great week!

Fr. John