Father's Bulletin Letter 1.9.22

Jan 04, 2022


Last weekend must have been designated as the weekend for priests to come down with COVID.  Fr. Bozek and I were asked to help cover at a couple of parishes where priests were out of commission for having tested positive.

I had the wonderful opportunity of celebrating Mass over at Sts. Peter and Paul in Doylestown where our former parochial vicar, Fr. Peter Morris, has recently taken over the reigns.  As it turns out, Cameron Ferrel, the seminarian who lived at St. Sebastian for a spell and whose home parish just happens to be St. Peter and Paul, was serving.  I saw that the next Mass that Sunday was to be celebrated by Fr. Cameron Popik from St. Hilary.  Fr. Bozek drove north to St. John Neumann to fill in there for their 11:30 Mass.  It puts one in mind of what things could look like if we don’t do a better job of promoting vocations.

A priest who works with promoting vocations to the priesthood recently said, “The vocations are out there!  Young men are not only asking questions but asking the right questions and see something desirable in the life.  The biggest obstacle right now is lack of significant support.  There is no doubt that our culture is not supportive of priestly vocations but that is easy to overcome.  The big hurdle to get over is the lack of support from family, friends and other Catholics.”

I was fortunate in that I had a lot of support to at least consider the priesthood growing up even when I wasn’t seriously thinking about it.  I remember as a very young server being stopped coming off of the altar by (what at least seemed to be at the time) women of a certain age who would give me a dollar and say that I would make a good priest.  There were friends, among whom was Cathy Paparella who many of you remember, who supported my forays into thinking about the priesthood.  And while I had one supportive parent, my father was at least not opposed to the idea.  As it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a whole parish to form a priest (or religious.)

Please pray for vocations.  Please support those who are discerning.  Please mention the possibility to some young person that you think may have a Church vocation.  It means more than you know for someone to say they think they are worthy (even if they seem cold to the idea!) 

The best time to plant a tree is ten years ago.  This past summer I finally went over to Forest Lodge Park and dug up some oak seedlings to plant on our property.  If I had done that ten year ago, image what trees we would have now!  It is the same thing with vocations.  Let us begin now so that in ten years we may have have mighty oaks in the making.

And if you are such a young person and are concerned that you are not worthy or talented enough.  You are right!  Nobody is!  I’m not.  But Jesus is.  His Holy Spirit will act where you are deficient.  He doesn’t ask you to be great, just faithful.  Let Him be great through you.  Because if not you then who? 

God bless,

Fr. Valencheck