For the three parishes of Pettis County, we have two weekly bulletins. Each of these include a common “pastor’s pen.” While I serve the community as associate pastor, from time to time I take a stab at writing the “pastor’s pen.” I thought I’d share these here as well.
Here’s my first one which was an attempt to introduce myself to the community.
I would like to thank Fr. Mark and all of you for your most gracious welcome to the Catholic Community of Pettis County. I look forward to meeting more of you this Sunday afternoon from 1-3 P.M. in the St. Patrick’s Church Basement. Before that gathering, allow me to share a little bit of my story.
I was born in St. Louis, and when I was 10 my family (my parents and one younger sister) moved to New Jersey. Growing up I loved playing many sports, including: hockey, basketball, tennis, baseball, and track. By the time I got to high school all my focus went towards football. Now I enjoy playing in men’s softball leagues. So if anyone out there is looking for another player, please give me a call!
When I was in high school I was also very involved in my parish’s high school youth group. The highlights of that experience were without a doubt the service immersion trips which took me all over the country and to Mexico. Encountering Christ in the face of the poor is what forced me to begin to ask the big questions about my faith, and eventually my vocation.
Growing up, I always wanted to be a sports journalist. In high school I wrote for the local town paper covering high school sports. When I first thought of a call to the priesthood, I thought, “No way!” So instead I pursued a career in religion journalism. After graduating high school I enrolled in the journalism school at Mizzou, making me a 3rd generation Tiger! As I continued to run from the priesthood, I found myself with an internship at Catholic News Service in Washington D.C. They are the equivalent of the AP for the Catholic world. After a summer chasing around senators, congressmen, bishops and cardinals, I finally realized it was time to stop running from my vocation. After another year at Mizzou, I entered seminary for the Diocese of Jefferson City.
I spent the first two years of my formation at Conception Seminary College in Nodaway County, MO. Afterwards, Bishop Gaydos asked me to go to Rome for my theology studies. There I lived at the Pontifical North American College and studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University for the last four years. At “the Greg” I earned an S.T.B. and am part of the way through an S.T.L. in Fundamental Theology.
By the grace of God I was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Jefferson City on June 27th this year. The priesthood has been the greatest gift I’ve ever received and I look forward sharing it by serving all of you, the Catholic Community of Pettis County.