Who will be the next priest from our parish?

08-04-2019From Fr. John's DeskFr. John Barbella

This weekend, a number of the Masses in our Church will be offered by priests who are natives of our parish. Fr. Matt Marinelli, who was ordained just over a month ago, and Fr. Pat Boyle, our weekend assistant for years, both grew up in P’burg and said their First Holy Masses in our Church. It is a blessing for our parish to enjoy their priestly ministry this weekend – and at any time.

Many of you are well aware that these two priests are part of a large number of men from our parish who answered the call to the priesthood. Fr. Joe Illes, who was ordained with Fr. Matt, Fr. Joe Sands, and Fr. Jim Duffy, both members of the Jesuit order, and Msgr. Lawler, pastor of St. Mary’s in Alpha, are just some of the others. St. Philip and James really has a long history of vocations to the priesthood.

Which leads us to this week’s big question: Who will be the next priest from our parish? All of us have a part to play in answering that question.

All of us have a part to play in helping that potential next priest hear and answer God’s Call. Here are some ways to do this:

  • When you say a Hail Mary for me today, say a little prayer asking God to raise up more priests from our parish.
  • Make a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament, or attend an extra Daily Mass and offer it up as a prayer for the next priest from our parish, whoever he may be. Ask God to help that man hear His Call and say yes to it.
  • Look around for young men in the parish you think might be good priests. Ask them if they have ever thought about it. Believe it or not, many seminarians today first thought about the priesthood when someone in their parish asked them about it. Maybe God is planning to use you to deliver His Call. What a privilege that would be.

Towards the end of the summer, a Vocations Kiosk will be placed in the narthex (lobby) of the Church. It will contain lots of pamphlets, books, and other things about vocations to both the priesthood and religious life. Some of them are geared directly towards young men thinking about the priesthood and young women thinking about religious life (sisters.) Other materials will help you understand your role in helping people to hear and answer God’s Call. I hope you will take a look at it.

Our parish is also blessed to host a Serra Club – a group of men and women who pray for vocations to the priesthood. They will be making a little presentation in a few weeks, asking us all to make a commitment to pray that God will raise up many good priests to serve His people. I hope everyone will indeed pray for this intention!

Last Thursday, I had a great time with a lot of our Altar Servers and their parents. We went to an Iron Pigs Baseball game, as we do this time each year. We were blessed with a beautiful evening and had a really nice time. A couple of the boys sitting by me caught balls, which made their day! I could not help thinking that, just maybe, one of those boys will be the next priest from our parish.

Remember to say a Hail Mary for me today and to pray for vocations to the priesthood. Let’s also pray for peace and for all in need.

Have a great week!

Fr. John