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The first time my Grandparents called me ‘Father’ – A reflection on my third anniversary as a priest

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I was ordained a priest on May 1, 2010. One of the things that left a profound impact on me was hearing my grandparents for the first time call me “Father.” It was a humbling experience to hear them refer to me in this way. My grandparents have always had a deep respect and love for their priests and really looked at them as spiritual fathers. They now looked at me in the same way. In one word, they taught me one of the most important aspects of the Priest: that he is a father. In this vocation as a spiritual father I have found much joy in bringing Jesus to others, in the Eucharist at the Mass, with absolution in confession, with a word of encouragement, and through my daily prayers for the parish. At the same time, I’ve also been amazed to discover that there are aspects of peoples lives that they will only ever reveal to the priest and that in some of these moments, the hidden moments of the life of the priest, there is real meaning, real satisfaction, and real grace. The greatest challenge I have found so far in my priesthood is trying to live up to that one word I now hear so often directed towards me – Father. To be a faithful, loving and prayerful spiritual father, like the ones my grandparents have known throughout their lives, would be the greatest achievement of my life as a priest.

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