Last Sunday, I offered a reflection on the moment of my ordination. My purpose today is to share with you some of my pastoral history.
After ordination the Church immediately entered the year of jubilee 2000. I remember the celebratory feeling during that year. I discovered that I had been prepared for the priesthood by the seminary, but the people of the parish were teaching me how to be a churchman. I spent most of my years as parochial vicar at Saint Francis Parish in Yuma, Arizona. The parish established an adoration chapel at that time, enhanced its school enrollment and welcomed a fourth priest to serve their parish. Then, after my brother died of esophageal cancer, I felt a need to make a change.
The Church allowed me to come to the Archdiocese of Denver and in 2005 Archbishop Chaput assigned me to serve as the pastor of the parish in Fort Morgan. The excitement of a dual culture parish combined with limited resources (I was the only person on the parish staff when I arrived!) made for a powerful time of pastoral ministry. Today, I serve as your pastor here in Wheat Ridge. The diversity of our 32 ministries and the ever newness of our school make this parish a perfect match for my gifts and the parish’s needs.
My favorite definition of ministry is the matching of a gift with a need. I delight in 20 years of ministry and pray that God will continue to give me the graces I need to continue to serve you well.