Anniversary of priestly ordination

Anniversary of priestly ordination

Today is the second anniversary of my priestly ordination. I love being a priest, very much.

However, in God’s providence, today was one of those days that cause me to think that the priest is the loneliest man in the world. I guess all priests have these days. I suspect it’s integral to priestly identity.

The priest isn’t really the loneliest man in the world. The loneliest man in the world, I think, was Our Lord – afflicted in the Garden of Gethsemane, abandoned during his trial, scorned on his way to Calvary. During that time, Our Lord had no one. Priests, in contrast, have him.

The Mass for the priest on the anniversary of his ordination includes a very beautiful prayer:

that I may be in truth
what I have handled mystically in this sacrifice.

I think I might adopt this as a daily aspiration.

UPDATE Please don’t take this post as melancholic or self-pitying. Or even as a subtle plug for International Buy a Priest a Beer Day!

I had breakfast yesterday morning with two of my dearest friends. Later in the day I caught up with my spiritual director. And I had dinner last night with a group of priests with whom I was in the seminary. So the loneliness I experienced was not for want of human company.

Fr Mick MacAndrew has the right idea. In the comment thread below he describes it as “an aloneness.” It is, I believe, one of the singular privileges of priesthood, since it relates directly to what the priest does, and who he is.

So . . . by all means, buy a priest (any priest) a beer! But pray, too, that he is conformed to Jesus Christ not only ontologically (by the sacrament of orders), but also personally and affectively (by his interior life).

  • Carmel Righetti

    Recalling your unforgettable Ordination with gratitude to God and nightly prayers for you!

  • Fr Mick Mac Andrew

    Two years a priest, I’m twenty years a priest and at least once a day think of the loneliness of being a priest and like you, reflect on how Christ knew that in the loneliness was an aloneness that only God could enter and heal and, more importantly, use for good.

    If we ever think it is our priesthood and not Christ’s then we will turn the loneliness inwards and not outwards to the world, to the human family. When I remember to turn outwards with all the pain of serving and the pain of knowing deeply my own selfishness, I experience a glimpse of what the Resurrection must have been for Jesus.

    Why me?, I say.

    Why not me?, so that I can tell others the wonders of being raised by God to be a gift of new life to others.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for being a priest, Father. Good priests mean so, so, so much to us and you are one of the good ones.

  • Geoff Martin

    I was just thinking this the other night at James’ ord that it must have been around the same time.
    Great to catch you!

  • Angela O’Connor

    Congratulations Fr. Thankyou for your generosity & selflessness

  • MuMu

    Happy Anniversary, Father! Your ordination seems like yesterday. Sounds like you are experiencing a taste of “You are not of this world” ….

    • Adri

      Blessed and Happy Anniversary Father. May the Lord keep you healthy for 100 more. P.S holy loneliness what a blessing! !!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!