“For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named” (Eph 3:14-15)
Fatherhood is one of the most awesome and humbling gifts that God has bestowed upon man. Precisely for this reason, one of our greatest concerns about Peter entering the seminary revolved around his apparently not being able to experience and share in this. When Peter shared his decision to apply and enter Saint John’s Seminary, the fear arose “But what about all his talents and gifts at being a father?” Wouldn’t he miss out on teaching his children how to throw a ball, or share his love of sports, or his love of the outdoors? What about the companionship of a family? These all seemed, and in fact are, such beautiful things to give up. Wouldn’t there be a void?
But God, who is never outdone in generosity, has more than allayed these concerns. Through his formation and growth at Saint John’s, we have come to realize that he will have all these aspects of fatherhood, clearly not physically, but rather through a spiritual mode. And it will be rich, indeed. His spiritual fatherhood will and does share directly in that paternity “Of whom all paternity in heaven and earth is named” that St. Paul cites. He is becoming a father for many fathers (and mothers, brothers, sisters …), precisely so that they can live their vocation as God has called them to live. We have also seen him share his love of sports and the outdoors, not only at Saint John’s, but also through his various assignments across the Archdiocese of Boston. God is never outdone in generosity.
What about the companionship of a family? Here again, the formation and way of life at Saint John’s have more than convinced us that he will not be lacking in companionship. To see the fraternity and brotherhood of the seminarians and priests, both of Saint John’s and those throughout the Archdiocese and beyond, has been a moving reality. Peter has found a family. God is never outdone in generosity.
It seems there is a void, but it does not result from the call to become a priest, but rather God uses the priesthood to fill the void.
By: Chris Dion-Schirripa & Joe Schirripa,
Parents of Dcn. Peter Schirripa