Pure joy. That’s the only way I can describe my first few days as a priest of Jesus Christ. When I first decided to enter St. John’s Seminary to study for the priesthood, I experienced the most amount of joy I had ever felt. Today, I am a Catholic priest and that joy has increased a hundredfold. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and a sign that one is doing the Lord’s will. I believe wholeheartedly that in doing the Lord’s will, we will have joy.
Joy is what I experienced in prayer moments before my ordination at the Cathedral. Joy is what I experienced when Cardinal Seán laid his hands on me and prayed over me. Joy is what I experienced in hearing confessions for the first time. Joy is what I experienced in offering the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for the first time. And joy is what I have experienced in the countless encounters with faithful people I have already had as a priest.
As I begin my first parish assignment at St. Mary’s of the Assumption Parish in Brookline, I pray that my joy will only increase in my priestly ministry. I pray that I can bring that joy to all of the people I am called to serve. The Catholic life is a beautiful life, and while there may be times of suffering and trial, there can always be joy because of the goodness of God. Please God, after each day of my priesthood, even after challenging days, I will have joy because I am and always will be a priest of Jesus Christ.