Where Would I Be Without These Men?

Fr. Edward Higgins, OFMCap, baptized me.

Msgr. John Considine gave me my First Holy Communion.  Hundred of other priests have followed in his footsteps and given me the Body of Christ.

Bishop Patrick Ahern confirmed me.

Fr. Frank Corry witnessed my marriage.

Hundreds of priests have heard my Confession and have absolved me of my sins. (I can’t recall who was the first, but God bless him)

I was educated by, among many others, the great Msgr. William Smith.

I have had the privilege of calling many priests my friends.

Where would I be without these men?

This week marks the end of the Year for Priests, as declared by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.  The intention of the year was to call the Catholic people to a deeper awareness of the value of our priests, and to pray for their growth in holiness and virtue.  It was also designed to renew our priests in their sacred vocation, and to encourage them in their witness to Christ in our world.

There have been many great events during this year, particularly the beautiful celebrations in Rome offered by our Holy Father himself.  Archbishop Dolan has worked very hard to reach out to our priests, to boost their morale and to demonstrate to them how much they are valued and loved.

Over the last two weeks, I have had the privilege of seeing most of the priests of the Archdiocese, and many religious priests, at the safe environment program we just put on up at St. Joseph’s Seminary.  It was truly awe-inspiring to stand on the podium and look out at the hundreds of men who have placed themselves in the person of Christ to serve us.

These are the men who have helped me in my life-long struggle with sin, they have mourned and rejoiced with me, and they have led me closer to God.  I couldn’t possible say or do enough to thank them.

It’s good that we’ve had a Year for Priests, and it’s good that we take the time to think about what they’ve meant to us, in our everyday lives.

But to me, it keeps coming back to that same simple question — where would I be without these men?

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