On May 14, 1994, I prostrated myself on the floor of St. Finnan’s Cathedral in Alexandria, Ontario, CANADA and was ordained a priest through the imposition of hands by Most Rev. Eugene LaRocque. At that moment I was ontologically changed through the permanent character of Holy Orders and now share in the priesthood of Jesus Christ, a priest in the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:1-10). My life has never been the same. Is it a great life? You bet! It does have tough days, but these are far outnumbered by the great opportunities the Lord Jesus has given me to share in His Priesthood. I see how He is working his power in people’s lives, as He is in mine.
I am the oldest of six children, having been raised in the parish of St. Raphael’s. My parents taught us the value of our faith and great respect for priests. Growing up at home I can never remember my parents saying negative things about priests. This gave all of us a great love for priests, men who had sacrificed so much so as to be of service to us. I have been blessed to know priests who loved being priests, were men of prayer and enjoyed life. They prayed with us, cried with us, and laughed with us.
I first thought of being a priest when I was asked by Bishop LaRocque at my Confirmation in grade 8 at the age of 13. I firmly believe it was at that moment the “seed” of my call to the priesthood was planted. Bishop LaRocque ordained me 14 years later, at the age of 27. Odd, or God? I also remember a passionate homily I heard one Vocations Sunday that had a profound effect on me. The preacher pleaded with us to pray for vocations and for all the young people present to ask themselves, “Lord, could you be calling me?”