Tomorrow, the young people of Cardinal Ritter High School report for duty. It is an exciting time for sure, although the Summer just did not last very long! Although I'm over two months in to my second year of priesthood, this feels to me like tomorrow is the start of my second year as a priest. I wanted to share some thoughts about this past year with all of you.
This past year was the best year of my life. St. Augustine said that "Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, oh God" and I felt like my life was restless until the priesthood. Even in the seminary and teaching at Chatard (which both felt to me as though I was doing God's Will) I felt a restlessness about my life - a feeling that I was not quite where I was meant to be yet. That is no longer the case, and it has been pretty amazing to settle in to the priesthood. I don't mean that I'm done growing (I know I have weak spots, some that I'm not even aware of yet), what I mean is that this priesthood things just feels like it fits.
I'd like to thank some people for helping me in my transition. First of all, my family and friends have been awesome. I haven't been able to see them (especially my good friends) as much as I'd like, but they don't hold that against me. Fr. Joe has been a great priest to start out working under. He understands that my time is to be spent mostly at Ritter, and he does a wonderful job respecting that. I'm also a guy who unwinds by reading and being quiet at the end of the day, and he's also very respectful of that. It has been wonderful. I hear a lot of nightmare first assignments for young priests around the country, but mine has been great.
The people at Cardinal Ritter have been awesome! The staff is fun and energetic, and I can honestly say that every morning heading in to work I'm excited to get the day going. The people at Malachy have also been great. Everyone told me I'd probably have a hard time at Malachy because of how I view the Church and Church teachings, but it has been super easy. I have loved being in the parish on the weekends and living in the parish.
It was a fantastic first year of priesthood and I'll be most fortunate if all my future years even get close to this first year of being a priest.