“[I] Give thanks to the LORD, who is good, whose mercy endures forever” (Psalm 106:1)

My parish experience as an ordained minister began after my ordination to the diaconate on December 12, 2010. My life was partly transformed knowing that I was a transitional deacon and Ordination to the Priesthood was the fulfillment of my desire.

While a deacon, I started to acquaint myself with ministering the sacraments such us baptism. I baptized several children and what a joy it was to welcome these children to the Catholic faith. Proclamation of the Gospel and preaching were among the many things I started to exercise while keeping in mind that the day would come when I would finally receive the gift of Priesthood and celebrate the Holy Mass.

June 4, 2011, feast of one of our founders, St. Francis Caracciolo, marks the very special day of my life when I received the greatest gift of all, the gift of Priesthood. (Continued on next page) My joy was intense as I humbly received the Priesthood of Jesus Christ.

It is always through the grace of God that I am able to serve the Church for I believe that a priest is chosen to celebrate the sacraments and live the mystery of God’s love for all. The Sacrament of Baptism enables me to extend the saving power of Jesus Christ to the one receiving it. The Sacrament of reconciliation, by virtue of my priestly ordination, enables me to extend the love, mercy and forgiveness of God to the penitent. The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick enables me to extend the healing power of Jesus to those who are old or infirm. Above all, the highlight of my priesthood is the celebration of the Holy Mass. It enables me to draw people closer to God and experience the real presence of a living God in their life. Their deep faith and devotion in receiving the Eucharist is my great joy.

It is through the mystery of Christ’s love for all of us that the life of a priest is filled with happiness and contentment in serving the Lord through His people. I must say that “the joy of the Lord must be the source of strength” (Nehemiah 8:10) of every priest.