I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who was involved in the celebration of the 40th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. I would especially like to thank those who planned and carried out the reception for me after the Mass. I know there was a lot of work done by people of both parishes and by the various clubs from both parishes. Seeing the two Salesian parishes working together for something is, I think, a very good thing! I would also like to thank Max and the choir from St. John Bosco for the beautiful music at the Mass. I also want to thank Fr. Tim Zak, the Salesian Provincial Superior for being the Celebrant and homilist for the Mass. 40 years of priesthood kind of snuck up on me – it sure doesn’t seem that long! I’ve had a wonderful life as a priest and as a Salesian and I wouldn’t want to change a thing. I was thinking back to a day in 1959 when the crusty old pastor of my parish, Msgr. Oscar Winninghoff, out of nowhere asked me if I ever thought of becoming a priest. I was so shocked that he asked because I didn’t think he ever even noticed me. I never forgot that question. During high school I began to think more and more about it and I entered the seminary after high school. A couple of years later I was reading in my prayer book about Don Bosco on his feast day. I wondered about the order he founded, the Salesians, and if they still existed. The rest is, as they say, history. In celebrating my anniversary I can’t help but think of vocations and the need for young people to respond to the call to the priesthood and religious life. I really think that this involves all of us. Just as Msgr. Winninghoff got me started, really, on the path to priesthood, so too priests, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters and just plain people can and must be the ones to ask a young person if they ever considered priesthood or that they might make a good priest. If we don’t say or ask it, we might lose a possible vocation. Vocations are all of our business! I’ve attached a commemorative holy card of my anniversary to this bulletin. Please let it remind you to work for vocations to the priesthood and religious life. God bless!
Following the WORD OF GOD
Created: July 23, 2004 St. Rosalie Catholic Church