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Archives YCV: In Persona Christi

Nov. 21, 2012

By Amanda Conklin
Campus minister, St. Mary’s, Canton

Working for the Church has taught me very quickly that priests are truly the superheroes of our modern world.
Even in my short time at St. Mary’s I have witnessed Father Doug Lucia’s constant self-sacrifice.

He wakes at any hour of the night to attend to someone who is sick or dying and he often gives up his “days off” to celebrate a funeral or tend to some other parish business.

The truth is priests don’t really get a “day off.” That is one of the most beautiful things about the priesthood. They have totally given their lives to the Church, to Christ.

Many don’t realize that priests deal with death on a daily basis. It is because of their faith in the resurrection of Christ, that even in the constant face of death, they are able to remain joyful and serve God’s people. They go where many would fear to tread.

Priests are constantly called to approach delicate situations with love and have to learn how to meet people where they are, while still remaining faithful to the teachings of the Church. This is often a daunting task!
While balancing all of this, they still find time for their employees. I have never felt as valued and cared for as an employee than these past few months working at St. Mary’s. 

Father Doug has been struggling with a knee injury for about a month and still sees to it that his flock is tended to. I know with my lack of pain tolerance, if I were in his situation I wouldn’t be quite so resilient. One thing to remember is that priests are human as well. Priests get lonely, frustrated, and tired.

While many lay people are planning long trips to visit family as the Christmas season approaches, priests are busier than ever, planning beautiful liturgies and carefully preparing to help make their parishioners’ spiritual lives more fruitful during the Advent season. 

I know that I don’t thank the priests I know nearly enough. Priests act “in persona Christi” (in the person of Christ) and it is through them as servants to the Church, that we are blessed as Catholics to share in the amazing gift of the Eucharist.

During this month of thanksgiving, please remember to take a moment to tell the priests in your life how thankful you are for them.

Photo supplied
Father Douglas Lucia, pastor of St. Mary’s in Canton offers some encouragement and advice to the members of St. Mary’s School boys basketball team.

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