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Father Muench Says...

Many gifts, blessings in the priesthood

Nov. 7, 2018

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Today, I would to take this opportunity to say “thank you” as a priest of the Diocese of Ogdensburg for the priest’s appreciation that was expressed in last week’s issue of the North Country Catholic. I am certain that I speak for all our priests; each one of us is so grateful to be recognized and appreciated.

I want you to know that this appreciation matters a great deal to us, priests. I was impressed to see the various parish groups that expressed their appreciation for their pastors and the other priests on the parish staff.

At the same time, I want to reaffirm that we, priests, believe in faith that we have heard the call of the Lord to become a priest. Our priesthood is a vocation. We rejoice in God’s call to ministry in the church. However, I do reaffirm that the appreciation of a parish and a diocese for our ministry is very special.

Speaking for myself, I would like to declare my own appreciation for the many priests who have been a part of my life and a real source of support for my ministry. My life has been touched by many priests who have helped me discover who I am and how I should best live out my ministry as a priest.

Over the years, I have personally worked with many priests – terrific and holy priests – and found in this collaboration a real source of happiness. I have truly appreciated each of them.

I have also appreciated the opportunities of being involved with the ministry of our Catholic Church as a priest of this diocese. I have found a close family with the priests of my diocese. They have become my closest friends.
Today, I continue to appreciate the priests who now continue to be part of all that I do as a priest and my priestly ministry.

Each year, as I approach All Souls Day, I fill out one of those envelopes. I make my list of my deceased loved ones- who will be remembered at the Mass on All Souls Day. As you may suspect, there are many priests on the list – priests now with the Lord. Each year, in making this list, I take the time to remember and to pray. My prayer is a prayer of gratitude that these dedicated priests were part of my life and brothers with me in my ministry. I truly appreciated them all.

As I thank God for my priesthood, I continue to pray that there will be an increase in those who discover their vocation to become a priest.

0I have found true happiness in my life as a priest. My priesthood has been blessed with just wonderful assignments. I have found great satisfaction in my ministry as a priest. I have been allowed to become part of many parishes, many communities – families and people striving to make the Church a people united in care for each other, as well as bringing help to those in need. In this way, these parishes were a united family bringing the message of Jesus to this world.

As a priest, I have found my greatest happiness in being able to celebrate the Holy Eucharist, the Mass, bringing the love of the Savior to so many. I continue to find the peace and love of the Lord to lead a congregation in the celebration of the life, death and resurrection of the Lord, Jesus.

I found joy in bringing the Gospel of Jesus to so many through preaching and teaching. There is a real sense of happiness in bringing the Lord through the church’s sacraments to the sick and the dying. There is a powerful sense of satisfaction knowing that, as a priest, the Lord is leading and guiding me that I can continue to bring Christ’s love and the power of the Holy Spirit to his people.

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