It has been just over six weeks since I was ordained a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Rockford on June 1st, 2019. Since then, I have been able to celebrate over sixty masses, anoint several people, preside over a couple of funerals, and baptize one child.
I also attended two friend’s ordination to the priesthood in Madison, Wisconsin, and Wishaw, Scotland.
While all of these pastoral opportunities have impacted me during my short time as a priest; the most life-changing aspect of priesthood has been the hours I have spent sitting in the confessional. Here I have humbly listened to the people of God as they receive the loving mercy of Jesus Christ through the sacrament of reconciliation.
Growing up, I would say that I had a love/hate relationship with the sacrament of confession. I experienced fear as a child about sharing my weakest moments with a man that I looked up to in my local priest. Over time, I was able to mature and recognize that I was talking to Jesus in this moment of healing.