Monday, June 15, 2015

To Set the World On Fire

After many years of prayer and preparation, this weekend I was ordained to the priesthood. This morning, as I shook the remnants of sleep from my eyes and turned my mind toward the day ahead, I was filled with a deep sense of joy and peace.

It'd be impossible for me to recount either what I felt or continue to feel. Hence let me share a few photographs.

This is a photo take at the recessional. I don't know that I've ever experienced joy such as this.

My first Mass was celebrated at Old Saint Patrick's Church. I cannot tell you how unbelievable the church community is. If you or someone you know struggles to find a home in the Catholic Church, I can say of Old Saint Pat's what I would say of my own Saint Cecilia parish: everyone can find a home here. Father Hurley and his staff was so gracious and hospitable and their liturgical music was brilliant. Indeed, it gave me the chance to live up to the name of the blog: the tin whistle priest.

Perhaps one of the more powerful experiences was having so many of my Irish music and dancing friends present. They generously traveled from all over the country to share in this experience and I'm so incredibly grateful to them. Indeed, there were enough adjudicators present to run a small feis. I would probably call it the "Haven't Got a Prayer" feis just to be cheeky!

If there is ever a place I learned to be a Jesuit, it was at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy. I learned more from them what it means to be a priest than I could ever have taught them about any subject. If I can be the type of priest they deserve, I will live a very rich and happy life. Here is but one group of students, but there were a ton of others as well: they just haven't posted their pictures to Facebook!

I will be posting pictures with my family soon. When the photographer sends us photos from the event, I'll be sure to post them. In the meantime, allow this to give you a sense of how the Duns and Hagan families celebrate sacerdotal ministry. Never in my life would I have imagined having a commemorative beer koozie and shot glass!

After two days of nonstop extroversion, I'm grateful to have a day of relative quiet. I'm going to leave the coffee shop I'm presently sitting in and go for a walk through Cleveland. I'll meet up with my parents in a bit to shop at the West Side Market and I'm overjoyed not to have evening plans. Perhaps that is the best way to describe how I feel today: a sense of joy that is so fulfilled that it brings me great peace and tranquility.

My prayer is that I may be given the grace to be the priest God's people deserve. I am neither a saint nor a hero, but I hope to do my best to give credible witness to my love for Jesus Christ and his Church. 

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