Priests
In search of healing, one story at a time

14. Jul 2021

How do you help a community ripped apart by violence, crime, and trauma? One way is to create a space where people can share difficult stories, together, in light of the Christian story.

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A dream rekindled: Profile of Father Luis Romero, C.M.

14. Jul 2021

Growing up in a remote part of EL Salvador, Father Luis Romero, C.M. remembers that when a priest would arrive once or twice a year, the Masses were major, festive occasions: “I would always ask myself, ‘Who is this man, and what does he have that gets people so excited? What is it he brings that gives so much happiness and joy to the people? I want to be like him.’ ” Fast forward many years and a move to the United States. Working in a factory on Long Island, New York, Romero’s childhood dream was reignited when the Vincentian who always celebrated the Spanish Mass at his parish invited him to join a vocation discernment group. Six years later, he entered the Vincentians.

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Secrets to being a happy priest

22. Jun 2008

The church should be a community in which people discover God’s delight in them. This is the ministry of priests. This is my life.

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Ed's story: Lose a dream, find a life

22. Jun 2008

"I'd thought about being a priest, but I thought about it like most Catholic kids--idly, poking at the thought here and there, never really facing what it might mean, the joys of it, the hard parts, the reality."

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A breath of Spirit

22. Jun 2008

Over the years I've learned that when a seminarian is good, he is very good and when he is not . . . it's best to do things yourself. I wasn't sure about the new guy yet.

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Change today? One man's journey into priesthood

22. Jun 2008

A homeless person’s call for change hit me not as a request for money, but as a command for altering my life. I had to change, or my destructive and selfish ways would surely consume me.

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Just call me Bishop Gustavo

22. Jun 2008

"I say to young people, 'God is calling you to something. Let’s find out what it is.' "

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A day in the life of a Franciscan missionary

10. Jul 2020

“Laughter through tears” best describes the emotions Father Ponchie Vásquez, O.F.M. feels as he travels the Sonoran Desert ministering to indigenous people and migrants.

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A job for life: Profile of Father Andrew Laguna, S.J.

10. Jul 2020

Priests don’t tend to worry about “job security,” but nonetheless Father Andrew Laguna, S.J. is pretty sure people will keep wanting what he and his community are offering. “Even though it seems that people are becoming less and less explicitly religious in the United States, I think that there are more seekers than ever,” he says. “More and more are drawn to spirituality, are searching for something beyond themselves. This desire is at the heart of what it means to be a religious.” When Laguna discovered how much he loved helping with parish retreats, he considered priesthood, met an encouraging Jesuit, and 11 years ago cast his lot with that community.

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A jolt, then a call: Profile of Father Daniel Kim, M.M.

16. Jul 2019

Father Daniel Kim, M.M. says his impetus to become a missionary priest grew out of a tragedy. Kim was at a Taizé prayer service in France when a murder took place before his eyes. The founder of the Taizé ecumenical monastic movement in France, Brother Roger, was stabbed to death by a mentally ill woman in 2005. This event had a tremendous impact on Kim and on his faith. Not long after, he met a Maryknoll priest and began the move toward priesthood. Today he serves at a Maryknoll mission in Hong Kong.

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What it takes to be a good priest

11. Jul 2018

Being a priest is an awesome honor and responsibility. To be of service to others is to be a channel of God’s grace, and that is the heart of this special vocation.

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God rushes in

03. Jul 2018

The best thing about being a priest is being there for moments when “hearts are suddenly wide open and the God who has always longed for such an opening rushes in.”

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Fateful homecoming amplified the call: Profile of Father Paul Chu, S.D.B.

28. Jun 2018

It was bound to be emotional when Paul Chu returned to Vietnam in his 20s after leaving as a 9-year-old. But he didn’t know it would set him on his life’s course. During an eight-day family trip to Vietnam in 2006, Chu encountered a Salesian priest who made him think: I want to be like that! Priesthood had been at the back of his mind, but that meeting triggered him to act. Today, true to the Salesian mission to work with youth, Chu ticks off 15 ways he’s ministered with young people since entering his community, from leading summer camps to organizing mission trips to Haiti. “The life of total self-giving is ever attractive to me,” he says.

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Tendering God on tough streets

27. Jun 2017

“God is always more,” says Father Greg Boyle, S.J., quoting Saint Ignatius of Loyola. Boyle takes the limits off love and has spent three decades extending it to gang members, inviting others to join him.

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5 reasons I love being a missionary priest

27. Jun 2017

From the reward of celebrating the Eucharist in remote areas to the thrill of starting projects no one thought possible, missionary priesthood has been the adventure of a lifetime for this priest.

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Team spirit: The priest on Villanova’s bench

20. Jun 2017

Father Rob Hagan, O.S.A. left a successful legal career to answer a call that had hovered in his heart for years. Today the Augustinian priest leaves the door to his dorm room at Villanova University open for athletes and anyone else who needs a listening ear.

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Letting God lead: Profile of Father Sergio Perez, O.S.J.

20. Jun 2017

When Sergio Perez told people he was joining the Oblates of St. Joseph, his friends said, “Yeah, right!” His mom was so upset she cried. What was the guy who loved dancing, founded a fraternity, and aspired to being an actor or teacher with a wife and plenty of kids doing? He was letting go so “God could lead me to my happiness and holiness,” he says. Eleven years later his large family and once skeptical friends accept and embrace his vocation as a religious priest.

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Racing toward my religious vocation

18. Jul 2016

This Jesuit novice was attracted to the priesthood by a love for the sacraments and service. The freedom to continue writing while being a priest moved him to join a religious order.

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Persistent call pays off

18. Jul 2016

“I wanted to do something that impacted people’s lives,” says Father Paul Henson, O.Carm. While that knowledge was sure, it took some false starts before he knew Carmelite life was for him.

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“Future Father” becomes present Paulist: Profile of Father Jimmy Hsu, C.S.P.

14. Jul 2016

Jimmy Hsu met the Paulist priests on his college campus, the University of Texas in Austin, where they ministered. At the time, he was struggling to figure out if his path led to priesthood or a religious community. He began to take vocation discernment seriously, embraced his sense that God was calling him to be a Paulist, and today he is “Father Jimmy,” associate pastor at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Los Angeles.

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Josephites have a dream

29. Jul 2015

For nearly a century and a half, Josephite priests and brothers have served the African-American community through education and pastoral care. 

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Starting the week off right

24. Jul 2015

After 20 years of being a priest, Sunday-morning celebration of the Eucharist never gets old for this pastor. He loves even the challenges of being present to all his parishioners.

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Finding a call across the miles: Profile of José Velázquez, O.S.C.

23. Jul 2015

Several years ago, college student José Velázquez’s curiosity about religious life overcame major barriers of distance. A native of Mexico studying in the Guadalajara region, Velázquez met some Indonesian priests who were Crosiers. Impressed, he wrote to the congregation’s office in Rome, striking up a correspondence with a Crosier priest. Eventually, he got to know Crosiers in Arizona and sensed God was calling him to join them. Today, he is a Crosier seminarian.

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Service with a side of adventure: Profile of Peter Latouf, M.M.

22. Jul 2014

If you grow up in Detroit with a mom who’s a cop and a dad who works in a steel factory, chances are you learn something about service and resilience. Those traits come in handy in the missionary life, which is where Peter Latouf finds himself now. These days the seminarian is learning Mandarin Chinese to prepare to serve as a priest in Asia.

Following an exciting stint of overseas teaching while in college, Peter acted on a lifelong interest in religious life and found his community, the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, through the VISION Vocation Network’s VocationMatch.com. “I saw in the Maryknoll priests the same willingness to serve and spirit of adventure that I had,” he says.

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The smiling priest

22. Jul 2014

Father José Lucero’s vocation story and ministry demonstrate his belief that “being a priest or a religious . . . is actually the beginning of an amazing life, allowing you to bring all your gifts to the table.”

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Enthusiasm uncurbed: profile of Juan Ruiz, S.J.

25. Jul 2013

It seems hard to dampen the excitement Juan Ruiz has for religious life. This new Jesuit says that entering a community “has already brought 100 times the fruitfulness I had ever expected.” And he isn’t exactly working in a cushy job: He ministers with Hopeworks ’N Camden, an agency in inner-city Camden, New Jersey dedicated to job-readiness and education of poor youth. Juan blogs at jesuitnovice.blogspot.com about his experiences as a Jesuit novice, a two-year part of the process of entering the Society of Jesus.

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Know thyself: A priest finds his way

23. Jul 2013

The path to a satisfying life in a religious community can have some twists and turns—and that’s fine, according to Father Michael Berry, O.C.D.

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Why being a priest makes me happy

22. Jul 2013

People are most satisfied when they are doing something for someone else. To serve others in the name of Jesus Christ is an experience of deep contentment.

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All because of God

23. Jul 2012

Franciscan friar Bob Lombardo knows whom to thank for his flourishing urban ministry.

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Confessions of a happy priest

19. Jul 2012

Sometimes I still can’t believe that people let me do this as my job, my career, my life’s work. It is never easy work, but I still feel like the luckiest person on earth.

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The three essentials in every priest’s life

19. Jul 2012

Parish priests are called to articulate, suggest, and celebrate the presence of God in people’s lives.

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Why I love being a priest

13. Jul 2012

I love being a priest for all the usual reasons, which are excellent, and I revere them, but there are some others.

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On the road to priesthood in the company of a faithful God

28. Jun 2012

My journal entries over the past 30 years serve as testimony of God’s unwavering fidelity

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Hounded by a relentless God

28. Jun 2012

If God pursues you to follow a particular path, you’re not going to get away. If you do, that’s sure proof you’re meant to serve in some other way.

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Full circle for Father Manuel Williams, C.R.

26. Jun 2012

For Father Manuel Williams, C.R., there was no one blazing moment of insight that called him to the priesthood. Instead, he walked for years among priests and sisters who were always quietly planting seeds, making the world a better place. In time, he dared to follow them—all the way back home.

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Vocations in the works: Why we’re considering life as a priest or brother

06. Jun 2012

Why do some people explore the possibility of religious life? As the person in charge of ushering new members into his community, Father Marvin Kitten, S.J. wanted to know. So he put the question to the men he knew who were considering life as a priest or brother. Here’s what 11 men had to say about what draws them to a life lived in religious community.

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How I see the vows: then and now

06. Jun 2012

My experience teaches me simply that I am happier with a wide circle of friends than I am in a relationship with a single person.

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Go in peace

06. Jun 2012

This article originally appeared in U.S. Catholic, published by the Claretians. Reprinted with permission from the author.

His tenure ended finally, as things do, and John was transferred. But before he left he said one last Mass, which was crammed to the gills

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Blessed are we who comfort the mourners

19. Jul 2011

The experience of a friend’s death affirms a young seminarian in his vocation.

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From break dancing to breaking bread

08. Jul 2008

As a priest Father Leo Patalinghug often celebrates the sacraments and gives presentations on faith issues. But he’s equally at home on the dance floor, cooking a big meal, or practicing martial arts.

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Three ways my community makes me the priest I am

21. Jul 2010

“I am a Franciscan and a priest,” says Father Jim Kent. “God’s call for me would have it no other way.”

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Feeding Jesus’ friends

11. Jul 2009

Even in the face of opposition Sacred Heart Father Guy Blair and other homeless advocates did not shy away from their mission: calling people to do what they were supposed to do for the poorest of the poor.

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What being a priest means to me

11. Jul 2009

If you are going to do something as radical as following a religious vocation, says Father Laurence Freeman, it would be wise to allow the process of conversion a chance to begin.

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