I have a friend being ordained to the priesthood today. I wish I could be there. Both from a selfish point of view, in that ordinations are a vicarious moment of remembering my own season of birth into the priesthood, but also I am wanting to be with him on HIS day.
I was there when he walked through the doors of the parish I served as an associate years ago. I worked with him on Campus Ministry ideas as he was finishing his undergrad degree. I walked with him through a year of discernment in preparation for seminary. I watched him grow as a leader and teacher. Watched him find his own voice by imitating those around him he respected. I was one, and continue to be humbled by that honor.
Now, on the feast of St. Thomas, he begins his own mature walk in Christ as a priest of the Church, for the Church. I can't imagine being prouder. Can't imagine the sense of beginning, of completion and of joy to see nearly a decade's worth of work come to fruit for him.
He will no longer be that fresh faced youth. Soon he will be seasoned, tried and proven in parish ministry. He will continue to grow and develop in life and priesthood. He will take on leadership himself. He will hand on that gift of nurture in the "call" to others. All on the feast of Thomas, who could not, would not, believe until he could experience it for himself...The resurrection of the Christ.
So, to Nick. One of the finest priests I have the honor to know in this life. May God's great light shine on him now, today; and in the future without ceasing.