My dear parishioners and friends of our parish community: Jesus Christ is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! He is truly Risen! Alleluia!
This weekend, I will be celebrating with you as your Pastor, the 18th Anniversary of my Ordination to the Priesthood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Great High Priest.
I will be offering the Sunday 10:00 AM Mass as a Mass of Thanksgiving to Almighty God. Also, after Holy Communion, I will renew the Consecration of My Priesthood to the Blessed Virgin Mary under her beloved title of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Queen of Poland and Mother of the Church.
It has long been the sacred custom of each priest to re-live each year the most special day of his priestly life, the day of Sacred Ordination. Not just for significant or milestone anniversaries, but each year he is privileged to thank God for this gift. I do this every year, but since my Ordination Anniversary falls this year on Memorial Day, I will mark the occasion one day earlier.
I was Ordained a Priest for on the beautiful morning of May 25th, 1991 in the Cathedral of St. Patrick, Norwich by Most Reverend Daniel Patrick Reilly, D.D., the Third Bishop of Norwich. It was the first time in the history of the Diocese that all five of us new priests were ordained by our own Bishop, all together, in the same Cathedral, at the same time, on the same day! Never before had this occurred in the Diocese, and it has never been repeated since!
Often, priests were Ordained at different times of year. It was a glorious day to behold, a packed Cathedral to welcome us, our “First Priestly Blessings” going on for hours! I shall forever remember just how special the day was! The next day, Sunday, May 26th, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, I offered my first Mass at 2:00 PM in my home parish at St. Joseph Church, Norwich, CT. This is the Polish Parish I was baptized in September 1962, where I made First Communion on May 2nd, 1970, served as altar boy, received the Sacrament of Confirmation in March 1974 and graduated from the Parish School in June 1976. I also worked there many hot summers and other vacations as a seminarian and as a Deacon. So many priests, family, and friends from near and far joined with me in praise of the One True God at my Solemn Mass and Dinner.
At my First Mass, I publically consecrated my entire priesthood to the Blessed Mother before the Holy Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa so beautifully decorated that day in May 1991. I was able to mark my 10th anniversary in Poland with a special Holy Mass before the Icon on Jasna Gora at Czestochowa, Poland. Our Lady surely loves all priests! She is really Mother of the Clergy!
Today, my wonderful mom on earth, Genevieve (Linkiewicz) Sucholet joins me for holy Mass. I thank God Almighty for the many blessings He has given me over these years as a priest. Thank YOU for allowing me to share the joys of my Priestly Ordination Day with you. “Tu Est Sacredos in Aeternum” goes the Latin, “You Are a Priest Forever!” What a gift of the Lord Jesus! I share that gift with you! Pray for me! Pray for all priests!
A Happy and Safe Memorial Day 2009!