Jubilarians to new priests: Listen, learn and help people share their gifts

| June 7, 2017 | 0 Comments

The Catholic Spirit reached out to priests of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis who are celebrating their 50th jubilees this year. Below, they offer words of wisdom gleaned from their ministry.

“Archbishop William Brady in the mid-1950s while preaching at Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary in St. Paul said, ‘Do not judge anyone until you have walked 10 miles in his moccasins.’ Most of us had never heard the line, but over the many years since, the wisdom of these words has proven true again and again. Listen well to those you serve before you pass judgment or even give advice. This is also a wise practice in talking with and about our fellow priests.”

— Father John Malone, pastor of Assumption in St. Paul, who will retire July 1

“I hope that they will be convinced about the importance of being a pastor in their future of working with the people of a congregation and building up the body of Christ as a pastor. That’s my biggest piece of advice. I think that’s what we diocesan priests are ordained to be — to do — to serve the local community and to serve the larger Church community as pastors in the Church. That’s a challenge today as it always has been. That’s the reason I mention it. It’s what I’ve been lucky to be in my 50 years as a priest — a pastor.”

— Father Patrick Griffin, retired and living at Catholic Eldercare in Minneapolis

“We received the sacrament called holy orders. What that means is not that we are supposed to do everything, but we’re to bring holy order into all the lay people’s gifts. Too many priests are doing all the work themselves and killing themselves and wearing out. They’ve got to learn how to raise up people and help the people discover their gifts and then bring some order into them, so they’re working together in unity and harmony. It’s helping people discover their gifts, not just doing everything ourselves. People are happiest when they’re doing what their passion is.

“They’re trying to do God’s work and they’re killing themselves because they’re trying to do it on their own. If you’re going to do God’s work, you’ve got to have God’s power. So, what we want to try to figure out is how can you tap into more of God’s power and the spiritual resources he makes available for us to help us do the work that he’s called us to do. It’s an impossible job, and you can’t do it without God and God won’t do it without you.”

— Father Timothy Nolan, retired and living and serving at Pacem in Terris in Isanti

“Spend time each day in quiet fellowship with Jesus, inviting him into your heart to transform you into his image as the good shepherd. Drink deeply of the wisdom of the Church by reflecting on the life and teaching of the saints and the magisterium. Stay close to the people of God. Love them. Serve them and learn from them. Welcome and enjoy the support and wisdom of brother priests and of the laity. ”

— Father Bob Schwartz, retired and living at McKenna Crossing Senior Residence in Prior Lake

Other priests celebrating 50 years:

  • Father Dennis Evenson, retired
  • Father Gregory Welch, retired

Priests celebrating 25 years:

  • Father Stanley Mader, pastor of St. Ambrose in Woodbury
  • Father Thomas McCabe, parochial vicar of St. Albert in Albertville and St. Michael in St. Michael
  • Father Michael Tix, pastor of St. John the Baptist in Savage
  • Father J. Anthony Andrade, pastor of St. Thomas in St. Paul Park

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