Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Priests for NY Archdiocese 2010

Father George La Grutta (far right) was ordained last Saturday, May 15, 2010, for the archdiocese of New York by Archbishop Dolan at St. Patrick's cathedral. He is 61.

Mr. La Grutta started studying for the priesthood at St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, NY in 1981 after some time as a pharmacist. He left in his fourth year to work for Medco Health Solutions. Some years later, while praying before the Blessed Sacrament around the feast of Corpus Christi, Mr. La Grutta realized that he had to go back to seminary. He returned in 2008 at the age of 59. And now Mr. La Grutta is Fr. La Grutta!

You can read the full story on Fr. La Grutta (and the rest of the class of 2010) on the second page here (.pdf). Some pictures of the new priests giving first blessings at St. Joseph's seminary here.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

" save souls..."

“I wanted to be a priest to save souls and to help people know of God’s love and to lead them to a Christian way of life.”

These words are one of the finest descriptions of what the life a priest should be. They come from Fr. Antonio G. Leon, 77, pastor of Jacksonville’s Immaculate Conception church who died Saturday of had kidney failure. You can read more at the Curt Jester's blog here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

St. Peter Gets the Chair

Today the Church celebrates the feast of the Chair of St. Peter. It is a recognition of the authority to rule the Church that Jesus gave to Peter in Mt 16:17-19.

What I realized today is that everything good and bad about the Papacy can be found in Peter. Is the Pope authoritarian? Peter let the Gentiles into what had them been a Jewish sect (Acts 11:15-18). Is the Pope too liberal or wishy-washy, a hypocrite? Peter later backed off and didn't treat the Gentiles properly, fellowshipping only with the Jews (Gal 2:11-14). Is the Pope too much of a Christian? Peter said he would never deny Christ even if he had to die (Mt 26:35). Is the Pope not enough of a Christian? Peter denied Jesus three times (Mt 26:69-75)! Is the Pope an instrument of Satan? Jesus said to Peter "Get behind me Satan..." (Mt 16:23).

It should not be surprising that we can see all of the Papacy in Peter. What is surprising is that we can all see ourselves in him, too. We like some people and not others, we are strong and weak, we are loyal to our friends and deny them too.

Peter is human; we are human. The Popes are human too. Shall we deny them their humanity by insisting that they are either more or less human than ourselves? We are all sinners before God. The Church did not achieve holiness when I joined it! It does achieve holiness when it is united to Christ, the Head, as his Body--even the Popes!