Father Jim: Celebrating 50 years of serving God’s people

As the 50th anniversary of ordination to the Catholic priesthood comes very soon in the month of May for me and a few of my classmates, many thoughts and reflections come to mind.

Of course, the church has changed and progressed in many ways since the late 1970s — in ways that recognize the church as a living, growing and pulsing people of God who exist in the times and circumstances of the years as they go by.

There have been so many seasons and moments of wonderful triumph and joy and celebration, as well as moments of some shame and setback. What always is present and always has been is the faith and delight found among the regular and loyal practicing people of the parishes where I have been privileged to serve.

Our faith-filled seasons — whether Advent, Lent, Christmas or Easter; holy days and celebrations of saints; special festivals and customs; traditions and family and friends’ gatherings — bring back many memories to me.

When it comes right down to it, if you love the Lord and you love all kinds of people, the Catholic parish priesthood is a terrific life!

Best wishes to all those priests who mark their anniversary this month.