Sunday, May 15, 2011

from the desk of Fr. Paul…

Many of you know that I am celebrating my Golden Anniversary as a Capuchin this year. A few weeks ago, the Diocese celebrated all the Priest and Religious who have a jubilee this year (25, 50 and 60 years either as a Priest or Religious). There were 16 of us honored with a beautiful Mass and luncheon for our service to God and the Diocese. For me, the actual anniversary date is September 1, the day in 1961 that I entered the Capuchin Order.

The reason I have not said anything is that I don’t want to make a big deal out of it. Yes, it is a great milestone in my life, but after 50 years, I should be a saint, but I am far from it. I am thankful to God for the gift of my vocation and can honestly say that the years have passed very quickly. It is hard to believe that I have been in the Order that long. This however, is a good lesson – life is short. When looking ahead, it might seem a long time, but looking back, it seems very short. I thank the Lord or these fifty years; they have been filled with growth in my relationship with God and my appreciation of His powerful presence. He has chosen me to follow in the footsteps of St. Francis as a Capuchin and I wouldn’t trade these fifty years for any other lifestyle or vocation. They have been beautiful years.

Thank you, everyone, for all your well wishes, for the many kind words that were written or said to me and for all your many gifts bestowed upon me. There is just one thing, however, that I must clear up. Some of your have been congratulating me for being a Priest for 50 years. On November 8th, I will have been a Priest for 42 years (not 50), but on September 1st, I will have been a Capuchin for 50 years.